Brandon Figueroa Stops Luis Nery To Become Unified World Champion

Results from Showtime Championship Boxing’s card on Saturday, May 15th at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Brandon Figueroa KO7 Luis Nery

The bout began with Luis Nery outboxing an overeager to exchange Brandon Figueroa as he built an early lead against the young challenger who was eager to engage. The big takeaway early was that Figueroa was getting hit clean, too early and often, and that the fight was going to be less about skill and more about durability and a fighter’s will.

Figueroa picked up only one of the first four rounds, and the fifth saw Nery avoiding the action staying on the outside and picking his shots, a trend that seemed to lead to his demise. Figueroa was a heat-seeking missle with only one intention, punching, whereas Nery looked conflicted on whether to box, or exchange and seemingly would get caught in the middle of this thought process forcing him

The ending sequence saw a body shot land that would cripple Nery who was unable to get up for the ten-count, as Figueroa picked up the biggest win of his career.

Figueroa now is a unified world champion albeit Luis Nery’s WBC super bantamweight world title win was against lesser-known Aaron Alameda and Figueroa’s WBA title stems from a win over Julio Ceja, the feat has nonetheless been accomplished for the 24-year-old Texan, who now lays claim to one of the best wins in the division.

Figueroa will now face Stephen Fulton, who seems to be the class of the division on September 11th on Showtime, as this will be for three of the four world titles in the weight class, with the IBF super bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev being the only one not in the mix.

For Nery, this is just adds further confusion as returning to his coach Clemente Medina was supposed to be a return to the old reckless, knockout artist of old, prior to working with Freddie Roach or Eddy Reynoso, but it seems whatever Nery’s issue might be more inward. Nery has not looked good in years, and some of his biggest wins have come in light of PED failures, and missing weight. Nery must think long-and-hard about what he wants from the sport of boxing moving forward.

Daniel Roman UD10 Ricardo Espinoza

Former unified super bantamweight world champion Daniel Roman picked up his second-straight win after losing his world title to Murodjon “M.J.” Akhmadaliev, as he picked up a hard-fought win over Ricardo “Hindu” Espinoza. Espinoza, a fighter from Tijuana, Mexico, brought pressure, early and often, and despite being the more skilled fighter, Roman at times had issues keeping Espinoza off him, as Espinoza was reckless and willing to take a punch to give a punch.

The former champ, Roman, had a shaky performance his last time out against Juan Carlos Payano in his last outing. Roman looked more sound in this bout, yet it seems like something is missing from his 2018-2019 run that saw him unify belts in the division, though it could be his prolonged absence from the ring as well. Roman was in two wars one against “M.J.” Akhmadaliev, and as well as T.J. Doheny, as it appears those bouts may have lingering effects or are fights will contextualize as his career continues.

Roman in front of his fans in Los Angeles, gutted out a victory as he bloodied the nose of Espinoza in the eighth round, which for me was a pivotal moment, as the ninth saw a doctor check Espinoza’s jaw to and mouth due to his excessive bleeding. Roman would continue to get stronger as the fight progressed showing why he is a world champion-level fighter.

What this fight told me is, Daniel Roman’s will and skill are one and the same, and that to be able to beat him, you have to have one championship-level trait.

The judges scored the bout 97-93,98-92,98-92 all for Daniel Roman.

Xavier Martinez UD10 Juan Carlos Burgos

In the Showtime opener, super featherweight Xavier Martinez of Sacramento, California, handed out a dominant victory over Juan Carlos Burgos, a game veteran with losses to many at the top of the sport such as Mikey Garcia, and Devin Haney.

Martinez’s trained by Ray Woods, the step-father, and trainer of Diego “Chico” Corrales, is no stranger to action-packed fights, and Martinez and Burgos threw 1,600 punches over the course of ten rounds, no small feat. On top of that Martinez looked more composed than ever, as my close friend Martin Gallegos astutely pointed out, Martinez at times looked like the young, hungry Danny Garcia, who was sniping everyone on his rise to the top of the sport with deadly counterpunches.

Though some fans were upset at the judges giving Burgos only one round, despite the bout being entertaining, Martinez has solidified himself as an emerging fighter for Mayweather Promotions, and I think the fight we are all waiting on is Xavier Martinez versus Chris Colbert.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle