Brandon Figueroa promises Luis Nery will know who he is on Saturday night

Generally Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa can’t assist himself. At 5-foot-9, the 24-year-old is normally taller and has the attain benefit over his junior featherweight opponents, but he likes to struggle inside.

Defending WBC junior featherweight titlist Luis Nery can be more than pleased to oblige Saturday evening, when the 26-year-old Mexican southpaw defends the title in opposition to the rangy Figueroa (21-0-1, 16 knockouts) within the featured bout of Showtime’s Championship Boxing (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) in a Premier Boxing Champions occasion from the Dignity Well being Sports activities Park in Carson, California.

The struggle can be highlighted together with former unified junior featherweight titlist Danny Roman’s 10-round bout with Ricardo Espinoza, plus undefeated junior light-weight contender Xavier Martinez taking up former world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos in a 10-round showdown.

However all eyes can be on the primary attraction Nery (31-0, 24 KOs) and Figueroa, who’s three inches taller than his 5-foot-6 opponent and has a 5 ½-inch attain benefit (72 inches to 66½).

Nery has stopped 11 of his final 12 opponents, which ended when he stepped up from 118 to 122 to win the vacant WBC junior featherweight title with a unanimous resolution over Aaron Alameda final September.

However Nery has additionally confronted weight points, and “Pantera” did have a troublesome time throughout parts of his struggle in opposition to Alameda, working then underneath famend coach Eddy Reynoso. Nery has labored with coach Ismael Ramirez for this struggle.

The winner of Nery-Figueroa has been promised a unification struggle on Showtime in opposition to WBO junior featherweight titlist Stephen Fulton in September.

Can that be a distraction?

“I’m solely centered on Brandon Figueroa,” Nery mentioned. “After that struggle, I’ll be prepared for Stephen Fulton, Jr. As soon as I beat him too, he can inform me how my energy feels at this weight.

“Brandon’s type actually matches with what I need to do within the ring. I do know that I can obtain the whole lot that I would like on this division and present all of my abilities on this struggle. This type will go higher with mine than Aaron Alameda’s did in my final struggle.

“We simply have to placed on an amazing struggle Saturday. That is going to be an all-out battle from the primary spherical on. Persons are going to be speaking about it for a very long time after.”

Nery poses the hardest take a look at of Figueroa’s profession. The challenger is wanting to make use of his measurement and ambidextrous skill to interrupt Nery down.

“Nery goes to study lots about me on Saturday evening,” Figueroa mentioned. “My measurement will certainly assist me. I really feel like he hasn’t fought a man this huge, this sturdy and he’s going to search out out on Saturday evening. I’ve skilled tremendously for this struggle. I’ve one of the best conditioning within the 122-pound division.

“My quantity output speaks for itself and I really feel like lots of people underestimate me. After Saturday evening, they received’t. As soon as the bell rings, it’s go-time and I come to struggle. I come a hundred percent and I’m coming to take that belt dwelling.”

Figueroa additionally questioned, in a way, Nery’s need.

“I do know he involves win as effectively, however I don’t suppose he desires it as dangerous as I do,” Figueroa mentioned. “This recreation is all about proving your self out and in of the ring. I really feel like my arduous work speaks for itself. My fights communicate for themselves. I’m simply glad I get to share the ring with Luis Nery.

“If it goes my manner, Stephen Fulton is subsequent and that’s a struggle that I’ve been wanting for a very long time. It’s time to unify. If that’s not what you come to boxing for, then what are you in boxing for?”

Nery was sharp in victories over McJoe Arroyo, Juan Carlos Payano and Arthur Villanueva. His stalking type permits him to time opponents together with his energy, although Figueroa additionally has energy. It might come right down to Figueroa utilizing his innate edge in measurement, or will he be drawn into Nery’s telephone sales space recreation and never use distance to frustrate the beltholder?

It’s what makes this struggle so intriguing.

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Journal/ since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Affiliation of America. He will be adopted on twitter @JSantoliquito.

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