Presenting the 12 Rounds of Christmas: Round 8 (Cruz vs Figueroa)

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Rising 147-pound prospects Miguel Cruz and Samuel Figueroa are approaching eight months since their last fight, and neither currently have a bout formally scheduled. There’s a very good reason for that: Both are likely still recovering from their epic war with one another.

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12 Rounds of Christmas 2016: Round 8

On May 8 in Lakeland, Florida, Miguel Cruz and Samuel Figueroa brought a combined 23-0 record into the ring, along with a steeled determination not to be the man who walked out of that ring with his first loss.

Simply put, Cruz and Figueroa redefined the words courage and toughness in a jaw-dropping—make that jaw-pounding—eight-round battle of wills that reached a crescendo in the final three minutes.

The performance of the 25-year-old foes in Round 8 was more than just the culmination of an action-packed fight, but a symbol of what makes boxing so appealing.

It started with Cruz and Figueroa acknowledging each other’s efforts through the first seven rounds, as both fighters met center ring, touched gloves and shared a quick embrace. Then it ended with another mutual-respect embrace.

In between? Well, take three minutes out of your day and see for yourself.

To view this year’s 12 Rounds of Christmas series, head over to our video page.

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