Brandon Figueroa is a world champion again after defeating Mark Magsayo in a Fight of the Year contender for 2023.
In a thrilling contest between two former world champions desperate to return to world title glory, “The Heartbreaker” improved round-by-round to win a unanimous decision over “Magnifico” Magsayo. In the process, he captured the vacant Interim WBC featherweight title.
The event took place live on SHOWTIME from Toyota Arena in Ontario, Calif., topping a Premier Boxing Champions event.
“Man, I just went out there and wanted it and took the fight right to him,” said Figueroa. “I wanted this fight so bad.
“He came back a little, but once I hit him with a body shot, it affected him, and I put pressure, pressure, pressure on him.”
In a fight that didn’t appear as one-sided as the judges’ scorecards, Figueroa (24-1-1, 18 KOs) won by scores of 117-109 twice and 118-108.
SHOWTIME’s Hall of Fame unofficial scorer Steve Farhood saw the fight 114-112 in favor of Figueroa. That’s with two Magsayo point deductions for holding the difference in the battle on his scorecard.
“I thought the fight was much closer than the scores indicated,” Magsayo said. “I don’t know how to explain the scorecards or the point deductions.
“It’s very disappointing. I plan to move up to 130 pounds after this fight.”
Figueroa, who averages 92 punches thrown per round throughout his career, was limited to 54 punches thrown per round against Magsayo (24-2, 16 KOs).
Figueroa threw 60 more punches than Magsayo but landed three fewer punches. The fighters were separated by more than four landed punches in just three of the twelve rounds.
Figueroa started slowly and had to withstand Magsayo’s best shots early in the fight, demonstrating that he has one of the best chins in boxing.
But Magsayo tired as the rounds went on and were twice penalized for holding in rounds eight and eleven.
Figueroa, the former 122-pound world champion, is now in line to face WBC Featherweight World Champion Rey Vargas next. Vargas was ringside Saturday night.
“I felt strong,” the 26-year-old native of Weslaco, Texas, said. “But I just don’t stop. I don’t get tired, and I’m relentless.
“I came forward, and I wanted the fight. Whoever wants to fight me, I’ll fight. I want to fight for a world title. I want to give the fans the fights they want.”