Brandon Figueroa and Omar Juarez put up some gaudy CompuBox numbers in a 12-round war tonight, ultimately fighting to a split draw on the Wilder-Ortiz 2 undercard in a bout that will be hard to top for pure action the rest of the night.
Figueroa (20-0-1, 15 KO) took one card 115-113, Ceja (32-4-1, 28 KO) took another 116-112, and the third was even, 114-114. Bad Left Hook also had the fight 114-114, and all of the scores that judges turned in were fair and defensible.
Figueroa, 22, started fast and won at least three of the first four rounds, and he also closed strong in the 12th, but the 27-year-old Ceja did some fantastic pressure work in the middle rounds and had a hell of a run from the fifth through the eighth in particular.
The result is a tough pill to swallow for Figueroa, who took the fight despite Ceja missing weight by over four pounds on Friday.
Figueroa is still the WBA’s “world” super bantamweight titleholder, and still has a bright future as an action fighter if nothing else. He hung in with a good, hard-hitting fighter who was legitimately a lot heavier than him tonight, showing he can take as well as he dishes out.
“I felt like I won the fight,” Figueroa said. “I’m fighting a guy above my weight class, but we never say no to a fight. I’m pretty sure if he had made 122, it wouldn’t even have been close. We’ve got to run the rematch back, but next time he better make 122.”
“He was a man about it,” Ceja said about Figueroa going through with a fight he could easily have turned down. “He gave me the fight, now I’m ready for the rematch. I think I won, but they called it a tie. That’s fine, I respect the judges’ opinion. But I want the rematch.”
CompuBox saw Figueroa landing 411 of 1,338 (31%) total punches, and 372 of 832 (45%) of his power shots. Ceja landed 373 of 1,473 (25%) total punches, and 367 of 1,378 (27%) power punches. Ceja outlanded Figueroa to the body, 96-80.