LAS VEGAS — In a thrilling battle of unbeaten champions, WBO 122-pound champion Stephen Fulton Jr. fended off Brandon Figueroa’s relentless pressure to claim the WBC title via majority decision Saturday night at Dolby Live in the Park MGM.
Fulton needed every ounce of energy to keep from crumbling under the nonstop advances of Figueroa, who refused to give Fulton any room to breathe throughout their 36-minute affair. Fulton was sharp and unwilling to bend or break. Fight fans were treated to an excellent bout as the clash of styles produced an exciting battle. Fulton was forced to fight as Figueroa plowed forward and drilled Fulton to the body.
Fulton found ways to land crisp shots to Figueroa’s head whenever he could find a second to let his hands go. The nip-and-tuck affair ended with a decision that was unpopular among the fans in attendance, but it was, without a doubt, entertaining.
Fulton (20-0) routinely found his back against the ropes but managed to battle back and circle off while occasionally pushing Figueroa into the center of the ring, where he could do his best work. But Figueroa (22-1-1) never appeared to be in any danger despite Fulton catching him with crisp uppercuts and combinations as he came in.
With Fulton now the WBC and WBO champion, he’ll turn his attention to WBA (Super) and IBF titleholder Murodjon Akhmadaliev for a potential undisputed title showdown.
Sporting News provided live updates and highlights from the Figueroa-Fulton fight card. Here’s how it all went down.
Brandon Figueroa vs. Stephen Fulton Jr. live updates, highlights
(All times Eastern.)
Result: Stephen Fulton Jr. def. Brandon Figueroa (116-112, 116-112, 114-114)
Round 12 (1:08 a.m.): Figueroa immediately plows forward and makes Fulton try to fight him off. Fulton lands a left hand that turns Figueroa. He’s trying to circle off the ropes but he won’t give Fulton any breathing room. Straight right hand by Fulton lands and Figueroa continues to press forward. Fulton finds ways to pick off Figueroa’s advances but he’s not in the clear. They mix it up on the inside and the crowd is on its feet. It’s a full-scale brawl as the fight comes to a close. What a fight. 10-9, Fulton (116-112, Fulton)
Round 11 (1:03 a.m.): Short right hand by Fulton lands clean but Figueroa is unfazed. Figueroa lands a hard overhand right that briefly stuns Fulton. They exchange again. The pressure by Figueroa is unreal. Fulton jabs twice and circles off before popping a straight right. Close round but it feels as if Fulton edged out Figueroa. 10-9, Fulton (106-103, Fulton)
Round 10 (12:59 a.m.): More inside fighting but Fulton is landing the cleaner shots to the head. Nothing is stopping Figueroa, though. They exchange and it seems as if Fulton is getting the better of Figueroa. Left hand by Figueroa rocks Fulton! He’s hurt but won’t stop fighting. Figueroa bangs away as Fulton fights for survival. They throw punches but Figueroa gets the better of the exchange as the round closes. 10-9, Figueroa (96-94, Fulton)
Round 9 (12:56 a.m.): Figueroa storms inside and lets his hands go. Body shots by Figueroa land. Fulton lands a combination as he pushes him back. The body shots from Figueroa won’t stop. Uppercut by Fulton lifts Figueroa’s head up for a brief reprieve. Left hook to the head by Figueroa and a right digs to the body. The pace is insane. 10-9, Figueroa (87-84, Fulton)
Round 8 (12:52 a.m.): They immediately start throwing punches as Figueroa wastes no time coming inside. Fulton stands his ground and lands a combination. Fulton slips. Hard straight right by Fulton and a combination. Figueroa doesn’t back off and is met by an uppercut. Short left hook by Fulton and a chopping left hand follows. Figueroa continues to throw but Fulton is having a lot of success with accurate combinations. Hard right hand by Figueroa lands as they battle along with ropes. Bombs by Figueroa to close the round that might have briefly hurt Fulton. 10-9, Fulton (78-74, Fulton)
Round 7 (12:47 a.m.): Fulton drills Figueroa with an uppercut and Figueroa’s instinct is to fall forward and throw more punches. They bang along the ropes again. Fulton pushes him to the middle of the ring and they exchange body shots. Figueroa with a hard left hook to the body. This is a lot of pressure by Figueroa. 10-9, Fulton (68-65, Fulton)
Round 6 (12:43 a.m.): Fulton lands a left hook on the inside and a quick combination followed by a right hand. He’s getting the better of Figueroa so far in the round. Figueroa just won’t stop punching and lands a hard hook on the inside and bangs away at the body. He’s piling up the power shots on Fulton now. Fulton takes a breath and comes back with some body shots and a right hand. Figueroa lands some huge shots to close the rounds. This fight is getting very interesting. 10-9, Figueroa (58-56, Fulton)
Round 5 (12:40 a.m.): Fulton peppering with the jab in hopes of stopping Figueroa from coming inside. Eventually, Figueroa gets where he wants to be and lands to the body. Figueroa lands a hard right hand and the two start fighting on the inside again. It’s taking Fulton a lot of energy to keep Figueroa off him. Short right by Fulton lands but Figueroa is just nonstop. It feels like Fulton is starting to slow down just a little bit as Figueroa continues to fire away. 10-9, Figueroa (49-46, Fulton)
Round 4 (12:35 a.m.): Figueroa continues to plow forward and force Fulton to fight him off. Fulton with a left uppercut that briefly slows Figueroa down. Figueroa gets Fulton on the ropes again and lands hard shots to the head and body. Fulton fights him off again with combinations and lands a three-punch combination in the center of the right. Nothing is stopping Figueroa from coming forward. Fulton with clean shots but Figueroa just won’t go away and digs to the body. 10-9, Fulton (40-36, Fulton)
Round 3 (12:31 a.m.): Fulton and Figueroa are in a phone booth right now but Fulton lands a pair of hooks and an uppercut that backs Figueroa off. Fulton with another solid one-two and he pushes Figueroa into the ropes. Fulton applies pressure and lands big shots, which is surprising considering that’s how Figueroa fights. Hard body shots by Figueroa. This is a fight! 10-9, Fulton (30-27, Fulton)
Round 2 (12:27 a.m.): Figueroa trying to come forward but struggling to deal with Fulton’s speed and combinations. Figueroa pushes him up against the ropes and Fulton rips him with an uppercut and right hand. Figueroa won’t stop coming and lands some hard shots on the inside. But it’s Fulton who seems to be in control . . . for now. 10-9, Fulton (20-18, Fulton)
Round 1 (12:24 a.m.): Right hand by Fulton gets things started. The speed difference is obvious. Fulton makes Figueroa eat a jab and walks him into a right hand. Figueroa looks cold and Fulton warms him up with a right hand to the temple. Figueroa trying to apply pressure but Fulton isn’t allowing him to get off. 10-9, Fulton
12:15 a.m.: Taking a page out of Floyd Mayweather’s book, Stephen Fulton walked out wearing the same sombrero and robe that Mayweather wore against Oscar De La Hoya.
12:11 a.m.: The boxing world is reeling from George Kambosos pulling off the upset over Teofimo Lopez as we get ready for the main event between Figueroa and Fulton.
Ra’eese Aleem earns hard-fought majority decision over Eduardo Baez
12:05 a.m.: Another fight where the prohibitive favorite ends up being in a tougher fight than expected. Aleem struggled to find his way inside while Baez applied pressure and forced him to fight off the back foot. Unlike the Russell fight, Aleem found a way to control the fight despite it not being the fight he wanted. Nevertheless, he got the victory and showed fans that he could dig deep when necessary.
11:19 p.m.: Up next is the co-main event, which finds unbeaten Ra’eese Aleem facing Eduardo Baez in super bantamweight action.
Gary Antonio Russell escapes with majority decision over Alejandro Barrios
11:05 p.m.: The keyword here is “escape.” Barrios won the fans tonight with his performance but Russell got away with a majority decision with scores of 95-95, 96-94 and 96-94. Russell waited too long and allowed Barrios to work him over for much of the fight. Fortunately, the judges gave him a few rounds, which kept his unbeaten record intact.
10:49 p.m.: OK, it’s not just competitive anymore. We’ve reached the point where Barrios could very well be ahead as we enter the 10th and final round. The relentless pressure and clean punches have given him more than a few rounds. We’ll see how the judges have it as we approach the final round. But this is a pretty good showing by the unheralded Barrios.
10:38 p.m.: Well, this is definitely a fight. After six rounds, Barrios has landed some clean shots while Russell continues to try to time his advances and pick his foe off with counters. The problem is that Barrios just won’t go away and baits Russell into firefights he shouldn’t be in.
10:28 p.m.: What was thought to be a cakewalk for Russell has turned out to be a little more competitive as Barrios continues to pressure Russell and force him to work. Russell is up but the highlight-reel knockout some expected hasn’t arrived just yet.
10:15 p.m.: We’re live from Las Vegas and kicking off tonight’s card with Gary Antonio Russell vs. Alejandro Barrios in bantamweight action.
Figueroa vs. Fulton fight date, start time
- Date: Saturday, Nov. 27
- Main card: 9 p.m. ET | 6 p.m. PT
- Main event (approx.): 11:30 p.m. ET | 8:30 p.m. PT
The main card of Brandon Figueroa vs. Stephen Fulton Jr. will take place on Saturday, Nov. 27, beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Figueroa and Fulton will make their ring walks at approximately 11:30 p.m. ET, though that time could change depending on the length of the earlier bouts.
What channel is Figueroa vs. Fulton?
Figueroa vs. Fulton will be available on Showtime for viewers in the U.S.
How much does Figueroa vs. Fulton cost?
Figueroa vs. Fulton will be available in the U.S. to anyone with a subscription to Showtime.
Brandon Figueroa vs. Stephen Fulton Jr. fight card
- Stephen Fulton Jr. def. Brandon Figueroa via majority decision (116-112, 116-112, 114-114) for the WBC and WBO super bantamweight titles.
- Ra’eese Aleem def. Eduardo Baez via majority decision (96-94, 98-92, 95-95).
- Gary Antonio Russell def. Alejandro Barrios via majority decision (95-95, 96-94, 96-94).