Stephen Fulton-Brandon Figueroa Rematch Set For February 25
One of the top fights of 2021 saw Stephen Fulton out-brawl Brandon Figueroa to unified the WBC and WBO junior featherweight titles. Now, just over a year later, they appear to be ready to battle again.
Our insider Dan Rafael had more late Tuesday on his Fight Freaks Unite substack,
“After Stephen Fulton edged Brandon Figueroa via majority decision to unify the WBO and WBC junior featherweight titles in an action-packed 2021 fight of the year candidate, they argued with each other and looked like they were on the verge or throwing more punches during the post-fight interview on Showtime. But they professed interest in a rematch.
Now it will happen.
They will meet again on Feb. 25 in the main event of a Showtime-televised tripleheader at The Armory in Minneapolis, a source with direct knowledge of the card told Fight Freaks Unite.
Fulton-Figueroa II Will Be Up In Weight
The rematch comes as no surprise as the WBC approved the bout for the vacant interim featherweight title at its annual convention in November.
The interim title at 126 pounds was made available because titlist Rey Vargas is moving up in weight for his next fight, which will be against O’Shaquie Foster for the vacant WBC junior lightweight belt on Feb. 11 at the Alamodome in San Antonio in a Showtime fight that has already been announced.
Vargas will have to decide soon after the bout whether he will remain at junior lightweight or return to featherweight to defend his title. If he opts to stay at 130 pounds, the Fulton-Figueroa II winner would be elevated to full titleholder.
Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs), 28, of Philadelphia, has fought once since defeating Figueroa, a unanimous decision to retain the belts against former unified titlist Daniel Roman in June 2022, and now will move up in weight.
Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KOs), 26, of Weslaco, Texas, has also only fought once since the first Fulton fight. He moved up to featherweight and knocked out Carlos Castro in the sixth round of a WBC title eliminator in July.
Fulton and Figueroa first met on Nov. 27, 2021. Fulton won 116-112 on two scorecards and it was 114-114 on the third card.
Ponce-Matias Will Be Co-Feature
The Feb. 25 card will also include Jeremias Ponce against Subriel Matias for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title, the source said. The third bout on the telecast has not been set, according to the source.
Ponce-Matias was also expected to be one of the various bouts Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions would put on in early 2023. In November, TGB Promotions was the only bidder when it won a purse bid for the bout for $510,000. Each boxer entitled to 50 percent.
The title became vacant in August when Josh Taylor relinquished it in order to pursue a rematch with Jack Catterall rather than face mandatory challenger Ponce.
Ponce (30-0, 20 KOs), 26, of Argentina, will be fighting in the Untied States for the first time, although he has boxed in several countries. He scored his biggest win when he knocked out Lewis Ritson in his hometown of Newcastle, England in June 2021.
Matias (18-1, 18 KOs), 30, of Puerto Rico, has won four fights in a row since an upset 10-round decision loss to Petros Ananyan in February 2020. Matias stopped Ananyan in the ninth round of a rematch in his last fight last January. ”
A Showtime announcement of the Minneapolis card could come as early as Wednesday.