You don't need superstar names on the bout sheet to get your money's worth of boxing entertainment. Fans at the Toyota Center in Ontario, California and those watching on Showtime Boxing were treated to all the action they could ask for, with knockout wins and a few upsets.
The main event produced a Fight of The Year banger per most predictions, with the outcome in play until the final bell and the scorecards were read. It was Brandon Figueroa of Welasco, Texas (24-1-1, 18 KOs) whose exemplary conditioning and output scored the unanimous decision victory over Mark Magsayo of the Philippines (24 -2, 16 KOs). Scores were far more lopsided in Figueroa's favor than many observers expected, with cards of 118-108 and 117-109 X 2.
“Man, I just went out there and wanted it and took the fight right to him. I wanted this fight so bad,” said Figueroa.
Credit Figueroa's impressive conditioning and relentlessness for seeing him through a fight that looked far closer. Magsayo was the early aggressor, picking up the pace and landing the flashier punches to the head of Figueroa. Figueroa stood up to them well. Magsayo won two of the first three rounds on all scorecards. But from there, the judges saw it all Figueroa's way.
Figueroa did his damage quietly on the inside, landing body shots and uppercuts as Magsayo increased his holding as the fight wore on to catch his breath. Magsayo had trouble making the featherweight limit. It's possible this caused him to lose steam and unravel as Figueroa rolled up the rounds.
Figueroa fought for just the second time at featherweight, and he says it suits him. “I felt strong. I just don't stop. I don't get tired. I'm relentless. I come forward. He came back a little, but once I hit him with a body shot, it affected him, and I put pressure, pressure, pressure on him.”
As Magsayo began to tire and hold more, referee Thomas Taylor deducted two points, once in round eight and again in round 11. It was in round 10 the fight appeared sealed for Figueroa. He landed 20 power punches, and three times Magsayo seemed to collapse while holding Figueroa, his knees landing on the canvas twice and a glove touching the third time. Taylor ruled all three a slip. With the benefit of seeing the scorecards, it wouldn't have made much difference in the end, but it enraged the Figueroa fans in the audience.
Figueroa said it didn't matter to him how Magsayo came at him and the holding wasn't a factor. “I can fight backward, forward, lefty, righty. It doesn't matter. I feel like I confused him a lot.”
Figueroa now becomes the WBC World Interim Featherweight champion. Assuming current reigning champion Rey Vargas returns to featherweight after his recent loss at 130 pounds, it makes Figueroa the mandatory challenger.
Magasyo left the ring without any remarks after a disappointing outcome in front of many devoted Filipino fans in the arena.
The Hurd Game: Armando Resendiz Ruins Return of Jarrett Hurd with TKO9 Win
“Swift” Jarrett Hurd of Maryland (24-3. 16 KOs) promised a return to the aggressive attack that won him a world championship. Hurd was up against an equally relentless Armando Resendiz of Mexico (13-2, 9 KOs). Game on to the delight of everyone watching.
After 21 months out of the ring, Hurd went full force after Resendiz. The ooohs and aaahs of the engaged audience at the Toyota Center provided the play-by-play with both men landing hooks and uppercuts at will. Neither man needed much real estate to work with. The only defense was the tough chins on display. The time out of the ring started catching up with Hurd. He couldn't afford to run out of steam against the Mexican buzzsaw coming at him. He did his best, but Resendiz seized the opportunity in front of him, catching Hurd with power shots as his accuracy and speed flagged.
With one round to go, referee Ray Corona asked the ringside physician to examine a cut inside Hurd's lip. It was ruled too serious for Hurd to continue, giving the TKO win to Resendiz. As it turned out, only a stoppage would have helped Hurd. Scorecards after nine rounds were 89-82 and 87:84 X 2.
Surprisingly fresh-faced and composed, Resendiz said, “I was visualizing this fight tonight for so long. I told everyone I was willing to go to war. I'm Mexican, after all. It was a strong, physical fight, just like we expected. The results speak for themselves.” Resendiz credited his team, including trainer Manny Robles and key sparring partner Vergil Ortiz Jr. “I sparred with Vergil Ortiz Jr., who gave me great sparring ad helped me out. My team helped me be on top of this.
“It was all about heart, but I know I can be even better, and you'll see what I mean in my next fight.”
Veteran trainer Robles looked equal parts thrilled and dazed. “We had a good game plan and he executed it. We're thankful for the opportunity. Honestly, right here, I had my doubts,” laughed Robles. “I thank God I was wrong, and he (Resendiz) was right.”
After leaving the ring with his mouth packed in gauze, Hurd offered comments off-camera. “I knew this was going to be a tough, toe-to-to fight based on our styles. But I only had to make it one more round. I wish I could have finished it, but my lip was cut too badly. So, congratulations to Resendiz.” Hurd said he wished he could continue and wasn't otherwise hurt, but had to respect the doctor's call.
“I have to go back and watch the fight. It felt like there was a lot of back and forth and that I was winning the early rounds, and that he was coming back in the middle rounds. But what can I say? I had a long layoff, and I guess it showed tonight, but I'll be back,” promised Hurd.
Elijah Garcia Makes a Statement With KO Over Vidal
Middleweight prospect Elijah Garcia of Phoenix (14-0, 12 KOs) put himself on the fast track in the opening Showtime Boxing bout, stopping Amilcar Vidal of Montevideo, Uruguay (16-1, 12 KOs) at 2:17 of the fourth round. Through the first rounds of the fight, both men were grinding it out. Garcia unleashed a barrage of punches behind a hard lead right hook that rattled Vidal, taking advantage to stop the Uruguayan.
As Garcia's fans elated fans in Ontario celebrated the win, Garcia said, “This ain't like a surprise, this is what we worked for since I turned pro. I stayed ready and mentally strong. I knew I might have lost the first couple of rounds, but I was breaking him down. I caught him, and I finished him.” Garcia is still just 19 years old. “I have the maturity to tell if they're hurt or not. I might become a champion before I'm 21 or 22. I might be ahead of schedule.” It's easy to believe Garcia based on his performance Saturday and on the wide-open opportunities in a thin division.
Terrell Gausha Gets Knockout Win
Former US Olympian Terrell Gausha of Encino, California (23-3-1, 12 KOs) was eight rounds into a grinding fight against Branslyn Lynch of Los Angeles (12-2-1, 9 KOs) when he put an end to things with three consecutive knockdowns in the first 50 seconds of round 9. Gausha's first knockdown drilled Lynch, and the fight should have ended there. Referee Ray Corona gave Lynch two more chances but Gausha nailed him twice over to seal the deal.
Incoming Fire from Flashy Welterweight Prospect Marshall
Travon “Sniper” Marshall of Capitol Heights, Maryland (8-0, 7 KOs) thrilled the crowd with a picture-perfect right hook dropping Justin Deloach Dock of Augusta, Georgia (19-6, 10 KOs) face first to the canvas. This is never good. Dock beat the count, but referee Thomas Taylor told dock his night was over at 2:07 of round three.
Marshall told NYFights that after the fight he knew his opponent's defensive style and worked on it leading up to the fight. “Throwing the combination in the third round, once I switched the speed up, I caught him.” Marshall is an up-and-coming prospect in the welterweight division worth keeping your eye on.
From the Undercard: Teah Upsets Gogokhia, Blancas Takes Out Prather
Samuel Teah of Philadelphia (19-4-1, 9 KOs) scored the upset and sent Enriko Gogokhia of Georgia, now training in California (13-1-2, 8 KOs) home with his first loss. Teah scored a knockdown in the first round and kept the pressure on, winning by decision with scores of 79-72 and 78-73 X 2.
Daniel Blancas of Milwaukee (5-0, 3 KOs) repped the 414 with a knockout win over Kynndale Prather of Kansas City, Kansas (3-16, 1 KOs). Referee Jack Reiss counts out Prather at 1:53 of R1 after the second of two quick knockdowns.