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Brandon Figueroa: “The Heartbreaker”

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In the most southern part of Texas, there is a city called Weslaco, which has a total population of about forty thousand people. Within this city, there is a proud boxing family that has not one but two undefeated fighters who have fought hard to reach the positions they currently hold. 

At only twenty-two years of age, Brandon Figueroa (18-0) is the younger of the two Figueroa brothers and has quickly caught the attention of the boxing community. He has a throwback “Mexican Style” type of game that makes for “must see TV.”

Background:

Brandon Figueroa didn’t have the extensive amateur background as most would expect from fighters these days.  His savage body attack was something that wasn’t going to fit well with the amateur scoring system so he chose to go to the pros.  While as a professional, he has averaged about four fights a year, but in 2016, he managed to get six fights under his belt knowing the activity would only benefit him.

He has an interesting story and after reading this, you will probably become a fan and will want to follow his journey if aren’t already.

Let me introduce you to Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa.

Brandon Figueroa is 18-0 and he shared his backstory with NYFights.

AG) Brandon, thanks for taking the time to do this interview.  Before we get into your boxing career, tell us a little bit about yourself and what it was like growing up in the Figueroa household.

BF) I come from a family of six (two brothers and one sister) and growing up, we didn’t really have much. My mom stayed at home taking care of the house and my dad worked at the Post Office part time while also doing side hustles like selling tires and DJ’ing at house parties in order to provide for our family.  At times, when we had the luxury of going to Burger King, my brother had to split the burger with my sister while the fries were split amongst me and my other two siblings and we all shared the drink. The house we lived in was built literally from the ground up as there were times when we had our mattresses on concrete floors. In the house, I had to share a room with my older brother and later on with my sister when Omar moved out.  We all would sit down together for dinner and we would roast each other, which I feel like it made me a mentally stronger person.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything as it made our family tighter and it made me stronger and hungrier in everything I do.

AG) What was it like growing up with your brother Omar? How was your relationship with him?

BF) Growing up, we weren’t too close, as he is seven years older than me. I was closer to my cousins from my dad’s side more than anything else. Omar has always been a quiet person and was closer to my sister more than anything else. As I got older and more mature, our relationship got better as I was able to understand the things he was going through in life.

AG) At what age did you begin getting into boxing and what were some of the influencers on that decision?

BF) I was already around the sport of boxing by the age of three. At that age, my brother was already boxing, which started it all for me. I have pictures of me with boxing gloves on at three years old fighting with my cousins in Mexico. I spent a lot of time in Mexico, not only because of my cousins but also because my dad would take Omar out there to fight. I started to really train around the age of six or seven but I hated boxing in the beginning. I hated it initially because my Dad would force me to go to the gym all of the time. When I was about eight or nine years old, I used to spar this kid that would always make me cry when we fought, which is why I didn’t like boxing at the time. Early on, my dad would spend most of his time with Omar training and going to fights so when my dad got his gym, that’s when I started to train myself because I wanted to get revenge on the kid that made me cry. After about a year training myself, I sparred that same kid and this time made him cry. Although my dad at this point didn’t want me to fight as he saw me as a scrawny little kid, he also saw that I had some potential.  When I was around nine or ten years old, I told my dad I wanted to fight at the state silver gloves and he told me that I wasn’t ready and that it was a different level of competition. I trained myself for it and ended up wining the silver gloves competition. At that point, my dad started paying a little more attention to me and when I reached the age of fifteen or sixteen, that’s when I knew I wanted to make this into a career.

AG) In boxing, we have seen many Father/Son combinations with some working out and others not so much. What is it like having your father in your corner as a coach?

BF) My Dad makes me into a believer and has a way of motivating me. My dad has always been on my ass and strict because he wants me to be the best and hopefully be a world champion one day. In the beginning, he was a nervous person because he didn’t want me to get hurt in there, which made me nervous, so I had to tell him to stop. Nowadays though, he really believes in me and knows what I can do and achieve in the ring. Having my dad in my corner is amazing and I feel like it makes me a better fighter.

AG) Your first professional fight was in 2015. Tell the readers what that feeling was like and some of the thoughts going through your head at that time?

BF)  Man, I can still remember that day as if it was yesterday. I originally thought it was something that was going to be easy because of the 8oz gloves and my fighting style. I was confident going into it and although I knocked the guy out in four rounds, I quickly realized that it’s something that would require a lot of work if I want to be successful.

AG) What is something that most people won’t know about you that is part of who your are?

BF) I’m probably one of the goofiest people you will ever meet. I’m always laughing and smiling which is why on my own time, I’m only serious about ten percent of the time. My character and personality is a little different from most and being bilingual really separates me from a lot of fighters. I am a kind person who really connects with people and I especially like being around kids. 

AG) What are some charitable things you participate in either in your community or outside of it?

BF) I go to the local schools here in Weslaco…

… for career days. The kids enjoy it and so do I as they interact with me and ask me questions about how I got into boxing and the things that come along with it like training. It’s an amazing experience that I enjoy partaking in each time. In December, I did a toy drive here in Weslaco for the kids out there who are in situations where they can’t afford things. My grandfather started something twenty years ago in Rio Bravo, Mexico, which was giving out bags that contained oranges, peanuts and candy which is a tradition that my brother continues to do to this day. When I make a little more money, I want to do something on a bigger scale for the kids here in Weslaco.

AG) Fast forward to your last fight in Los Angeles with Moises Flores.

You went up against a guy that prior to this fight went twelve rounds with the WBA champion Daniel Roman. How did it feel winning the way you did and was there extra motivation to do so prior to the start of the fight?

 BF) That win gave me confidence and it made me realize that I belong at that level. I deserve to be a world champion in the future. I know its not going to be easy but I am willing to put in the work and the time to be successful. Coming into the fight, I knew Flores was going to be tough as he is Mexican and was going to give it all in the ring. What I realized with the Roman fight was that he wasn’t hit to the body at all and saw that as an opportunity. I landed my body shots early in our fight and saw that it hurt him, which led to the knockout in the third.

AG) Out of all of the Super Bantamweight champions, who would you like to face and do you think that the current boxing politics will get in the way of making that fight happen?

BF) I have Al Haymon who I feel can make anything happen but for right now, I just want to get to that level. My goal is to become one of the best in boxing. Right now, I am ranked #2 for the WBA title that is held by Daniel Roman, so that would be the fight I would want. 

AG) Is there any information you can give the readers on when they can expect you back in the ring?

BF) We are shooting for April under the Danny Garcia vs Adrian Granados card but we are awaiting confirmation and will send out details as soon as we know.

AG) For those that are going to read this article and your fans, what message would you like to say to them? 

BF) Thank you for the support and supporting Team Figueroa. I am a little more active on social media these days so you can follow me on twitter (@brandonLeeFig), Instagram (@brandonfigueroa101), Facebook and YouTube (Heartbreaker Boxing).

Hopefully in the future I can keep giving my fans bigger and better fights. Keep watching and stay tuned!

Make sure to follow @abeg718 on twitter!

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About Abraham Gonzalez

Born & raised in the Bronx (NYC), Abe grew up with a family who were & still are, die hard boxing fans! Abe started contributing to boxing articles in 2017 and has now started a series of club show pieces which allows fans to see who is next on the horizon. Abe appreciates all styles of boxing and has been a big supporter of women in boxing. Abe can be found on twitter @abeg718.

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