Top-ranked featherweight contender Brandon Figueroa is scheduled to take on former titleholder Mark Magsayo on Saturday in Ontario, California (Showtime).
BRANDON FIGUEROA (23-1-1, 18 KOS)
VS. MARK MAGSAYO (24-1, 16 KOS)
Date: Saturday, March 4
Time: 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT (main event later in show)
Where: Toyota Arena, Ontario, California
Division: Featherweight (126 pounds)
At stake: No major titles
Pound-for-pound ranking: None
Odds: Figueroa 2½-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)
Also on the card: Jarret Hurd vs. Armando Resendiz, middleweights; Amilcar Vidal and Elijah Garcia, middleweights; Terrell Gausha vs. Brandyn Lynch, junior middleweights
Prediction: Figueroa KO 9
Background: Figueroa and Magsayo will fight for the right to become mandatory challenger to WBC 126-pound titleholder Rey Vargas, although it’s not clear whether Vargas will stay at 126. Figueroa, ranked No. 1, bounced back from his controversial majority-decision loss to Stephen Fulton in a 122-pound title-unification bout in 2021 by knocking out Carlos Castro in his 126-pound debut last July. The fit, strong Texan is a swarming volume puncher who doesn’t allow opponents room to breathe, which typically wears them down. No. 2 Magsayo recorded his break-through victory in January of last year. That’s when he defeated Gary Russell Jr. to win the WBC belt, although Russell fought with an injured shoulder. The Filipino lost his title to Vargas by a split decision in his first defense, last July. Magsayo also is a physical, offense-minded fighter, which should produce an entertaining fight.
Editor’s note: Magsayo on Friday had yet to make the 126-pound limit at the time this article was posted.