An epic night of action is expected when two undefeated world champions throw down in a 122-pound title unification Saturday night on PBC on SHOWTIME.
Undefeated super bantamweight world champions unify titles this Saturday, November 27, when WBC Champ Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) battles WBO Champ Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton Jr. (19-0, 8 KOs) at Park Theater at Park MGM in Las Vegas, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m.) in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Originally scheduled for September 18, this champion vs. champion bout had to be rescheduled when Figueroa tested positive for COVID-19.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast also features super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem against Mexico’s Eduardo Baez in the 10-round co-main event. Opening the telecast, unbeaten bantamweight contender Gary Antonio Russell meets Mexico’s Alejandro Barrios in a 10-round clash of skills and wills.
It’s no secret why this title unification bout, originally set to take place on Mexican Independence Day Weekend, is so highly-anticipated by experts and knowledgeable boxing fans. Both 20-something fighters have exciting, entertaining styles and both are coming into this clash after breakthrough title-winning performances against undefeated world champs.
The 24-year-old Figueroa graduated to next-level status in May with a rough and gritty seventh-round TKO victory over Mexican KO artist and defending WBC 122-pound champion Luis Nery. Younger brother of former world champ Omar Figueroa Jr., the Weslaco, Texas native has turned heads over the course of his career with his all-action style and stoppage victories over veterans such as Moises Flores, Oscar Escandon, and Damien Vazquez.
Philadelphia’s Fulton took his first world title in impressive fashion, throwing nearly 1,200 punches over twelve rounds against mega-game unbeaten WBO super bantamweight titlist Angelo Leo in January. Although known for his high-end skills, the 27-year-old is also recognized as a rare breed among boxing stylists—one who lets his hands go and does not hesitate to go to war. Figueroa will be the ninth undefeated opponent in Fulton’s 20-fight pro career.
At stake are the WBC and WBO super bantamweight titles, as well as top dog status in the 122-pound division.
Figueroa is a volume puncher who overwhelms opposition with non-stop pressure and an increasingly advanced offensive skill set. His ability to switch between orthodox and southpaw stances also adds complexity to his game.
Tall and lanky, he can be very effective from the outside, but shows an affinity for up-close battle, where his body attack is an exemplary, well-used weapon.
Like most offense-minded fighters, Figueroa makes some defensive sacrifices in pursuit of doing damage. He’s generally not hard to hit but has shown himself to have a strong chin and unbreakable resolve.
Fulton is mature beyond his years, displaying a quick, analytical mind and an all-around high ring IQ.
Gifted with quick hands and outstanding reflexes, he also has a very solid, high-end skill set and a supreme self-confidence that results in an unusually high punch output for a well-schooled slickster. His best offensive weapon is probably his sharp, potentially fight-controlling jab, although his right hand—thrown as a straight shot off the jab or as a looping power shot—is also a potent tool.
On defense, Fulton is quick and intuitive, although opposition has been able to hit and hurt him on occasion when he opens up to press an attack.
“ You guys will see who wants it more. ” Undefeated WBC World Super Bantamweight Champion - Brandon Figueroa
“This fight is going to boil down to guts. To heart. Hard work. Conditioning. I feel like it’s going to take everything from both of us. I know we both have a lot to gain. There is a lot at stake. We’re both in our primes. We’re ready to peak. He’s 27-years-old. I’m 24. We’re here doing it. I’m excited to get in there and leave everything in the ring. You guys will see who wants it more.”
Stephen Fulton Jr.
“I’m his biggest fight to date. I’m his biggest test. I’m not like any of the other fighters that he faced before. He knows that and everyone around him knows that. This boils down to who wants it the most. The power, the strength and the speed can all die down during a fight. All that’s left is who wants it the most. This isn’t just about being unified champion, it’s about this man believing that he can beat me. That’s what motivates me.”
Although Figueroa-Fulton features two young champions with high-end skills, this unification clash will likely turn into a back-and-forth war of attrition very early on. The question is whether Fulton, who is a boxer first and a free-swinger second, can find enough of a rhythm to stay ahead of the all-pressure Figueroa.
Fulton will have an edge in all-around speed coming into this bout and exploiting that advantage will be key to his success. He’ll also be bringing an absolute rocket of a jab that could slow down, if not flat-out stop, Figueroa’s forward march.
Figueroa, meanwhile, brings his aggression, his persistence, and an increasingly well-rounded skill set to the ring. He’ll be looking to push Fulton into a phone booth war where Fulton’s speed and polish are nullified and where the defensive chinks in his armor can be exploited.
Expect a bit of everything in this Saturday’s world title unification clash. There’ll be some boxing, some brawling, and a lot of action. After what should be a physically exhausting and mentally taxing battle, the last man standing will have truly earned his super bantamweight top dog status.
For a closer look at Figueroa vs Fulton, check out our fight night page.
- Figueroa vs Fulton