15 months after putting on one of 2021’s Fights of the Year, Stephen Fulton and Brandon Figueroa will do battle once again.
Dan Rafael reports that the pair will rematch atop a Feb. 25 Showtime tripleheader at The Armory in Minneapolis, with the WBC interim featherweight title on the line.
This is a rare justifiable interim belt, as champion Rey Vargas is set to challenge O’Shaquie Foster for the sanctioning body’s super featherweight belt. If he emerges victorious, he’ll have to choose which belt to keep; if it’s the 126-pound title, he’ll have to fight either Fulton (21-0, 8 KO) or Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KO). If not, the interim belt will become the real deal.
Speaking of, no word as to whether Fulton will face a similar choice with his WBC and WBO super bantamweight belts should he win. I’d have to assume so, which appears to put the kibosh on a potential megafight with the rising Naoya Inoue.
Glancing at the rankings, I’m guessing that would result in Luis Nery’s ordered WBC eliminator against Azat Hovhannisyan being upgraded to a title fight while Inoue took on Ra’eese Aleem for the WBO title.
As for the fight itself, there’s not a lot of bad things to say about it. The two put on an ultra-competitive, hugely entertaining battle the first time around and I don’t see an extra four pounds preventing a repeat.
Also on the show is Subriel Matias vs Jeremias Ponce, previously announced for two weeks prior. I suppose it’s fair to let them have one last delay for old time’s sake. Should an official announcement come today, I’ll update the post with the third piece of the main card.