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  Figueroa Stops Nery In 7th;
Roman Defeats Espinoza

By William Trillo @ Ringside
Photos: German Villasenor


In the Main Event on Showtime Boxing Super Bantamweight Brandon Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KO’s) broke the heart of Luis Nery (31-1, 24 KO’s) with a stunning seventh round one punch KO. This fight was an all-action affair as both men had their moments, but in the end a new champion would be crowned.

In the early rounds it looked as if Nery was in control, he was confident and was landing hard punches. But Figueroa was able to weather the storm and was more than capable of delivering his own brand of punishment.

As the fight reached the middle rounds the action remained at a furious pace. Both fighters put the pressure on but in round six it was the Figueroa attack that began to get the best of Nery. If there was a defining moment that Figueroa took over, it was late in the sixth.

Then in round seven as the men were in a heated exchange Figueroa hurt Nery and put him in reverse. Figueroa jumped on that retreat and in moments a left hook underneath to the liver put Nery down for the ten count, he could not get back to his feet and a new champion was crowned at the 2:18 mark of round seven.

Officially Figueroa snagged both the WBC World Super Bantam & WBA Super World Super Bantam Titles.

Commenting after the fight Figueroa stated, "It feels amazing, this is a dream come true. I know everyone doubted me, but here I am with the belt. It's all thanks to hard work and dedication. You saw tonight what I can do. I brought it to him and the hard work paid off. We did our homework. We did a great job in the gym and just took it to him.The plan was to break him. Joel Diaz told me to pressure him and that he wouldn't last. That's exactly what happened.”

The Semi-Main Event between Super Bantamweights Daniel Roman (29-3-1, 10 KO’s) and Ricardo Espinoza (25-4, 21 KO’s) turned out to be a grueling ten round battle that saw blood spilled all over the ring, most of it belonging to Espinoza. On paper it looked like Espinoza might have the bigger punch but when the fight was over it was clear Roman was the fighter with the sharper (take term literally) punches.

In the early rounds Espinoza brought the pressure but a composed Roman remained calm as he put together a strategy to slow the tough Espinoza.

Suddenly Roman was landing good uppercuts on the inside that were landing upstairs and downstairs. Body punches began to slow Espinoza and the right hands to the chin by Roman were picking his opponent apart. This scenario would play out over and over again as the fight went on.

In the sixth round Roman wobbled Espinoza with a good combination. In round seven Espinoza was in trouble numerous times. How he survived that round is anyone’s guess.

By round eight Espinoza’s nose was streaming blood. It looked as though Roman was going at him with a meat cleaver as the crimson flow was everywhere. Roman was now in complete control and was manhandling a weary Espinoza.

Things looked so bleak for Espinoza that the doctor was asked to have a look at him before the start of round nine. After getting the “all clear” from the Doc, Espinoza went out for more punishment. It was all Roman all the time in the latter rounds.

Roman closed the show in impressive fashion as he never let a wounded and desperate warrior back into the fight. Showing his true champion pedigree Roman made sure he was going to go home with the victory.

Final scores accurately reflected the tale of this ten round fight as judges’ scorecards, all in favor of Roman, read 97-93 & 98-92 twice. It was a dominant performance by Roman who was rightfully given this unanimous decision win.

Reflecting on his win Roman said, “This win is a step closer to getting back on top and getting a world title once again. I knew he was a tough fighter who hit hard, so I had to fight smart and make adjustments. I started to get my distance and started fighting my fight and controlling the ring. Once I did that, everything started to fall into place. I was surprised he went the distance, but he has a lot of heart. He’s a tough fighter. I’m the mandatory, so I want a title shot now. I want the winner of the main event.”

In a true slugfest Super Featherweights Xavier Martinez (17-0, 11 KO’s) and Juan Carlos Burgos (34-5-2, 21 KO’s) gave the fans in Carson, California a good old fashioned barn burner. Every fighter on the rise to the top needs to face and defeat a proven warrior. Likewise, for a veteran in the twilight of his career it is imperative to teach these young up and comers a lesson. Regardless of the lopsided scores, both fighters achieved those goals tonight.

This fight was bombs away from the moment the opening bell rang all the way until the final bell brought this scorcher to an end. Martinez showed he is a true competitor as he gave Burgos a real shellacking. On his side Burgos proved he has weapons of his own, including a granite chin. At times it appeared maybe the aging Burgos was too tough for his own good, but no one will ever question his juevos.

In the end all the judges scored the fight 99-91 much to the dismay of the crowd and this reporter who thought Martinez won, but by a much smaller margin.

After the fight Burgos said, “I was shocked. I was surprised. I did not think I only won one round. The public opinion and the fact that the fans were booing is what I take with me today. The fans spoke louder than the cards. I am glad to have given them an exciting fight.”

On his victory Martinez stated, “It was a fun fight. I know the fans enjoyed the fight. I thought I could have done better, but I was landing clean, hard shots throughout. Even when he was throwing, I was slipping a lot of them and catching him. I showed I can hang in there with tough fighters. I do have a rivalry with Chris Colbert. That’s not a secret, everyone knows that. If we can make that happen, that would be cool. That would be a really fun fight for both of us. He’s a boxer, I come forward. We will cause a lot of fireworks with that one.”

Lightweight Jose Valenzuela (8-0, 6 KO’s) had little trouble with Nelson Hampton (7-4, 4 KO’s), in fact he had no trouble at all. With a beautiful left hand to the body and then over the top, Valenzuela dropped Hampton like a sack of potatoes. The ref didn’t bother to count as Hampton was out. Officially the bout came to its end at the 2:59 mark of round one.

Super Flyweight Gabriela Fundora came out in victorious in her Pro Debut over a game Jazmin Valverde (2-2, 2 KO’s). Final scores all in favor of Fundora read 39-36 & 40-35 x 2.

Super Lightweight Justin Cardona (5-0, 3 KO’s) opened the show by dropping James De Herrera (4-7, 3 KO’s) three times in the first round leaving the ref no choice but to bring an end to the bout at the 1:20 mark.


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