Weslaco’s Brandon Figueroa, the World Boxing Council super bantamweight champion, has been climbing the boxing ladder since joining the professional ranks.
“The Heartbreaker” is set for the biggest fight of his young career as he puts his belt on the line against Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton, the World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion, in a title unification bout in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions fight card on Showtime at 9 p.m. Saturday. Figueroa (22-0-1) and Fulton (17-0) are scheduled to walk to the ring at approximately 10 p.m.
“This is everything I’ve been wanting — to fight the best, accumulate these belts and keep going,” Figueroa said.
Both Figueroa and Fulton enter the bout undefeated and have had their eyes set on fighting each other for years.
After Figueroa’s fourth-round knockout of Javier Chacon on Aug. 24, 2019, at Edinburg’s Bert Ogden Arena, Fulton stepped into the ring for an impromptu faceoff. Since that moment, the hype surrounding the title unification bout between unbeaten fighters has been building. Figueroa testing positive for COVID-19 before their previously scheduled Sept. 18 fight caused a three-month postponement of this fight.
The two will finally step into the squared circle to determine the better fighter Saturday night.
“It’s great for the fans, it’s great for the show, and it’s great for boxing in general. I feel the small weight classes are showing what it is to put the best against the best, and I guess if we got to lead the way, we’ll lead the way,” the 24-year-old Figueroa said. “I’m excited to fight Stephen Fulton, someone that we’ve been trying to fight each other since our prospect days. Now we’re both world champions, why not go at it?”
Fulton called the fight “well overdue.”
“I feel like on a business side, it only made sense to face each other when it really mattered — now for a unification bout,” he said during an interview with PBC. “He has a title, I have a title. It makes sense, it makes money, and this is to show who’s the better man now.”
Figueroa enters the fight with a one-and-a-half-inch height advantage and two-inch reach advantage on Fulton. “The Heartbreaker” also has 17 knockouts during his career compared to eight for the 27-year-old Fulton.
Figueroa called Fulton a great opponent, but he plans to take him into deep waters Fulton’s never been before.
“I feel like he’s an opponent that’s going to make me think a little bit more than other opponents. He’s skillful, he’s slick, he has a lot of speed, but at the end of the day, I feel like my heart is going to speak for itself,” Figueroa said. “The pressure that I put, the body punches that I put and just the way I break down my opponents is unique itself. I don’t think he’s faced anyone like me, and I haven’t faced anyone like him, so I think it’s going to be a great matchup.”
“It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of since I was small. I’m blessed. I can’t wait to get in the ring and execute and bring back those belts to the Rio Grande Valley,” Figueroa said.
The winner between Figueroa and Fulton will move into position to push for another unification bout against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (10-0), the IBF and WBA super bantamweight champion.