By: Robert Contreras
The sooner Brandon Figueroa (20-0, 15 KO) ended this one, the better. His challenger, by the name of Javier Nicolas Chacon (20-5-1, 9 KO), did not even have real boxing shoes on, opting to wear sneakers in a world title fight.
The partisan crowd did not mind. A short drive from Figueroa’s hometown, bordering Mexico and Texas, the defending champion was met with cheers when he pounded away at his overmatched opponent, ending the fight in the sixth round with a barrage of punches along the ropes.
Chacon, 38, added to the career the WBA has manufacture for him. His TKO loss to Figueroa represented the third title opportunity for the Argentinian veteran (now boasting a record of 0-3), each under the WBA. This one his worst yet.
Figueroa, 22, used his larger frame to leverage punches into Chacon, who was complacent to stand behind his raised gloves, and hardly throw a punch. The defending champ—the youngest in boxing today—was seemingly on stage by himself at times, landing more punches than Chacon threw. Figueroa ’s punches drilled Chacon, his uppercuts shined brightest, doing the most damage.
In the opening round, Figueroa switched stances back and forth. In Round 2, there was just no need. He pounded Chacon into the ropes—in no danger of return fire—and interchanged right and left hooks to set up left uppercuts. So immobile was Chacon when referee Rafael Ramos stepped in to tell Figueroa to raise his punches, the visiting fighter was ready to protest a stoppage. That alone convinced the Argentinian to swing away in the final couple seconds of the period. But with Figueroa nowhere in sight, he was just pushing air around.
Punches continued to lay into Chacon in the third stanza. A Figueroa jab was followed by overhand lefts and consecutive left hooks. As in most of his fights, Figueroa was building a wide lead in punches thrown. By the end of the beating, he would connect on 96 of his 297 total punches (32 percent). Chacon landed 18 of a paltry 69 punches thrown (26 percent).
Chacon continued to enjoy the best seat in the house to open the fourth inning: standing in front of Figueroa, hiding behind his gloves, daydreaming about cashing his check from the WBA. Finally with 80 seconds left, the champion punched Chacon back into the ropes, pressed his weight into him, and struck the challenger with a quick succession of right hands, slashing a right hand into his chin and then a right hook that visibly shook him up. His body blenched into an unstable condition.
There is when Figueroa poured on some eight unanswered punches that took his man’s feet out from under him. On all fours, Chacon tried to rise, but collapsed back down to earth—reduced to dust. Ramos waved things off, hopefully ending the WBA patsy’s stint at the championship level.
On fighting back in his hometown, Figueroa said he couldn’t write it better.
“It was one of the best moments of my life,” Figueroa said. “Fighting in front of my family and friends. These are my people.”
Figueroa cannot fight in Texas forever if he hopes to shed his interim title status. The WBA’s other champion Daniel Roman for example is in California. And so too with be a real fighter in real boxing boots.
Stephen Fulton (17-0, 8 KO) def. Isaac Avelar (16-1, 10 KO) by sixth-round TKO
Fulton was eager to extend his undefeated record, patiently nicking away at his opponent, making small incisions until finally Alevar cam unstuck in the sixth period from a devastating body blow.
The fight belonged the Fulton from the beginning. Th bell sounded and Avelar tossed out a lazy southpaw jab; Fulton quickly answered with a chopping left over the top. Jabs soon began to pour in from Fulton.
Over the next couple rounds, Fulton complimented his metronome jab with crisp straight right hands. Comfortable enough, he didn’t even bother circling away from Avelar’s strong left hand. When the Mexican brawler would look to string together punches, a rhythm-breaking jab would foil any hope of offense.
Fulton continually held his hands low, momentum securely in his corner. He also continued to split the guard of Avelar, who would go long stretches without landing much and had blood drawn from his right eye to show for it.
Avelar did his best to drive forward in the fourth round. But there was more jabbing and jabbing from Fulton fighting in reverse. Fulton was now not only throwing crosses off his jab but also pitching overhands. Avelar’s pressure remained uncreative as ever, watching stiff jabs repeatedly poke him between the eyes.
In the sixth, Avelar drifted backward toward the ropes, overwhelmed by the moment, odds, and fate pressing against him. An overhand right from Fulton raised Avelar’s perspective and a digging left hand plugged into his midsection. With the sticky left hand—sinking into Avelar’s liver—a grimace filled his face, and with his defenses down, another punch left him no choice but to take a knee and soon counted out.
According to the punch stats, Fulton landed 75 of 286 total punches (26 percent) and Avelar connected on 53 of 265 punches (20 percent).
In the post-fight interview, Fulton was beaming with confidence: “That’s the sixth undefeated fighter that came up short against me.” When asked about fighting Figueroa, he said, “I want all belthodlers. But we been supposed to fight anyway.”
Currently ranked Top 15 in the world by the WBA, Fulton has won every fight of his pro career and over his previous three fights picked up two stoppage victories.