The unbeaten 122-pound titlist makes a triumphant return to his native Texas when he faces always-tough Javier Chacon in a super bantamweight battle live on PBC on FS1.
Errol Spence Jr. in Texas. Jarrett Hurd in the DMV area. Jermall Charlo in Texas. And Gervonta Davis in Maryland.
All in 2019. Now it’s Brandon Figueroa’s turn to fight in front of hometown fans as a defending champion.
This Saturday, August 24th, Figueroa will defend his interim WBA World Super Bantamweight title versus veteran Javier Chacon at Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg, Texas, live on FS1 and FOX Deportes (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
Edinburg is a 30-minute drive from Weslaco, where Figueroa (19-0, 14 KOs) grew up. The small town is only a stone’s throw from the Mexican border. Most of Figueroa’s family and friends are expected ringside for his first title defense.
"A victory on Saturday in front of my hometown family and friends would be amazing,” said Figueroa. “These are the people who have been supporting me and wanting to see me live for several years. Finally getting to this moment is a big honor to me.”
Few, if any, Weslaco residents foresaw Brandon becoming a boxer, despite his fighting background. Figueroa’s father, Omar Figueroa Sr., was a streetfighter who began training eldest son Omar Sr. to box.
An eight-year-old Brandon would travel with Omar Sr. and Jr. to Mexico for amateur boxing events. The girls who attended these shows would notice his dark hair and striking blue eyes and begin screaming, “Rompecorazones! Rompecorazones!” which is Spanish for “Heartbreaker.”
Figueroa even modeled for some time as a teen. But fighting was simply in his blood. His father was hesitant about training his youngest son until he watched him work in the gym one day, breaking bigger men down with a high-volume attack.
"I've been fighting grown men since I was in the amateurs,” said Brandon. “My father and brother have always instilled it in me to not fear any opposition. I've never said no to any fight, that's just the way we were raised. I'm fearless.
"My work ethic is all about consistency. Even in my off time I'm always working out and keeping myself in shape. My conditioning is always the most important thing."
Following an amateur career that consisted of less than 50 bouts, Figueroa turned pro in May 2015 at age 19. The conditioning, workrate and exceptional body-punching have been his calling card thus far. But over the years, he’s also refined his style, making him even more formidable.
“ This will be one of the most special fights of my career because I'm fighting in this arena in front of my family and supporters. ” Undefeated Interim Super Bantamweight Champion - Brandon Figueroa
This past January, Figueroa took a major step up in class against Moises Flores. He passed with flying colors, dropping Flores twice in the third to end matters that frame.
Figueroa returned to the ring in April, facing Yonfrez Parejo for the interim 122-pound belt.
Parejo was game early on but Figueroa’s conditioning and bodywork wore him down. The battered Parejo refused to come out of his corner for the start of the ninth.
"My power is really continuing to grow and I'm more explosive in the ring now,” said Figueroa. “We're always increasing the volume of punches we can throw and we're getting stronger every day.”
He’ll need that sort of explosion against Mexico’s Chacon. At 38, Chacon (29-4-1, 9 KOs) has seen better days, but still brings plenty of skill and experience to the table, having twice fought for a world title.
"I never underestimate any opponent ahead of a fight,” said Figueroa. “I train hard for every fight like it's the biggest fight of my life. We're working on my power, my speed and my defense. I have to work on all of that to be at the world class level.”
Still only 22, Figueroa is a work in progress, although he is already one of the most formidable fighters in the division. Fighting at home brings even more distractions than usual, but the hard-punching Mexican-American is determined to make a statement in front of those who supported him on the way up.
"It's an honor to be the first boxer to headline at Bert Ogden Arena. I'm breaking it in and making history, so I know it's going to be a memorable moment for me.
"This will be one of the most special fights of my career because I'm fighting in this arena in front of my family and supporters. It's going to be an amazing night.”
For a closer look at Brandon Figueroa, check out his fighter page.