It was a night when Omar Figueroa Jr. and Ricky Burns would combine to throw 1,685 punches—1,442 of which were power shots, with 517 of those landing. The early pace of the 12-round slugfest, it’s safe to say, was not sustainable the longer the fight went on.
By the 11th round of their May 9 brawl in Hidalgo, Texas, both fighters were spent, at once clinging to each other to stay up and hammering away to take the other one down.
The first two minutes of the round were guts and heart, weary arms moving on exhausted autopilot in search of something—anything—that would put the other guy away and save another three minutes of torture.
Then, with a minute left, Omar Figueroa Jr. backs off Ricky Burns with a flurry to the head. He senses something and finds new life in his legs. He springs forward, connecting with a left to the head.
Burns is rattled and retreats to the ropes. Fifty seconds left: Figueroa drops in three straight right uppercuts. Thirty seconds left: Figueroa hammers home a left hook to the body and Burns is hurt. Fifteen seconds left: Burns can only wrap up, desperate to hang on.
When referee Laurence Cole deducts a point from Burns for holding right before the bell, it almost comes as a relief.