By: Sean Crose
The 23-1-1 Brandon Figueroa took on the 24-1 Mark Magsayo Saturday night at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. The scheduled 12 round super featherweight bout was for a WBC interim title. The first round was interesting, with Figueroa switching stances in order to throw Magsayo off his game and Magsayo landing some decent shots. The second saw Magsayo landing with more frequency. Figeroa, however, was able to kick in to gear in the final minute of the round.
Although Figueroa had his moments in the third, it was Magsayo who controlled the tempo and landed the cleaner shots with an effective stick and move strategy. The fourth was again an active round, but Magsayo simply threw the shaper punches. The man often showed pinpoint accuracy. The fifth was close. Figueroa was improving his game, but Magsayo sill looked strong. By the sixth it was clear Figueroa hoped to grind out a win while Magsayo hoped to win with the flashier punches. It was an exciting, to to toe affair, to be sure.
In the seventh, Figueroa really started putting it on Magsayo. One had to wonder whether or Magsayo had run out of gas. In the eighth, Magsayo lost a point for holding – which he had been doing a lot of, frankly. Magsayo responded by machine gunning accurate, fast punches at Figueroa. The ninth was a war of attrition, with the strong, relentless Figueroa perhaps getting the best of it. Figueroa had a great tenth for himself as Magsayo went to the mat numerous times without being knocked down out of what might have been exhaustion.
The eleventh saw the referee take off another point for Magsayo for holding. Magsayo then attempted to simply avoid the aggressive Figueroa. The truth was that Magsayo had kept moving in on Figueroa with his head down repeatedly. The twelfth and final round saw Magsayo try to somehow grind out a superior three minutes. He had blazing courage, Magsayo, as did Figueroa. Magsayo had fought brilliantly, but ultimately appeared to run out of the gas needed to pull out a win.
The judges ruled in favor of Figueroa by an outrageously wide unanimous decision.
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