“The Heartbreaker” will put his WBA World Super Bantamweight title on the line versus a hungry Damien Vazquez; part of a stacked SHOWTIME PPV featuring five world title bouts on Saturday, September 26.
As a baby-faced teenager, Brandon Figueroa (20-0-1, 15 KOs) wasn’t sure if he wanted to be a professional fighter. Today, the undefeated 23-year-old battles with a ferocity that would lead one to believe he was born to do this. Perhaps that’s true, given his fighting family roots which includes big brother and former world lightweight champion, Omar Figueroa.
Figueroa will look to make family proud on Saturday, September 26, when he takes on Damien Vazquez (15-1-1, 8 KOs) at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. The first-of-its-kind boxing doubleheader will include five world title fights, live on SHOWTIME PPV (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT).
In your last fight, you fought to a draw with Julio Ceja who came in far above the weight limit.
I didn’t go in at a 100%—I went in with injuries because it was a big opportunity for me and I took it. But you have to have that warrior mentality. I feel Ceja didn’t really go in to win a title. He went in to possibly hurt me and put his name out there. Those 4 1/2 pounds would’ve really mattered, considering I went in there at 122 with injuries—and I still think I did enough to beat him. It’s only made me a stronger, better fighter.
What’s the philosophy behind the style your father gave you?
My dad always says, ‘pressure breaks pipes.’ He’s always looked up to fighters like Salvador Sanchez and Julio Cesar Chavez; great Mexican warriors. My dad took a little bit of everything from them and created his unique own style. My brother and I have stamina, speed, power in both hands, toughness and we can both switch, lefty or righty. It’s a mix of everything thrown at you at the same time. A lot of fighters aren’t used to guys that can apply pressure, can box a little bit and throw from all angles.
Is defense secondary in your style?
We go through with the game plan of breaking down our opponents. I definitely want to improve my defense a little bit. I want to be an all-around fighter to where I can switch it up at any moment of the fight. It’s just, I’m so used to getting in there, mixing it up and breaking my opponents down on the inside. I enjoy that part of boxing. It’s become a part of me. But I’m definitely always willing to learn and grow as a fighter.
How’d you get the “Heartbreaker” nickname?
The heartbreaker nickname is from when me and my older brother would fight in Mexico. We’d literally go right across the border from where we live, probably like 20 minutes from my house. Every time my mom crossed the border they’d stop and question her because they thought she kidnapped me because of my blue eyes and all. All of my siblings and mom have darker colored eyes, so they’d always question her. Once I’d fight over there, the girls would say “Oh, the heartbreaker is here!” They would blush and smile, so when my dad heard that he called me the “Heartbreaker.”
“ I love getting hit and hitting people—that’s where my passion is. ” Undefeated WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion - Brandon Figueroa
Does that help make you a marketable fighter?
Of course it helps makes me a more marketable fighter. In the ring all the fighters underestimate me because of my pretty face and my frame. Once they get hit, they know why I belong in there. Their facial expressions change every time. I’ve been underestimated my whole life. Everyone told me you should be a model not a boxer, you’re too much of a pretty boy. I love fighting. I love getting hit and hitting people—that’s where my passion is. I love people underestimating me and proving them wrong.
What do you think of Damien Vazquez?
He’s a tough fighter, but I feel like I’ll be too much for him. I know he’s talking a lot, but I don’t care about talking, I just want to get in there and fight. I feel like with my pressure, my power and zero injuries, that I’m just going to let loose. I’m gonna throw hands and I don’t think he knows what is coming to him. The body shots are gonna break him down.
Are you looking for the KO?
I feel like I have to end this with an exclamation mark because of my last performance. I’m gonna put pressure on early and we’ll see if he can handle that. I can guarantee you one thing: Once he feels those power shots, he’s not gonna want to go toe-to-toe.
What’s it like being in a boxing family?
When we were younger we didn’t get along, at all. Sibling rivalries, we’d fight each other. When you’re seven years old, you’re not gonna connect with your brother that is 13, 14 years old. Now we’re older and have more experience in life. We’re learning to love and understand each other better. It’s beautiful knowing I have my family as a support unit and they understand what it takes to be in boxing. The boxing lifestyle ain’t easy for families that aren’t used to it. My brother is my mentor and my father and sister are always pushing me. Together we’re a super-team. I don’t have to go through this journey alone.
How do you throw 100 punches a round?
Throw punches in bunches and let my hands go. I might wanna throw even more punches than that in this fight. It’s a Mexican style, and I feel it’s beautiful to witness someone throw a variety of punches in combinations. Execute and persecute.
What do you think of Angelo Leo and the other champions?
I feel like that would be a great fight. HIs last fight was very good. If me and him fight it’s the fight of the night or who knows, fight of the year.
What about fighting Rey Vargas, Stephen Fulton, Luis Nery, and Ra’eese Aleem?
I’ll fight any of those guys. I’m ready. I can’t wait to showcase on September 26 so I can show everybody I’m a world class fighter.
What are your thoughts on the Charlo twins in the doubleheader main events?
The Charlo brothers are world class fighters. When I was in high school and not sure if I’d be a professional, I would travel to my brother’s fights and see the Charlo brothers. I remember seeing them fight in El Paso and Houston. Now they’re on pay-per-view.
For a closer look at Brandon Figueroa, check out his fighter page.