Pick It: TBRB #3 Brandon Figueroa vs. #4 Stephen Fulton (Saturday, Showtime, 10:00 PM EST)

Jr. featherweight is hot again and that’s a good thing for fans. 24-year old WBC titlist Brandon Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KO) faces 27-year old Stephen Fulton (19-0, 8 KO) in the main event in a fight hardcore fans are looking forward to. Why wouldn’t they be? Figueroa-Luis Nery and Fulton-Angelo Leo were both excellent clashes earlier this year and the clash of styles holds a chance for real combustion here.

The amount of action in the division among fighters not yet thirty is reminiscent of the incredible round robin at Jr. featherweight that started in the late nineties with Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Kennedy McKinney, and Junior Jones. That doesn’t mean we might be seeing a future great or not right now...but it doesn’t mean we aren’t. It’s enough to be an excellent main event for now. A likely opponent for the winner, Raeese Aleem, is also in action along with bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell.    


Additional Shows to Watch For

Friday - #8 Waseem vs Barrera (ESPN+, 11:00 AM EST)

Flyweight action kicks off before lunch for those still home recovering from turkey. 24-year old Muhammad Waseem (11-1, 8 KO) has won three in a row since losing a narrow decision to then-IBF titlist Moruti Mthalane. 29-year old Rober Barrera (23-3, 13 KO) enters off a no contest and knockout loss to veteran Luis Concepcion.     

Friday - Harris vs. Flores (ESPN+, 3:00 PM EST)

The little men stay in the spotlight on the worldwide leader with this Jr. flyweight main event. 31-year old Jay Harris (18-2, 9 KO) turned heads in a gutsy, losing title shot against flyweight titlist Julio Cesar Martinez in 2020 but enters off a stoppage loss to Ricardo Sandoval. 28-year old Hector Flores (18-0-4, 9 KO) has won ten in a row since the most recent of four career draws. 

Friday - Cruz vs. Esquivel (DAZN, 8:00 PM EST)

It’s an all Mexican showdown for the WBA featherweight title. 31-year old Erika Cruz (13-1, 3 KO) attempts her first defense of the crown. Cruz is unbeaten since a majority decision loss in her second pro start. 27-year old Melissa Esquivel (12-1-1, 4 KO) has won three in a row, all by decision.

Friday - Valtierra vs. Clavero (Estrella, 10:00 PM EST)

Lightweights take center stage on this card from Mexico City. 20-year old Jair Valtierra (15-1, 8 KO) will look to pick up the pieces from an early career knockout loss in his last start. He’s not in with a big power threat on paper. 28-year old JJ Clavero (29-8, 7 KO) has won two straight following a three-fight losing streak.

Saturday - World Champion Teofimo Lopez vs. #8 Kambosos (DAZN, 8:00 PM EST)

The on again, off again saga of an otherwise run of the mill lightweight title fight concludes on Saturday. Given the road to getting them in the ring, would anyone be stunned if this ended with an early head clash or some other funk? It’s been that snake bit. 24-year old lightweight king Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) was red hot after an upset of Vasyl Lomachenko and is young enough to heat up again quickly. 28-year old George Kambosos (19-0, 10 KO) has a chance to pour water on Lopez’s plans after a frustrating wait for this night.         

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com