Brandon Figueroa, Stephen Fulton Jr. talk up title collision
WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa and WBO 122-Pound World Champion Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton Jr. previewed their world title unification showdown during a virtual press conference Tuesday before they meet in the main event live on SHOWTIME in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas.
The telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will also feature top super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem taking on Mexico’s Eduardo Baez in the 10-round co-main event, plus unbeaten rising bantamweight contender Gary Antonio Russell duels Mexico’s Alexandro Santiago in a 10-round showdown to kick off the telecast.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.
Figueroa vs. Fulton has loomed as a potential showdown for several years prior to the two unbeaten fighters joining the world championship ranks with career-best performances in 2021. Fulton struck first, dominating then-unbeaten Angelo Leo to capture the WBO title in January, while Figueroa made his own statement in stopping two-division champion Luis Nery to capture the WBC strap in May.
Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday:
“I’m just happy it’s fight week finally. It’s been a long road with two training camps. Everything is going well and I’ve come back stronger than ever. We are days away from this huge fight and I feel like it’s going to be ‘Fight of the Year’. It’s going to steal the show. ]I’m coming with everything.
“It would mean everything to become a unified champion. I’m here to represent and to bring back another belt for my city and for my family. It would mean everything to me. That’s why I’ve been working really hard and I know once I accomplish that it would just be another dream come true.
“People are going to talk and underestimate me. They think I’m just going to go in there and “rock ‘em, sock ‘em robot”. But I’m very intelligent. That’s the reason why I’m undefeated. That’s the reason why I have a lot of knockouts. I’m a great finisher. I know how to put pressure on you. Once he gets hit with a big shot and feels my power, it’s going to totally change this fight.
“He’s wrong if he thinks he’s going to stop me inside nine rounds. I’m a fighter. Some people say that I have terrible defense, yet I’m still undefeated. I’m still knocking out world champions and former world champions. This will be no different. It’s going to be the same story as always.
“This fight is going to boil down to guts. To heart. Hard work. Conditioning. I feel like it’s going to take everything from both of us. I know we both have a lot to gain. There’s a lot at stake. We’re both in our primes. We’re ready to peak. He’s 27-years-old. I’m 24. We’re here doing it.
“I come to do my job. I come in to execute my game plan. A lot of people underestimated me against [Luis] Nery but my game plan was to go out there and dominate and do what I had to do, and I went and got him out of there. This time is no different. It’s the same story. People underestimate me so much that I don’t even care anymore. I know what my abilities are. My team knows my abilities and my potential. I know what I’m capable of inside the ring, even though I don’t look like a fighter. That’s my style. I just go out there and do what I have to do and have fun doing it. I’m excited to do it again.
“I think I have the power advantage. I always do. That’s the reason why I have the knockouts. My opponents feel as if I don’t have power before they get in there. But once they feel it, they feel it. I know how to work in those sneaky body shots. I know how to overwhelm them with power, speed and combinations. It’s all part of my arsenal and November 27 it’s all going to come together. All my hard work and everything I’ve been working towards; I’m going to let everything go.
“He’s a skillful fighter. He’s slick. He’s fast. We know that. Obviously, we just have to go in there and take those attributes away. Take nothing away from Stephen, he’s a great fighter. He’s at where he’s at for a reason. But we’ve studied him really well. Props to him for becoming a world champion and getting this far, but I feel like this is my time.
“I have to use my height and reach and just make sure I go in there with a game plan. I always go in there with three or four game plans. I know a lot of people say that I don’t use my height or my reach. But I feel like I do a good job using it on the inside. Sometimes I don’t care to use it on the outside, but this fight is going to take a little bit of everything, and I’ll have to make full use of my height, reach, power, size and everything that makes me the fighter I am.
“I’m just ready to get it on and represent Mexico, represent my city and everybody back home. I’m ready to make my family proud and I’m excited to get in there and leave everything in the ring. You guys will see who wants it more.”
STEPHEN FULTON JR.
“My resume is better [than Figueroa’s] and I feel comfortable saying that. I’ve taken risks since the beginning of my career. I’ve faced undefeated fighters that no one wanted to face. I’ve taken the harder road to get to this fight.
“This has been a great training camp. We’re ready to go. Everything is in motion and I’m just extremely prepared. I can’t wait to put on a great performance.
“Being unified champion would mean a lot to me. I can become the first unified super bantamweight champion from Philadelphia on Saturday night. This win means everything to me.
“People have yet to see the best of me. They’ve yet to see that I like to fight toe-to-toe. I just don’t think this fight is going to last that long. He has the power to wear you down, but I’m the kind of fighter who can overcome anything. I highly believe in my abilities and my intelligence.
“This is my first fight back with fans in two years. There’s so much excitement for it. I’ve been preparing for this fight since June and I don’t think it’s going the distance.
“I’m his biggest fight to date. I’m his biggest test. I’m not like any of the other fighters that he faced before. He knows that and everyone around him knows that. Just watch what I do when I have my back against the wall.
“This boils down to who wants it the most. The power, the strength and the speed can all die down during a fight. All that’s left is who wants it the most. This isn’t just about being unified champion, it’s about this man believing that he can beat me. That’s what motivates me.
“He doesn’t have any quit in him and I appreciate that. I hate quitters and I don’t have any quit in me either. He always fights his fight and applies pressure well. He knows how to use angles and he’s got to this point for a reason.
“I’m used to being in uncomfortable positions, but I’ve had great support from my team and family and friends and that will be with me on fight night.
“Figueroa is going to engage with me more than most of my past opponents have. Him fighting with the style he likes to use is going to bring out more of what I can do.
“I already know that I’m the top guy at 122-pounds. It’s just a matter of days until everyone will see that. I’m not focused on my position in the division or what’s at stake. I’m just focused on defeating an opponent who believes he can beat me.”