By Allan Fox: Brandon Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KOs) fights Mark Magsayo (24-1, 16 KOs) on March 4th on Showtime for the interim WBC interim 126-lb strap at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. The card starts off at 9:00 p.m. ET.
You got to like Figueroa to win this fight with his skills, and overall technical ability. Magsayo has power, but he’s flawed as they come.
The 26-year-old former WBA super bantamweight champion Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KOs) was dethroned by Stephen Fulton by a 12 round majority decision in November 2021.
Disappointedly, Figueroa fought only once in 2021, beating the tough Carlos Castro (27-2, 12 KOs) by a sixth round knockout last July. If Figueroa had been more active in 2022, he’d likely have gotten a rematch with Fulton or challenged one of the other champions at 122 for their belt.
In going up to featherweight, Figueroa can be elevated to full WBC champion if Rey Vargas opts not to return to the weight to continue to defend his belt.
That would be the ideal situation for Figueroa because that would be a tough fight for him if he had to battle Vargas for his WBC strap, and it’s questionable whether he could handle the size & skills of the unbeaten champion.
Magsayo lost his WBC featherweight title last July to Rey Vargas by a 12 round split decision. Vargas had too much for Magsayo, and he negated the power advantage that he had.
In Magsayo’s fight before that, he defeated longstanding WBC 126-lb champion Gary Russell Jr by a 12 round majority decision last year in January 2022.
Most boxing fans would agree that Magsayo would have lost to the 35-year-old Russell Jr, who was coming off a two-year layoff if he didn’t have an injured arm. Russell fought Magsayo with just one arm and still came close to beating him.
In undercard action, former IBF & WBA junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd (24-2, 16 KOs) will be coming off a two-year layoff and a defeat at the hands of Luis Arias in 2021 to face the inexperienced 23-year-old Jose Armando Resendiz (13-1, 9 KOs) in a 10 round fight. Hurd vs. Resendiz is the co-feature for the card.
With the long layoff and how Hurd has looked in his last four fights since 2018, this fight should be competitive.
Although the 32-year-old Hurd likely will still possess his punching power and aggressive fighting style, the fact that he’s so hittable & slow, he might have some problems with the youth of Resendiz.
Hurd hasn’t looked like the fighter he once was since his war with Erislandy Lara in 2018. He won that fight by a 12 round split decision, but it appears to have taken something out of him, leaving the shell that has struggled in his last four fights since then.
The inactivity could also be a problem for Hurd as well. He’s only fought four times in the last five years, and that’s an absurdly low amount for that time frame.
Also, on the March 4th Showtime card is undefeated middleweight prospect Amilcar Vidal (16-0, 12 KOs), facing 19-year-old Elijah Garcia (13-0, 11 KOs) in a 10 round fight to start off the televised portion of the event.