Brandon Figueroa has grown so accustomed to playing the role of dismissed underdog that he can’t even recall what it’s like to have anyone’s support.
It has worked out well for the unbeaten junior featherweight, who faces his second straight undefeated divisional titlist this weekend. Figueroa (22-0-1, 17KOs) puts his recently acquired WBC title on the line versus unbeaten WBO titleholder Stephen Fulton (19-0, 8KOs) this Saturday at Park MGM in Las Vegas.
Fulton is a -300 favorite to prevail according to BetMGM, similar to Luis Nery (31-1, 24KOs) ahead of his intended WBC title defense versus Figueroa this past May. Figueroa went on to win by seventh-round knockout, winning the belt and moving forward with this weekend’s unification bout. The unbeaten Texan is confident of history repeating itself.
“I come to do my job, execute my game plan. Same thing with Nery,” Figueroa told BoxingScene.com during a recent virtual press conference ahead of Saturday’s Showtime-televised main event. “A lot of people underestimated me. My game plan is always the same. I went in the ring to do what I (had) to do and I got him out of there.
“This time is no different. It’s the same story. People have underestimated me so much that I don’t even care anymore.”
Figueroa, 23, grew into the junior featherweight division by his second full year as a pro, having campaigned at the weight ever since. At 5’8”, he normally enjoys a significant size advantage over his foes. It was the case versus Nery and again this weekend against the 5’6 ½” Fulton, though Figueroa has served as a significant underdog in both scenarios. There never a hesitation to take either fight, nor has the thought of losing even entered the conversation.
“I know my abilities. My team knows my abilities,” Figueroa notes. “They know my potential and what I’m capable of inside the ring, even though I don’t look like a typical fighter, like I’m gonna dominate.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox