IBHOF inductee and boxing playing professional Graham Houston weighs up Saturday night time’s intriguing 122lbs showdown between WBC champion Luis Nery and WBA Common title holder Brandon Figueroa in California.
There’s little doubt which battle is essentially the most eagerly awaited this weekend. It’s the conflict of undefeated 122-pound champions Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa, who meet outdoor within the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, on Saturday night time (early hours of Sunday morning within the UK).
Certainly, this has the potential to be one of many fights of the yr. Every man has a come-forward, pressure-fighting fashion. Neither likes to provide an inch. Nery, from Tijuana, is the favorite however cash has been exhibiting for Texas “Heartbreaker” Figueroa, who opened at 11/4 (+275) however has been wager all the way down to 9/4 (+225) at Betfred.
Nery was a monster at bantamweight, heavy-handed and relentless. Up at 122 kilos he hasn’t regarded fairly as formidable, nonetheless. In his final battle, Nery didn’t have issues all his personal manner towards fellow-southpaw Aaron Alameda. He completed strongly within the final two rounds however there was a interval within the battle the place Alameda was outboxing him and hitting him fairly simply.
Figueroa is the taller, naturally larger fighter. He’s a swap hitter though I believe he’s simpler within the southpaw stance. Figueroa likes to crowd his opponents and hold the punches flowing and he is a superb physique puncher. Assault is Figueroa’s greatest defence.
It’s not stunning that Nery was put in because the favorite, although. He’s one of many heaviest hitters within the lighter weight divisions and he’s fought at the next stage than Figueroa, together with two KO wins over Shinsuke Yamanaka in Japan. At 26, Nery is 2 years older than Figueroa and has the looks of being a extra mature fighter than his boyish-looking opponent. However seems might be deceiving. Figueroa can dig down and battle and he really appears happiest in a give-and-take battle.
In the event you assume Figueroa has it in him to tug off the upset you is perhaps enticed by the 9/4 odds. Whereas the percentages have narrowed, that’s nonetheless not a foul worth on a younger, unbeaten champion who’s large for the load.
The massive hazard for Figueroa, as I see it, might be if he will get caught by a extreme blow and brought out of the battle earlier than he has had the possibility to get into his busy-punching groove. But when Figueroa can keep on prime of Nery he may be capable to outwork him down the stretch.
Figueroa is one thing of a throwback, as he confirmed when going by means of along with his contest towards heavy-handed Julio Ceja regardless of his opponent having missed weight by 4 kilos. He was mainly preventing an opponent in a heavier weight division. However Figueroa saved taking the battle to Ceja, spherical after punishing spherical. And it was Figueroa who closed out the battle strongly, sweeping the final spherical on the judges’ scorecards to tug out a draw.
I imagine Figueroa particularly requested for the Nery battle. He genuinely needs to fulfill the very best fighters at his weight (that throwback factor once more). I perceive that Figueroa has been coaching at Indio within the California desert for the final six weeks. He must be as prepared as he can probably be.
I’m seeing worth in Figueroa as an underdog. However if you happen to aren’t certain which manner the battle will go, there are the standard proposition bets to think about.
This seems like being an extended, gruelling battle, nevertheless it additionally figures to be a high-contact affair. The oddsmakers really feel that there’s a barely higher than even probability that the battle received’t hear the ultimate bell. I are likely to agree. So “Distance — No” at 8/11 (-138) could possibly be price a glance.
In the event you really feel the fighters are too well-matched for both man to get stopped, then “Distance — Sure” at 11/10 (+110) might be your most well-liked play.
Nery by KO TKO DQ is obtainable at 27/20 (+135) and if you happen to assume that Figueroa can impose his measurement and punch-volume and drive a stoppage then the worth of 9/2 (+450) on the Heartbreaker to win by KO TKO DQ may seize your consideration.
As at all times, after attempting to take a look at each facet of the competition, I looked for clues on the weigh-in. Except my eyes deceived me, Nery was taking gulps from a bottled sports activities drink after making weight. Did Nery have a tough weight lower? You need to marvel. The scale distinction between the 2 boxers was hanging. This, and a suspicion that Nery may need struggled to make 122, has me edging ever so barely in direction of Figueroa springing the upset.
Most important picture: Esther Lin/Showtime.