Brandon Figueroa wears down, easily outpoints Mark Magsayo
Another fighter folded under Brandon Figueroa’s relentless pressure.
The former 122-pound beltholder got off to a slow start but methodically wore down Mark Magsayo to win a one-sided unanimous decision in a 12-round fight for the WBC’s “interim” 126-pound title Saturday at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
The official scores were 118-108, 117-109 and 117-109. Boxing Junkie had it closer, 115-111 for Figueroa, seven rounds to five.
Figueroa (24-1-1, 18 KOs) is now the mandatory challenger for Rey Vargas’ WBC championship. Magsayo (24-2, 16 KOs) has come up short in consecutive fights. He lost the WBC belt to Vargas by a split decision in July.
“I just went out there and wanted it,” he said immediately after the fight. “I took the fight right to him. I wanted this fight so bad. I dominated him. He [fired] back with little flurries. … He couldn’t take my body shots. He didn’t have no legs under him.
“Pressure, pressure, pressure. You guys could tell I tired him out and dominated him.”
The 26-year-old Texan tried to box in the first several rounds and paid a price, as the quicker, more-athletic Filipino got inside, did damage and then moved out of harm’s way or held Figueroa when he tried to respond.
The holding would come back to bite Magsayo, as the former 126-pound champ was docked two points – once in Round 8 and again in Round 11 – for excessive holding.
The point deductions didn’t have a direct impact on the result but it removed a tactic that worked for Magsayo (24-2, 16 KOs). And opponents of Figueroa need every edge they can get merely to survive.
Figueroa got back to doing what he does best – apply constant, suffocating pressure – by the fourth round and didn’t let up.
Magsayo had many good moments in the fight, particularly when he fired off four-, five-, six-punch combinations that got the attention of everyone watching. However, the judges obviously favored Figueroa’s work rate over the loser’s flashy flurries.
And while Magsayo fought bravely the entire fight, he seemed to be exhausted by the final bell, which is par for the course for Figueroa’s opponents.
Figueroa now has two consecutive victories at 126 after losing his 122-pound belt to Stephen Fulton Jr. by a majority decision in 2021. He obviously is comfortable at his new weight.
“Man, I just feel strong,” he said. “I just don’t stop, I don’t get tired. I’m relentless. I just come forward. I just wanted to fight.”
Vargas lost to O’Shaquie Foster by a unanimous decision in his bid to win the vacant WBC 130-pound title on Feb. 11 but retained his 126-pound belt. If he defends it rather than staying at 130, it appears he’ll have to do so against Figueroa.
Figueroa didn’t seem to care who is placed in front of him. He just wants to fight.
“Whoever wants to fight me,” he said. “I want more world titles, more world champions. Let’s give the fans good fights. That’s what it’s all about.”
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