Brandon Figueroa is professional enough to appreciate the road ahead without looking beyond the immediate task at hand.
The unbeaten secondary WBA junior featherweight titlist faces his toughest test to date, at least on paper as he meets WBC 122-pound title claimant Luis Nery in a two-belt unification clash. Their bout takes place this Saturday, live on Showtime from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Awaiting the winner is the chance to further unify the division, which will come in a three-belt showdown with WBO titlist Stephen Fulton on September 11.
“I love it, knowing in advance not just who I’m fighting next, but the one after that as well,” Figueroa told BoxingScene.com. “I feel like most of my career, I wouldn’t get to know my opponents until a couple of weeks before the fight. Now I’m two fights in a row where not only do I know who I’m fighting, but who I will be fighting next once I win.
“I love how these fights are set up, stylistically I get to prepare for these guys. Two big names in a row, we get to fight it out and decide who is the best in the division. Fans get treated to some great fights as well.”
Figueroa (21-0-1, 16KOs) was given a head start regarding his upcoming fight. The 24-year-old from Weslaco, Texas was part of a stacked six-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View event last September, earning a one-sided 10th round stoppage of brash-talking though overmatched Damien Vasquez on a show topped by twins Jermell and Jermall Charlo in separate title fight wins.
The night also featured Tijuana’s Nery (31-0, 24KOs), who became a two-division titlist following a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Aaron Alameda. Both bouts were placed on the show by design, with event handlers keen on having the winners—namely Figueroa and Nery—in a head-on collision on Showtime.
“As a matter of fact, it was in talks (at the time),” recalls Figueroa, who won an interim version of the WBA title in this very venue more than two years ago. “After that win, I wanted to get bigger fights and start unifying those belts.
“Now here we are.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox