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Brandon Figueroa outslugs Mark Magsayo, wins WBC interim title by decision

Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Fighters Network

ONTARIO, Calif. — Brandon Figueroa never stopped coming forward, grinding out a unanimous decision on Saturday at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, Calif.

Two judges scored the fight 117-109, while the third had it 118-108, preferring the aggression of Figueroa (24-1-1, 18 knockouts) over the flashy flurries of Magsayo (24-2, 16 KOs) in the Showtime Championship Boxing main event. Magsayo had two points deducted by referee Thomas Taylor, once in the eighth and again in the eleventh, for holding.

“Man, I just went out there and wanted it and took the fight right to him. I wanted this fight so bad,” said Figueroa.

“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.”

The win earns him the WBC interim featherweight title, which puts him next in line to face WBC 126-pound titleholder Rey Vargas if he returns to 130 pounds after dropping a decision to O’Shaquie Foster.

Figueroa pushed the action from the opening bell, switching stances while forcing the underdog to work. Magsayo, 27, of Tagbilaran City, Philippines took advantage of Figueroa’s availability, landing a heavy right hand. He closed the round with an uppercut that appeared to hurt Figueroa, 26, of Weslaco, Tex.

Magsayo got the better of the action early on, landing effectively with 2-1 combinations that broke through the southpaw stance of Figueroa, but Figueroa would jump right back on Magsayo, getting the better of the action when the two were in the clinch.

Figueroa’s pressure strategy began to pay off in the second half of the fight, as Magsayo tried to catch his breath in close while Figueroa picked away with short punches in close. As time wore on, Magsayo’s offensive explosions became less frequent, while Figueroa continued at the same steady pace.

Magsayo had the biggest offensive outburst of the fight in the eighth round, when he uncorked an eight-punch combination with hooks and a right hand, but even that barrage never backed Figueroa up.

Magsayo appeared to be worn out as the tenth round began, as Figueroa turned up the pressure. Magsayo fell to the canvas twice in the round without a punch, suggesting he had almost nothing left in the tank. Magsayo came out for the twelfth trading punches to land a big shot to turn it around, but that punch never came.

Figueroa insists he has unfinished business with Stephen Fulton, who defeated him by majority decision in a unified junior featherweight title fight in 2021, but says he would welcome a fight with Vargas also.

“Yeah, whoever wants to fight me, I’ll fight. I want to fight for a world title. I just want to give the fans the fights they want,” said Figueroa.