All-action fighter Brandon Figueroa (22-1-1, 17 KO) is set to make his return following his November 2021 majority decision loss to Stephen Fulton Jr. Figueroa has officially been scheduled to take on Carlos Castro (27-1, 12 KO) as he makes his move up the scales for a WBC featherweight title eliminator on the undercard of Mark Magsayo vs Rey Vargas on July 9.
And looking ahead to the bout, Figueroa says this move should only serve to help him perform better at a more comfortable weight class.
“We’re looking to make a statement,” said Figueroa. “Me not worrying about squeezing to make 122 lbs and really killing myself at the end of camp just makes me more relaxed mentally. I feel fresher heading into this fight and I just can’t wait to showcase that.
“I’m going to be a lot stronger and more explosive. If people were impressed with my conditioning at 122, just imagine what it’s going to be like at 126. Everyone is going to see a better version of myself.”
In fact, the move to featherweight was a decision that Figueroa says was made even prior to fighting Fulton, and hopes that they’ll eventually be able to rematch at 126 lbs.
“The decision to move up in weight had been made way before the Fulton fight,” said Figueroa. “That has been in the works for a long time. We were just waiting for the right opportunity to move up. After the Fulton fight, I knew that I was going to move up no matter what happened in that fight.
“I believe it will be better for both of us to do the rematch at 126 pounds,” said Figueroa. “The Fulton rematch is something that has to happen. It has to happen for the fans, for me and Fulton, and to give everyone another ‘Fight of the Year’.”
Figueroa’s matchup with Fulton was a compelling fight, no doubt, and Figueroa goes on to say that it’s the lessons learned from that match that he’ll bring with him going into the future.
“I learned a lot from the Fulton fight and grew a lot because of it,” said Figueroa. “I took the good from the bad and kept moving on. We went back to the drawing board and saw some things that we did like from that fight and saw places where we could improve. I’ve been working on adapting. I’ve learned to be a little more patient, more technical, to use my distance better and capitalize on my shots.”
But before Figueroa can set his sights on a potential future rematch with Fulton, he’ll first have to handle his business with Castro, whom is also moving up in weight for this fight.
“Castro is a great fighter,” said Figueroa. “He’s patient and very technical. There are some things that I have to do to take that away from him and put the pressure on him, like I do so well. I know he’s going to come to fight with a lot to prove. We’re both coming off fresh losses and moving up in weight, so I know we’re stepping into that ring to make a statement.”
Should Figueroa emerge victorious in this outing, he’ll have put himself in a position to challenge the winner of Magsayo-Vargas which tops the Showtime card. Figueroa is expecting a good, close fight between those two men, and believes the smarter man in the ring that night will be the one to edge out the win.