CARSON, CALIF. – Undefeated rising star Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa scored a career-best victory and captured the WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship with a seventh-round knockout of two-division champion Luis Nery Saturday night in the main event of action live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The fight between undefeated champions lived up to its billing with Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) implementing his smothering strategy early, forcing a firefight with Nery (31-1, 24 KOs) from the jump. Nery appeared to control much of the early action, owning edges in punches landed (209 to 177) and punch accuracy (34% to 27%) throughout the fight, according to CompuBox.
But it was the 24-year-old Figueroa’s persistence in coming forward that eventually began to wear on Nery. Better fourth and sixth rounds for Figueroa showed cracks in Nery’s armor and were a harbinger for what would come soon after.
In the seventh round, Figueroa appeared to hurt Nery early with a series of powerful hooks, as Nery switched from a strategy movement around the ring and began to look to hold. Continuing to press inside, Figueroa was eventually able to land the decisive punches in the form of a combination punctuated by a left hook to the body.
Nery had a delayed reaction to the power shot, but once he hit the canvas, he was unable to beat referee Thomas Taylor’s count, ending the fight 2:18 into the round. Figueroa’s triumph sets him up for a unification showdown on Saturday, September 11 on SHOWTIME against WBO 122-pound champion Stephen Fulton Jr., who joined Figueroa in the ring after the fight.