The unbeaten interim world super bantamweight champion makes a triumphant return home, stopping veteran Javier Chacon Saturday night on FS1.
Brandon Figueroa still looks like he hasn’t shaved yet. His piercing blue eyes hint that he may be a little too pretty to be a boxer. In contrast, Javier Chacon looks like he wears every punch he ever took on his weathered, leather face.
Chacon promised to make Figueroa ugly before his hometown crowd at the Bert Ogden Arena, in Edinburg, Texas, on Saturday night. But the baby-faced kid with the mean hook proved to be the ugly baker, using a fierce body attack to render the veteran Chacon harmless, before dispatching him at 2:00 of the fourth round on the FS1 PBC Fight Night.
Figueroa, 22, retained his interim WBA super bantamweight title, with the hopes of doing more by the end of the year.
He started well, skirting the conventional wisdom of using his superior height and reach and attacked Chacon’s body instead, landing a series of whipping lefts in the opening round. Chacon barely survived the first.
Figueroa mixed it up, switching from southpaw to orthodox, and back again. In the closing minute of the second, “The Heartbreaker” crowded Chacon and pounded the smaller fighter to the body again.
Chacon offered little resistance, throwing 50 shots to Figueroa’s 153 after two frames.
With just over 2:00 left in the fourth, Chacon landed a few rights to the body. That only appeared to agitate Figueroa, who reacted by going back to the body himself. Again, he never used his height or reach.
He did, however, exert his superior size against the smaller Chacon by pinning him against the ropes. A digging right to the body, followed by a crisp short, right hook on the temple dazed Chacon.
Chacon wobbled back against the ropes, seemingly out on his feet. Figueroa didn’t wait to find out. He landed a right uppercut that put Chacon down. Ramos counted him out; “The Heartbreaker” had gifted his hometown fans with a fourth-round stoppage win at 2:00.
“It was one of the best moments of my life fighting in front of my family and supporters who have been with me since I was seven years old,” said Figueroa, who landed 96-297 (32%) total punches to Chacon’s paltry 18-69 (26%). “I want to do this again over and over. These are my people and it feels amazing.
“He wasn’t throwing punches so I had to get in there and rough him up. He didn’t want to fight my game so I had to punish him and I caught him with a good right hook.”
Stephen Fulton stops Isaac Avelar in five
Wearing a cowboy hat, Stephen Fulton made his way back to the ring after stopping the previously undefeated Isaac Avelar earlier on the card.
Both Fulton and Figueroa are super bantamweights. Both hold belts. Both would make a great fight.
“I saw it, but (Figueroa) hasn’t fought anyone like me before,” said Fulton, after being asked if he saw Figueroa’s performance against Chacon. “This is going to be easy for me.”
As for fighting Fulton, Figueroa said, “I’m more than happy to do it. I can switch up my game and do everything at any time. I don’t think he’s seen a hard-hitter like me.”
Fulton (17-0, 8 KOs, like Figueroa, is blessed with it all. The former distinguished amateur made easy work of a very tough Avelar (16-1, 10 KOs), scoring a KO at 1:26 of the sixth round.
“This is the sixth undefeated fighter who came up short against me” Fulton said. “It shows that I’m ready for anyone. I want all of the title holders. If I have to go through Brandon Figueroa to do that, I’ll be ready.”
Omar Juárez flattens Gino De La Paz in one
Super lightweight Omar Juárez may be a rising star.
Juárez (5-0, 3 KOs) didn’t give Gino De La Paz (2-3-1, 1 KO) a chance, taking the fight to him from the first bell and dropping him with a bomb of an overhand right to cause the bout’s stoppage at 1:40 of the first round.
“I want to thank my friends and family my whole team and supporters for tonight,” Juárez said. “But most of all I want to thank my father because he has made me the fighter and man that I am today. It’s great to be fighting in front of my hometown and me and Gino put on a great show. I’m proud to see all my people from Brownsville here.
“We’re both from this area and everyone from down here is a tough fighter. We train to be calm and composed in the ring. I just listen to my corner so that we can complete the mission. I want to keep staying busy this year and I’m going to keep giving them 100 percent every time I step into the ring.”
On the first FS1 fight, super featherweight Jaime Arboleda (15-1, 13 KOs) looked fantastic in pounding Victor Betancourt (26-3, 13 KOs). Arboleda, from Panama, popped a head shot that sent followed by a right to the body that dropped Betancourt in the first. Getting up on weak legs, Betancourt wasn’t able to withstand another shot, and Arboleda made sure of it, putting him down a second time with a right to the body. It was waved over at 2:32 of the first round.
On the undercard, super lightweight Darwin Price (15-0, 8 KOs) stopped Aaron Herrera (35-11-1, 24 KOs) at 2:58 of the second round. “I felt great tonight, I stuck with the game plan,” Price said. “I’m ready to fight again. This was a great win for me.”
Super welterweight Raymond Guajardo (3-0, 2 KOs) made easy work against Mcario Del Castillo (0-2) with a first-round stoppage at 2:29 in a scheduled four-rounder. “I’m real excited right now,” Guajardo said. “I did the best that I can do.”
For a closer look at Figueroa vs Chacon, check out our fight night page.