On Saturday night at Park Theater in Las Vegas, two undefeated super bantamweight world champions clash in a unification bout when WBO titlist Stephen Fulton Jr. battles WBC champ Brandon Figueroa (10 p.m. ET, Showtime). A clash of styles, Figueroa vs. Fulton is a sleeper fight that could prove to be one of boxing’s best in November.
Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KO) broke through to the championship level in 2019, fighting four times in the year, including winning the WBA interim title, later upgraded to the “regular” title. While Figueroa’s 2019 campaign ended with a split draw against Julio Ceja, he got back to business in 2020 with a win over Damien Vazquez and won the WBC world title this past May with a seventh-round knockout of Luis Nery on a brutal body shot.
While Figueroa is a face-first fighter, Fulton (19-0, 8 KO) builds nearly his entire offense off a stiff jab. That jab was ultimately the key to Fulton’s championship-winning performance against Angelo Leo in January.
Against Leo, Fulton also showed an ability to keep up a strong pace and even battle on the inside against a pressure fighter. In the fight, Fulton threw a total of 1,183 punches, never throwing less than 79 in a single round while taking the biggest fight of his career by scores of 118-110, 119-109, and 119-109.
Figueroa is a notch better of a fighter than Leo but has the same ability to force Fulton into a fight where he will have to rely on output and the ability to survive, if not thrive, when Figueroa is able to advance past the jab and force inside exchanges.
Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including a complete preview of a busy weekend in boxing below.
The rest of the card fills out with fighters among similar weight classes. The co-feature bout features a rising prospect at 122 pounds when Ra’eese Aleem takesn on Eduardo Baez. Aleem, 31, carries an undefeated record at 18-0 with 12 knockouts in his blooming career. He earned the WBA interim title at super bantamweight in his last bout against Vic Pasillas in January. Now, he looks to put on another strong showing on Saturday with hopes of facing the winner of the main event next year.
Here’s the latest fight card for Saturday night along with odds from Caesars Sportsbook.
Figueroa vs. Fulton card, odds
FAVORITE UNDERDOG WEIGHT CLASS
Stephen Fulton Jr. (c) -330 Brandon Figueroa (c) +260 WBC and WBO super bantamweight titles
Ra’eese Aleem -400 Eduardo Baez +310 Super bantamweight
Gary Antonio Russell -900 Alexandro Santiago +600 Bantamweight
Rock Dodler Myrthil Kevin Johnson Super lightweight
Aaron Alameda Angel Antonio Contreras Super bantamweight
Kenny Davis Jr. Nelson Hampton Lightweights
Albert Gonzalez Chamar Flowers Super bantamweight
Fulton had a massive showing against Leo. He didn’t win just on the strength of his jab, which remains a brilliant weapon for Fulton, but found success by keeping up a relentless pace and also proving that he could hold his own in inside exchanges. Fulton will not want to mix it up inside quite as much with Figueroa. Figueroa has a punishing body attack and can break anyone down who goes head-to-head in an inside brawl. Still, Fulton is a superb boxer and that could be enough to carry the day in a very dangerous fight against a skilled fighter. Pick: Stephen Fulton Jr. via UD
Who wins Fulton vs. Figueroa? And which prop is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Brandon Wise’s best bets for Saturday, all from the CBS combat sports specialist who has crushed his boxing picks in 2021, and find out.