Brandon Figueroa likely set himself up for a shot at Rey Vargas’ WBC featherweight title tonight, beating Mark Magsayo in an interim title bout on Showtime.
Figueroa won the fight on scores of 117-109, 117-109, and 118-108. Those were wider than BLH’s two unofficial scorecards, which were 114-112 and 115-111, both in Figueroa’s favor.
Figueroa (24-1-1, 18 KO) and Magsayo (24-2, 16 KO) put on yet another good fight for boxing’s still-young 2023, and it wasn’t the only one on this card. What the fight may have lacked in “sweet science” it made up for in consistent action, and that’s considering Magsayo being docked a point on two occasions for excessive holding.
The fight stats were pretty even, with CompuBox seeing Figueroa landing 176 of 653 (27%) total punches, and 161 of 528 (31%) of his power shots. Magsayo was credited with 179 of 593 (30%) total punches, and 160 of 464 (35%) on his power shots.
But the numbers often don’t tell the full story, and that’s the case here. Figueroa’s gas tank simply held up a lot better than Magsayo’s, and Magsayo wilted late in the fight, though to his credit he gave it a gung-ho effort in round 12. He pulled some clever stuff after his first holding deduction, where he was reasonably afraid to tie up too much, and instead waited for sloppy moments in close to take knees and buy himself a moment. This worked on two or three occasions in the last few rounds, and may have saved him from getting stopped.
“I just wanted it, I took the fight right to him. I dominated him, he came back with little flurries, but I knew once I hit him with a body shot, he didn’t have no legs. I tired him out and I dominated him,” Figueroa said.
“(The holding) just didn’t really let me get my shots in there, but he was holding the whole fight. He felt the shots to the body. I knew once he stopped holding, I could hurt him, which I did. It was all holding.
“I can fight any style — backwards, forwards, lefty, righty. I confused him a lot. He didn’t know what to do.”
Asked how he feels now at 126 lbs, Figueroa said, “I just feel strong. I just don’t stop, I don’t get tired. I just come forward. Whoever wants to fight me, I want more world titles. Let’s get the fans a good fight. That’s what it’s all about.”
Figueroa vs Magsayo highlights
Armando Resendiz TKO-10 Jarrett Hurd
An upset here, and a second straight loss for Hurd at middleweight. The 32-year-old Hurd (24-3, 16 KO) looked both like himself again and like he’s just past his best days without any question remaining on that. He did fight like Jarrett Hurd again, unlike his win over Francisco Santana in 2020 or his loss to Luis Arias in 2021, but he also just wasn’t able to fully get it done.
Resendiz (14-1, 10 KO) came with fire early, and took the first couple of rounds. It looked like maybe that was just the normal slow start from Hurd, who bounced back in the third and fourth, but after a close fifth round, this was pretty much all Resendiz, as the 24-year-old Mexican just had way more in the tank, battering a valiant and very game Hurd in each round. Jarrett was still landing shots, but he wasn’t doing damage, and Resendiz was.
The fight was stopped officially five seconds into round 10, before the action really resumed, on the advice of the ringside physician. The reason given was a “severe laceration in the lip” of Hurd, who did not speak post-fight but did come over to congratulate Resendiz and salute the crowd in Ontario, Calif.
“I was visualizing this fight for so long and the way I was going to win tonight,” Resendiz said through an interpreter. “I sparred with Vergil Ortiz, who gave me great sparring, and other partners who helped me out.”
For Resendiz, I think we need to remember this is a guy who lost to Marcos Hernandez a couple fights ago before we start declaring that “a star is born” and whatever they’re going to tell you on TV, and also that Hurd hasn’t looked like himself in years now; the last time Jarrett Hurd won a fight looking like Jarrett Hurd was Dec. 2018 against Jason Welborn.
Resendiz may even be smart to not try and rush up the ladder from this win, even though middleweight is pretty open at the moment. As for Hurd, it’s a question of whether he wants to come back again, really. He can still compete and make for good fights — this was a very entertaining fight — but he also takes a lot of punishment, and it’s already a hard way to make a living.
His fighting style was back to the Jarrett Hurd that gives him his best chance, but he doesn’t have the size advantages at 160 he had at 154, he’s gotten older, he’s been inactive, he doesn’t seem to have the pop at this weight he had before — it’s going to be tough, but there will be fights for him out there. It just seems clear that he flat out is not a contender at middleweight. You can’t lose back-to-back to Luis Arias and Armando Resendiz, as a clear favorite in both fights, and be considered a serious contender.
Elijah Garcia TKO-4 Amilcar Vidal Jr
Really good fight while it lasted, and the aggressive matchmaking that 19-year-old Garcia pushed for pays off with an impressive win, as he goes to 14-0 (12 KO).
This was not easy for Garcia, as Vidal (16-1, 12 KO) won the first couple of rounds — something Garcia even said after the bout — but he was also pushing Vidal back to the ropes pretty consistently even in the second round, and started getting things going better in the third.
In the fourth, he found the big shot, a right hook that hurt Vidal and pushed him back to the ropes again, where Garcia laid on a big flurry of shots that dropped the 27-year-old Uruguayan. Referee Jack Reiss took a look and didn’t even offer a count.
“This is what everybody dreams of,” Garcia said. “This ain’t a surprise, this is what I’ve worked for since I turned pro, and we’re going to keep going one step at a time. I stay ready and mentally I’m strong. I might have lost the first couple rounds, but I started breaking him down.”
Garcia is also still planning to keep pushing for a world title within the next couple of years.
“21, 22, that’s what we’re aiming for. But we might be ahead of schedule,” he said.