Written by: Shawn Cross
Brandon Figueroa’s 23-1-1 beat Mark Magsayo’s 24-1 Saturday night at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. The 12-round featherweight bout was slated for an interim WBC title. The first round was interesting, with Figueroa switching positions in order to knock Magsayo off his game and Magsayo dropping some decent shots. The second Magsayo saw relegation at a greater pace. However, Figueroa managed a free kick in the last minute of the round.
Although Figueroa had moments in the third, it was Magsayo who controlled the tempo and hit the cleanest shots with stick strategy and effective movement. The fourth round was again an active round, but Magsayo simply threw bummer punches. The man often showed extreme exactingness. The fifth was close. Figueroa was improving his game, but Magsayo looked strong. By the sixth day it was clear that Figueroa was hoping for a win while Magsayo was hoping to win with flashier punches. It was an interesting thing, for sure.
In the seventh, Figueroa was really starting to put her on Magsayo. One had to wonder if they had run out of gas or not. In the eighth game, Magsayo lost a point to hold – which he honestly does a lot. Magsayo responded with accurate and rapid machine-gun strikes at Figueroa. The Ninth was a war of attrition, with the tough and relentless Figueroa perhaps the best of it. Figueroa got a mighty tenth to himself as Magsayo went to the mat so many times without being knocked over that it could have been exhausting.
The eleventh saw the referee take another point for Magsayo to catch. Magsayo then simply tried to avoid the aggressive Figueroa. The reality was that Magsayo kept moving on Figueroa with his head down over and over again. The twelfth and final round saw Magsayo attempt one way or the other to grind out a superior three minutes. He had great courage, Magsayo, as did Figueroa. Magsayo fought brilliantly, but eventually seemed to have run out of gas for the win.
The judges ruled in Figueroa’s favor by an outrageous collective decision.
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