Luis Nery vs. Brandon Figueroa: Built for War

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An all-out brawl is expected when undefeated super bantamweight world champions Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa throw down Saturday night on SHOWTIME.


Expect all-out war when two of boxing’s best offensive fighters meet in a high-stakes title unification clash.

This Saturday, May 15, on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), live from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, WBC World Super Bantamweight Champion Luis “Pantera” Nery (31-0, 24 KOs) meets WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa (21-0-1, 16 KOs) in an all-offense war between undefeated champions atop a Premier Boxing Champions card. 

The co-feature of this SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast pits former unified super bantamweight champ Danny Roman against hard-hitting Ricardo Espinoza Franco in a 10-round battle. In the show opener, undefeated super featherweight contender Xavier Martinez faces former world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos in a 12-round WBA super featherweight title eliminator.

The Story

As Luis Nery became a two-division world champ, he left behind a trail of knockout victims. Coming into his bout this past September with Aaron Alameda for the vacant WBC super bantamweight title, the Tijuana native had an 11-fight knockout streak, averaging just over four rounds per fight.

Sporting a pair of brutal KO wins over Shinsuke Yamanaka, as well as KOs of established world class fighters such as McJoe Arroyo, Richie Mepranum, and Juan Carlos Payano, Nery has made a name for himself as one of the elite punchers in the game. 

Although his KO streak ended with the Alameda fight, his unanimous decision victory made him a two-division world champ and put him into the thick of a hot and jam-packed super bantamweight division. 

Brandon Figueroa developed a following as an all-action perpetual motion machine with boyish good looks that belied his inner toughness. He would become the interim WBA super bantamweight champ at the age of 22 before eventually being elevated to full champ status. 

The Weslaco, Texas native and younger brother of former world champ Omar Figueroa Jr. is now 24 and regarded as one of the more entertaining fighters in the sport, establishing CompuBox records as the busiest puncher in 122 lb. history. 

In his two most recent outings – a November 2019 draw with rugged veteran Julio Ceja and a 10-round TKO of Damien Vazquez this past September – he showed his toughness and maturing skill set.

Many feel that Figueroa has mainstream breakthrough potential. Becoming unified champ is the first step towards that goal.

The Stakes

At stake for both fighters is a two-belt world title unification and a shot at a third belt in September against WBO World Super Bantamweight Champion Stephen Fulton.

The Matchup

The 26-year-old Nery’s one-punch power is well-documented. That, alone, makes him a dangerous foe. With just nine amateur bouts under his belt before making his pro debut at the age of 17, the rest of his game has been pieced together on the fly, aided by ambition and good fighting instincts.

An aggressive, come-forward fighter by nature, the biggest punch in his southpaw arsenal is a sweeping left hand that rates among the sport’s pound-for-pound best offensive weapons. He also has significant pop in his right hand and can deliver KO power to both the body and the head.

He is a threat to my future plans. I need to eliminate that threat. WBC World Super Bantamweight Champion - Luis Nery

On defense, Nery has some significant holes and, like many power punchers, is willing to take some incoming shots for a chance to get close and land his own. 

Figueroa is a high-output puncher who overwhelms opposition with sheer punch volume and constant pressure. His ability to box from both southpaw and orthodox stances also adds a touch of complexity to his game.

Tall and lanky, he does well from the outside, but likes to mix it up on the inside and eventually finds himself battling at phone booth distance. He gets good leverage on everything he throws and is especially effective with the uppercut. His body work is also a key component to his offense.

On defense, Figueroa has good instincts when it comes to positioning and head movement. He does, however, make some defensive sacrifices in his all-offense style and is hittable. 

The Words

Luis Nery

“My mentality is simple: It’s either me or him. I am not leaving anything in the hands of the judges. I don’t care about how pretty his face is. I don’t care if he’s a sex symbol. To me, bottom line, he is a threat. He is a threat to my career. He is a threat to my future plans. I need to eliminate that threat. I am not underestimating him in the least.”

Brandon Figueroa

“I know Nery is a tough fighter, maybe my toughest test to date. I’m 24 now, so it’s time for me to start fighting these world class fighters and prove to myself that I belong in there with the best fighters. I know Stephen Fulton is lined up for the winner of this fight, but I’m preparing 110% for Nery. I know he’s not just any fighter, so I’m doing everything I can to come away with the win on May 15.”

The Breakdown

There’s going to be all-out war in this one. That much is indisputable. Both fighters, despite recent efforts to round out some rough edges, have aggression hard-wired into their DNA. 

Ultimately, this one’s about Nery’s one-punch, bombs-away power vs. Figueroa’s non-stop pressure and volume punching. 

Nery will have to get Figueroa’s respect early and force the “Heartbreaker” into being more conservative with his punch output. Figueroa, on the other hand, will have to avoid some big shots and maybe survive a few, to wear Nery down. 

Figueroa will have a three-inch height and nearly six-inch reach advantage in this contest. If he works to keep the fight at arm’s length, this edge will serve to his benefit. But Figueroa is drawn to the inside war and he’ll probably be exchanging leather up close even if he begins the bout sharpshooting from the outside. And when he brings the fight to the inside, Nery’s chances of landing something big increase significantly. 

Nery vs. Figueroa this Saturday will be a case of who gets who first. Both fighters are built for war and neither is likely to change their aggressive mindset for this high-stakes battle. For fans, this is a “sit back and watch the carnage” fight. 

For a closer look at Nery vs Figueroa, check out our fight night page. 

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