3 minutes read

Figueroa Captures Interim World Title At 126 Lbs, Hurd Loses For 2nd Consecutive Time

Figueroa Captures Interim World Title At 126 Lbs, Beats Magsayo In Close Fight featured image
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 27: WBC champion Brandon Figueroa prepares for the start of a super bantamweight title unification fight against WBO champion Stephen Fulton Jr. at the Dolby Live at Park MGM theater on November 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Former WBC Super Bantamweight Champion, American Brandon Figueroa, completed his successful transition to the Featherweight division after defeating former WBC Featherweight champion, Filipino Mark Magsayo, to become the WBC interim champion at 126 lbs. The bout was held at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. Scorecards were quite wide with judges rating the fight with scores of 117-109 twice, and 118-108. Despite the result and fight appropriately going in favor of Figueroa, the match was arguably much closer than the scorecards depicted.

Mark Magsayo (24-2, 16 KO’s), who had previously lost his WBC title to current the current WBC champion of the division, Rey Vargas (36-1, 22 KO’s) – who himself is recently coming off a loss after an upset loss to O’Shaquie Foster (20-2, 11 KO’s) when they battled for the vacant WBC Super Featherweight title – had the chance to lift his career back up, but Brandon Figueroa (24-1-1, 18 KO’s) proved to be the better man at fight night.

After suffering a close but decisive loss to Super Bantamweight unified champion Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8 KO’s) in 2021, Figueroa found himself become a legitimate contender again after moving up to beat top-rated Featherweight American, Carlos Castro (27-2, 12 KO’s), by technical knockout. Figueroa continued his form against Mark Magsayo, edging out most of the rounds in a match that transitioned between brawls, clinching and simple boxing as the two fighters sought to establish their dominance in the ring.

Mark Magsayo proved to be a worthy competitor but noticeably slipped in the latter rounds. The fight was also slightly marred by continuous attempts by Magsayo to hold Figueroa in an attempt to cope with the damage he was receiving. Figueroa found the most success by going to the body and damaging Magsayo. Magsayo himself was no slouch in the ring, but didn’t seem to be able to adapt to Figuero’s pace and tendency to fight on the inside and clearly lagged behind by the time the championship rounds arrived.

Moreover, Magsayo didn’t help his own cause when he had a point deducted by the referee for too much holding in the 8th and 11th round, all while Figueroa had to fight through two cuts he suffered under both eyes due to accidental headbutts by Magsayo.

Figueroa Captures Interim World Title At 126 Lbs, Beats Magsayo In Close Fight image 1
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – JANUARY 22: Mark Magsayo reacts after fighting Gary Russell Jr. for the WBC World Featherweight Championship at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on January 22, 2022 in Atlantic City, United States. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

After twelve rounds, Brandon Figueroa was rightfully named the winner by unanimous decision after a fight that forced him to push through two cuts and numerous clinching efforts by Magsayo to become the WBC interim champion at 126 lbs. He is now set to face Rey Vargas who is the WBC Featherweight world champion.

Coming off a recent loss to O’Shaquie Foster in an attempt to test himself a weight class above, Rey Vargas will now face another tough opponent in Brandon Figueroa sometime in 2023.

The co-main event featured a battle between former unified champion at 154 lbs, Jarrett Hurd (24-3, 16 KO’s) and Mexican Jose Armando Resendiz (14-1, 10 KO’s). Hurd upsettingly lost to Resendiz due to a knockout in the last (tenth) round that was attributed to the severe cut he suffered on his lips. Even without the laceration he suffered on his lips, Hurd would have lost based on the course of the match where Resendiz clearly outworked Hurd to win the majority of rounds.

Hurd suffered his second loss in a row in a shocking twist of a career that saw him regarded as one of the best American fighters of his era before his fateful loss to Julian Williams in 2019. Resendiz, who was virtually unknown before facing Hurd and was expected to lose with betting odds putting him at +350, with Hurd at -602, prior to the fight. He has become the third opponent to overcome expectations of being the underdog to beat Hurd, following Hurd’s earlier two career losses to Julian Williams (28-3-1, 16 KO’s) and Luis Arias (20-3-1, 9 KO’s).

Figueroa Captures Interim World Title At 126 Lbs, Beats Magsayo In Close Fight image 2
Jarrett Hurd’s career seems in shambles now after his second loss in a row after a prevalent career that saw him remain undefeated for nearly seven years. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Terrell Gausha (23-3-1, 12 KO’s) was also featured on the undercard and made his first appearance in the ring following his stoppage loss to Tim Tszyu (21-0, 15 KO’s). Gausha proved to be in excellent form in his return, and marked that occasion with a knockout victory over Brandyn Lynch (12-2-1, 9 KO’s) in the ninth round of the ten-round fight.