Brandon Figueroa and Stephen Fulton both are confident that much more will separate them Saturday night than when they weighed in Friday afternoon in Las Vegas.
Figueroa and Fulton weighed exactly the same amount, 121¾ pounds, when they stepped on the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s scale at Park MGM’s Dolby Live. They’ll fight for Figueroa’s WBC super bantamweight championship and Fulton’s WBO junior featherweight title at the same venue in the main event of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader.
Most sportsbooks list Fulton (19-0, 8 KOs) as a 3-1 favorite to defeat Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) in their 12-round, 122-pound title unification fight.
The 24-year-old Figueroa, of Weslaco, Texas, will make the first defense of a WBC belt he won by knocking out previously unbeaten Mexican southpaw Luis Nery in the seventh round of his last fight. Figueroa finished off Nery (31-1, 24 KOs) with a body shot May 15 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The 27-year-old Fulton, a Philadelphia native, will make his first defense of a WBO belt he won when he thoroughly out-boxed Angelo Leo in Fulton’s most recent action. Fulton defeated Albuquerque’s Leo (21-1, 9 KOs) by big margins on all three scorecards in a 12-round fight Showtime televised January 23 from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The four fighters scheduled to compete in the first two fights Showtime will air Saturday night also made weight Friday.
Ra’eese Aleem (18-0, 12 KOs), of Muskegon, Michigan, came in at 121¾ pounds for his 10-round junior featherweight fight against Eduardo Baez (20-1-2, 7 KOs). Baez, of Mexicali, Mexico, officially weighed 121½ pounds.
Moments earlier, bantamweight contender Gary Antonio Russell (18-0, 12 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Maryland, got on the NSAC’s scale at 117½ pounds. Alexandro Santiago (24-2-5, 13 KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico, came in at the contracted maximum of 118 pounds for their 10-rounder.
Showtime’s telecast is set to start at 10 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT. Each of the three fights it’ll broadcast initially were scheduled for September 18, but the entire show was postponed two-plus months because Figueroa contracted COVID-19 early in September.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.