Brandon Figueroa, Stephen Fulton impressive in Edinburg, Texas
Unbeaten interim WBA Super Bantamweight champion Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa (20-0, 15 KOs) gave his hometown fans a knockout victory to celebrate Saturday night as he stopped Javier Nicolas Chacon (29-5-1, 9 KOs)in round four of the main event of FS1 PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes from Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg, Texas.
“It was one of the best moments of my life fighting in front of my family and supporters who have been with me since I was seven years old,” said Figueroa. “I want to do this again and again, over and over. These are my people and it feels amazing.”
Fighting near his hometown of Weslaco, Texas, Figueroa dominated in making the first defense of his interim title that he won in April. Known for his aggressive style and tendency to fight on the inside, Figueroa lived up to his reputation and threw punches in bunches across the four round fight.
The 22-year-old Figueroa targeted the body early and often, while opening up and showing a more varied attack as the fight went on. Argentina’s Chacon was tentative offensively, landing an occasional uppercut, but nothing that was able to slow his opponent. Figueroa held a staggering 96 to 18 advantage in punches landed.
“He wasn’t throwing punches so I had to get in there and rough him up,” said Figueroa. “He didn’t want to fight my game so I had to punish him and I caught him with a good right hook.”
Late in round four, Figueroa once again had Chacon up against the ropes and this time delivered the decisive blow in the form of a right hook that clearly stunned Chacon. Figueroa followed up and put Chacon on the mat, forcing the referee Rafael Ramos to waive off the bout 2:00 into the round.
After the fight, Figueroa was joined in the ring by fellow unbeaten super bantamweight Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton, as the two discussed a possible future matchup of rising 122-pound stars.
“I’m more than happy to do it,” said Figueroa. “I can switch up my game and do everything at any time. I don’t think he’s seen a hard-hitter like me.”
“We’ve been ready, we’re always ready and we will be ready for anybody,” said Fulton. “I want all of the title holders. If I have to go through Brandon Figueroa to do that, I’ll be ready.
He hasn’t fought anybody like me. I think this would be easy for me.”
In the co-main event, the top super bantamweight Fulton (17-0, 8 KOs) showed off his impressive arsenal as he knocked out previously unbeaten Isaac Avelar (16-1, 10 KOs) in the sixth round.
“I want to thank my opponent for putting on a great performance with me tonight,” said Fulton. “This is the sixth undefeated fighter who came up short against me. It shows that I’m ready for anyone.”
Fulton was effective early, using his jab and landing pot shots while effectively avoiding Avelar’s counters. Avelar was able to have moments of his own success, specifically when he threw combinations and kept Fulton out of the middle of the ring.
However, the ring generalship of Philadelphia’s Fulton was sufficient in keeping the hard-charging Avelar’s offense at bay. As the fight went on, Fulton landed more and more power shots, including a right hook in round three that created a cut on Avelar’s right eye.
Throughout the fight, Fulton landed 42 percent of his power punches and would end the night out landing Avelar 75 to 53. After a big fifth round, Fulton continued to do damage in round six, punishing his opponents with a varied attack.
Finally, Fulton landed an effective barrage that was punctuated by a perfect left hook to the body, which left Avelar crumpled on the mat. Referee Tony Garcia counted out Avelar, giving Fulton the victory, and a possible future matchup against fellow top 122-pounder Figueroa.
Additional action saw fast-rising prospect Omar “El Relampago” Juarez (5-0, 3 KOs) score a highlight-reel knockout in the first round of his super lightweight contest against Gino de la Paz (2-3-1, 1 KO) in front of a friendly crowd not far from his hometown of Brownsville, Texas.
“I want to thank my friends and family my whole team and supporters for tonight,” said Juarez. “But most of all I want to thank my father because he has made me the fighter and man that I am today. It’s great to be fighting in front of my hometown and me and Gino put on a great show. I’m proud to see all my people from Brownsville here.”
The bout was a toe-to-toe brawl from the start, with Juarez landing some clean left hooks that staggered de la Paz early. The high octane nature and close quarter nature of the fight forced the referee to give multiple warnings about a potential clash of heads early on.
Late in the round, Juarez got de la Paz against the ropes as the two fighters exchanged big power punches. It was Juarez who got the best of the exchanges, eventually landing a strong looping right hand that sent his opponent crashing to the canvas. Referee Tom Lindsey had seen enough and halted the bout 1:40 into the round.
“We’re both from this area and everyone from down here is a tough fighter,” said Juarez. “We train to be calm and composed in the ring. I just listen to my corner so that we can complete the mission. I want to keep staying busy this year and I’m going to keep giving them 100 percent every time I step into the ring.”
The opening bout on FS1 saw super featherweight prospect Jaime Arboleda (15-1, 13 KOs) drop Victor Betancourt (26-3, 13 KOs) twice on his way to an impressive. first round stoppage.
While Betancourt was aggressive from the start and tagged Arboledga a few times early, Arboleda broke through late in the round, hurting his opponent with a left hook and overhand right to the head, before following up with a series of body shots that earned him the knockdown.
While Betancourt beat the count, Arboleda followed up, again targeting the body and connecting with power punches that forced Betancourt to take a knee. This time the damage was enough that referee Tony Garcia officially waived off the bout 2:32 into the round.
FS2 PBC Fight Night Prelims were headlined by unbeaten welterweight Darwin Price (15-0, 8 KOs) delivering a sensational second round knockout of Aaron Herrera (35-11-1, 24 KOs) with a perfect right hand 2:58 into the round.
“I felt great tonight and I stuck with the game plan,” said Price. “I had a great training camp. I worked hard every day and stay focused. I’m ready to fight again as soon as possible. This is a great win for me and I knew he was out of there right away when I landed the right hand.”
Action on FS2 also saw San Antonio’s Raymond Guajardo (3-0, 2 KOs) stop McArio del Castillo (0-2) 2:29 into the first round of their super welterweight contest and unbeaten prospect Sean “Sugar Rush” Garcia (5-0, 2 KOs) defeat Nestor Robledo (7-10-2) by the score of 40-36 three times in their four-round featherweight fight.
Rounding out the action were bantamweights Damien Vazquez (14-1-1, 7 KOs) and Josue Morales (9-10-4) fighting to majority draw after six rounds by scores of 58-56 for Vazquez and 57-57 twice and Cesar Cantu (3-0, 1 KO) remaining unbeaten with a unanimous decision over Eddie Hines (1-2) by scores of 40-36 three times in their four-round super featherweight attraction.
The event was promoted by TGB Promotions in association with Panterita Boxing.