Brandon Figueroa: Excelling to Achieve One’s Dreams!
By: WBA Press, Yesica Palmetta
(October 23rd) With great simplicity and humility, the World Boxing Association 122-pound world champion, Brandon Figueroa, recounts moments from a childhood when he had to work hard to prove he was made for boxing.
Brandon grew up with Omar Jr., the older brother who has been a natural at the ring. When the little boy with the oceanic blue eyes was six years old, he was constantly trying to catch Omar Sr.’s eye, who didn’t think he could make it in boxing because he considered him to be more fragile due to his physical build, since Brandon was really skinny back then. Also, because of his pretty face, he was often pushed to the runways or to acting.
That underestimation led Brandon to make double efforts until his father trusted him and realized that he did have the strength and courage to box, as he demonstrated in that great show he gave against Mexican Julio Cejas in Las Vegas in November 2019.
Brandon Lee Figueroa is 23 years old and has earned the nickname of “heartbreaker”, which apparently had something to do with his amateur stage when his female followers would gather in the events he performed, but he tells us that in reality: “My dad heard that nickname and gave it to me for my looks, that’s how it got it. I know it doesn’t sound very intimidating but inside the ring I can be”.
He was born in Weslaco, Texas: “My parents are Mexican, they grew up in Rio Bravo here at the border and I grew up there too. My first language was Spanish, I didn’t learn English until third grade and since then they have seen me more American than Mexican, but I think my roots make me more Mexican”. He tried to be part of an Olympic Games but since his record as an amateur did not accompany him, he decided to jump to jump to the proffesional field. At 18 years old, he achieved the goal of becoming world champion.
Being with the family, with friends, and spending time at home playing video games, are part of the Heartbreaker’s favorite things to do, who also forms a great professional team with his family: “My sister takes care of my meals, she studied to be a nutritionist and trains me in the mornings since she knows the physical workouts that a boxer must do, she is also a personal trainer. My brother is my mentor, my idol, he helped me quite a lot mentally in how to cope with many things and he taught me the lifestyle of a boxer”.
In addition to boxing, Brandon and his sister are developing a noble project: “I want to invest my money in a gym here where I live, for my community, and to be able to help the children of the Valley, because boxing has helped me in many ways. I went to a school to talk to the children where maybe they don’t have the best education, or they don’t follow the good paths and they are in trouble, so I would like to be able to help. First, it will be for the children to have toys for Christmas, for example, so that they don’t have to go through a window and not be able to have those toys that they want, like it happened to me when I was a child. We’ll also be doing events for them”.
Brandon adds with excitement, “As a trainer I want to help others follow their dreams. I know that boxing is not for everybody but it can be helpful for health, to take things off your mind, to keep you out of danger, because kids will be able to come and train and get rid of the negative things, the bad things. For me, boxing was more like therapy, like an escape. I want to teach children that they can do it. I’ve been dreaming big since I was little and now, I’m living my dreams”, and as a good dreamer, imagine how exciting it is to be part of a movie.
The World Boxing Association 122-pound champion left a great inspiring message and said that “when I won the title last year I was very happy and thankful because without God, without my team, without my family, I wouldn’t have been able to make it. But as my dad says, the hardest thing is to keep it up and now I just think about continuing to work hard to keep myself ready for any opportunity”.
Omar Jr. Figueroa stood out among the lightweights, a sister as a personal trainer who was also an amateur boxer, a father who is also a trainer, and a mother who was also involved in boxing. How could they not feel passionate about this sport!
Santa Cruz: “I’m Going to Prove
That I’m Not Afraid of Anyone”!
(photo credit Esther Lin/ Showtime)
By: Jesús Milano
(October 21st) Leo Santa Cruz is facing the most important fight of his career. The World Boxing Association (WBA) Featherweight and Super Featherweight Super Champion will face Gervonta Davis, the WBA Lightweight Champion, on October 31st, in a bout where the 130 and 135-pound belts will be at stake.
The Alamodome, in San Antonio, Texas, will host one of the most anticipated bouts of the year and, in the days leading up to it, Santa Cruz held an online open workout session in which he did some basic exercises and spoke to the press and fans who connected via YouTube for Showtime.
“I’m looking forward to being the featured PPV event. We are going to put everything on the line and offer a great show for the fans”, said the Mexican.
The specialists see an even fight with certain advantages in favor of Davis, a situation that Santa Cruz is aware of and uses as motivation.
“People think I’m the smaller guy, but I asked for this fight for a reason. I’m ready to prove everyone wrong”, said Santa Cruz, who could make history by becoming champion of three different divisions at once.
“People thought I didn’t want to fight big names or challenging opponents, so who’s better to fight than Gervonta Davis? He has great skills and great power. I’m going to show everyone that I’m not afraid of anyone”, he continued.
Santa Cruz highlighted what he thinks he has in his favor to win the fight, and also warned what he expects will happen in the ring: “Gervonta doesn’t have the experience I have. I have to be attentive during the first rounds and be careful. In the end, I know I have to do everything I can to win the fight”.
Finally, the 32-year-old man spoke about the benefits of fighting with an audience in the ring. The fight, officially scheduled for October 24th at first, was postponed and moved to San Antonio with the intention of having fans in the stadium.
“Listening to the fans in the crowd lifts me up. It’s an additional motivation. They are the ones who put me in this position. I’m preparing hard to give everyone their money’s worth. I’m going to take the chance”, said “El Terremoto”.
Barrios and Karl Predict a Texas War
On the Undercard of Davis-Santa Cruz!
(photo Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)
By: Marcelino Castillo, WBA Press
(October 15th) Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz will unify the titles of two divisions in their next fight, which has been scheduled to take place on October 31st at the Alamodome in San Antonio, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
The main attraction, as far as undercard is concerned, will feature World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Lightweight champion Mario Barrios (25-0, 16 KOs), vs. fellow Texas native Ryan Karl, who is facing his first title shot opportunity after a run of three victories, two of which were won by KO.
Given the importance of this fight, both fighters appeared in a virtual press conference. Barrios was the first one to talk, and he promises to give the show that the fans want to see.
“I know that come fight night I’ll be facing the best version of Ryan Karl that we’ve seen. He’s training the same way and expecting that from me. So it’s going to be an action-packed fight and the fans will not be disappointed”, he said. “I’m super amped for this type of fight. Ryan and I have known each other forever and we know the style that the other person will bring to the ring”.
Next, the “Azteca” said that the study of his recent fights has helped to improve on defects exposed in the ring.
“We’ve watched my fight against Batyr Akhmedov a couple times. I’m a warrior and I showed that in the fight. We made all the changes we needed to in this camp and I’m going to show them on October 31”, he said.
In turn, Karl, who has a record of 18 victories, 12 of them by KO, and 2 defeats, said that the previous knowledge his now opponents have is a special incentive to develop the best weapons in the camp.
“This fight is going to be a big deal. It’s really surreal, to an extent. We’re very excited and working really hard and putting in the work. It couldn’t be better that it is taking place in Texas with fans. It’s going to be a big Texas showdown”, he concluded.
Krasniqi Makes History
As the First World Champion Born In Kosovo!
By Jesús Milano - WBA Press
(October 11th) Robin Krasniqi made the most of his experience and surprised the world by becoming the first Kosovo-born world champion with a third round KO over Dominic Boesel to secure the World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim Light Heavyweight Championship this Saturday at the GETEC Arena in Magdeburg, Germany.
Krasniqi was a tough challenge in what was Boesel’s first exhibition. The Kosovo-born German fighter already had experience in big fights and had faced renowned opponents like Arthur Abraham and Juergen Braehmer.
In that third round, an exchange of blows allowed Krasniqi to place a right to Boesel’s face, who fell with delayed action so he did not get the count. However, the former champion looked very dizzy after he got up again and Krasniqi finished him with another wild right hand that sent him back to the canvas with no chance of recovering.
Krasniqi, 33, had been in two previous championship fights without success, but this third time he was able to make his dream come true. In addition, he also won the IBO belt that Boesel had.
The champion’s record is 51 wins, 6 losses and 19 KOs, while Boesel now has a record of 30 wins, 2 losses and 12 KOs.
Contreras Beat Up Flores
Retains His WBA-Fedecentro Title!
By: Jesús Milano, WBA Press
(October 4th) Dennis Contreras retained his World Boxing Association (WBA) Fedecentro Featherweight title this Friday night with a six-round KO to Carlos Efrain Flores during the All Star Boxing event at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
In a great clash between Mexicans, the regional champion of the pioneer organization used all his experience to demolish a much younger opponent who had been undefeated in his career until now.
“El Martillo” (The Hammer) dominated with the power of his right hand from the first moment and forced “Stich” Flores to retreat, who made a brave fight but was overcome by the power of Contreras.
With a considerable accumulation of punishment, Flores received a resounding right hand from the champion in the sixth round and fell to the canvas without any possibility of getting up, and the referee gave him the 10-count to decree the triumph of the Guadalajara native.
Contreras, 28, made the first defense of the Fedecentro belt and now has a record of 23 wins, 10 losses, 1 draw and 21 KOs; while Flores left his record at 20 wins, 1 loss and 11 KOs.
Jermell Charlo Is the WBA Boxer of the Month!
By: Jesús Milano
(October 1st) The World Boxing Association (WBA) released its September Rankings, as well as the monthly awards in which Jermell Charlo won the Boxer of the Month and Yordenis Ugás won the Honorable Mention.
Charlo defeated Jeison Rosario with a knockout to the middle zone last Saturday in Uncasville, Connecticut, to win the WBA Super Welterweight Super Championship, in addition to the IBF and WBC world titles, to profile himself as one of the best fighters in the world in the 154 pounds division.
The American boxer had a strong challenge against the Dominican and came from being behind in the fight to knock down the Caribbean boxer three times and win a convincing victory that is worth the award.
For his part, Ugás won the vacant Welterweight championship after defeating Anel Ramos by split decision on September 6th in Los Angeles, California. The Cuban boxer made history to become his country’s first 147-pound World Champion in almost 40 years and now wants to face all the major opponents in the division.
The WBA had five championship fights in total during the month, four of them held in the United States and one in Russia.
Charlo Dethroned Rosario
With a Body Shot and Is the New WBA Super Champion!
By: Jesús Milano
(September 27th) Jermell Charlo became the new World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Welterweight Champion after knocking out Jeison Rosario with a body shot in the eighth round and winning a sensational fight at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
Charlo, who now has three of the four most important body belts in the world, was very patient until he finished off Rosario in an impressive way in what was the most curious knockout of the year.
The American came out cautiously, walking the ring and trying to counterattack a Rosario who was very aggressive and who carried the pace of the fight in many moments. In the very first move, Charlo hit Rosario’s face and sent him to the canvas for the first time, although the Dominican got up in good condition and continued with his attacking work.
Rosario improved as the rounds went by and dominated in most of them. However, Charlo reconnected him strongly in the sixth round and sent him to the canvas with a left hook almost to the sound of the bell.
The most dramatic moment of the fight came at the beginning of the eighth when Charlo connected the jab to Rosario’s abdomen, which fell dramatically onto the canvas. The third man on the ring counted while the Caribbean man was breathless and squirming, making unsuccessful attempts to get up.
In the end, the injured Rosario was unable to regain his footing and had to be treated for lack of oxygen.
Charlo is the new super champion of the pioneer organization and improved his record in 34 wins, 1 loss and 18 knockouts. Rosario now has 20 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw and 14 knockouts.
Figueroa Overwhelmed Vazquez and Retained
His WBA Belt In Connecticut!
By: Jesús Milano
(September 26th) Brandon Figueroa promised his punches would be too much for Damien Vazquez and won by TKO in the tenth round on Saturday night to retain his World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Bantamweight title at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“The Heartbreaker” was true to his style throughout the bout and from the first bell he came out with his characteristic aggressiveness. Figueroa attacked Vazquez with everything but he did not find an easy opponent as the challenger worked well in the first rounds and was able to connect good hits on the champion.
Vazquez’ boxing style was important to face the champion and fighting toe-to-toe for most of the fight. However, as the rounds went by, Figueroa diminished his physical condition with punches to the body and face in a great demonstration.
By the ninth round, the Champion was hitting a brave Vázquez, who was trying to stay in action but was overwhelmed by Figueroa’s momentum. When the punishment increased in the tenth round, the referee had no other choice but to stop the actions and Figueroa kept the victory.
The 23 year old Mexican fighter defended his crown for the third time and got his 21st victory, while he has one draw and no losses; he also got the 16th KO of his career.
For his part, Vazquez left his record at 15 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw and 8 KOs.
Boesel-Krasniqi Confirmed for October 10th In Magdeburg!
By: Jesús Milano
(September 24th) World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim Light Heavyweight Champion, German Dominic Boesel, will face his countryman Robin Krasniqi on October 10th at the METEC Arena in Magdeburg, Germany.
The fight was announced on Tuesday at a press conference in which both fighters and their teams talked to the journalists and shared their impressions of the match.
It will be Boesel’s first defense of the title after defeating Sven Fornling in November last year to earn the crown. The 30-year-old fighter wants to retain in front of his people and give a great performance.
In Krasniqi’s case, he is a veteran of a thousand battles who has been WBA Continental Champion and has faced tough opponents such as Arthur Abraham and Juergen Braehmer. In his 33 years, he has a new title opportunity that he wants to take advantage of.
Boesel has a record of 30 wins, 1 loss and 12 KOs, while Krasniqi has a balance of 50 wins, 6 losses and 18 KOs.
Chris Eubank Jr. Wants “Canelo” or Murata!
By: Jesús Milano
(September 18th) World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim Middleweight Champion Chris Eubank Jr. hopes to return to the ring soon. The Briton boxer is one of the strongest fighters in the 160-pound division and knows exactly who he wants to fight, as he detailed in an interview with Badlefthook.
Eubank explained that he wants the big names and that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Ryota Murata are his first choices.
“I am WBA Interim world champion, so those are the fights that make sense. I want those belts, all these guys with belts in my division”, he said in the interview.
The 31-year-old fighter beat Mary Korobov last December and won the pioneer organization’s Interim belt. Now, he wants bigger challenges and bigger fights at 160 pounds.
Buatsi Will Defend His
WBA-International Title Against Calic!
By: Jesús Milano, WBA Press
(September 16th) Joshua Buatsi will make the fifth defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) International Light Heavyweight Belt on October 4th against Mario Calic in London, England.
The fight for the WBA belt between two undefeated fighters will be very interesting. Buatsi, a British national, is of Ghanaian descent and will face one of the most important challenges of his career at the age of 27.
He will fight Croatian Mario Calic, who at 33 is facing a great opportunity to move up in the division. He has had a good career in Europe, where he has fought in Sweden, Hungary, Albania and Croatia.
Buatsi won the belt in July 2018 by knockout in one round to Latvian Andrejs Pokumeiko. Since then, he has defended four times against France’s Tony Averlant, Australia’s Renold Quinlan, Mexico’s veteran Marco Antonio Peribán and most recently against Canada’s Ryan Ford.
The fight was confirmed this week and the event will be hosted by Matchroom Boxing in the English capital.
Buatsi has a record of 12 wins, no losses and 10 KOs, while Calic has 11 victories in the same number of fights, 6 of them won by KO.
Jeison Rosario Only Thinks About Defeating Charlo!
By: Jesús Milano, WBA Press
(August 10th) Dominican Jeison Rosario has more achievements in mind. Despite having won the World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Championship in January against Julian Williams, all the champion has in mind is to keep on climbing and he knows that to do so he needs to beat Jermell Charlo on September 26th, in Connecticut.
The Caribbean native spoke about his preparation and how this camp has been carried out in Miami before the fight.
“The best I have ever had. I’m in great condition, I feel super good. I am motivated, determined, very hungry and, really, very eager to see my opponent’s face in the ring”, Rosario said in his interview with the Miami Herald.
Charlo’s speech, on the other hand, was focused on the fact that the WBA champion is not at his level when it comes to boxing and that that is why he will win the fight that will have the titles of three organizations at stake. However, Rosario dismisses his statements.
“Well, on the 26th we will know if it’s true that I’m not at his level or if it is as I say. I say I’m at his level and at anyone’s level. I prepare myself for victory. Whatever he says doesn’t have any effect on me’’, said Rosario to the Florida media.
Rosario has a string of victories since 2017 and has changed significantly thanks to his work with coach Chiro, but beyond his boxing adjustments, he highlights those he has had on a personal level as responsible for his evolution.
The first thing that I left behind was my ego. Humility came, along with real faith in God. When I lost, I told myself I had to trust God more and trust myself less. I trusted myself so much that I forgot everything around me. I didn’t care about anything”, he said.
Rosario has great goals and dreams, but his main objective right now is to defend his black and gold belt in a fight in which the bets are not in his favor. Despite that, his status as a champion and his progress make him a fighter that can never be underestimated.
Figueroa: “It’s the BiggestOpportunity
Of My Career and Vazquez Is In the Way”!
By: Jesús Milano
(September 4th) Brandon Figueroa will step in the ring on September 26th to face Damien Vazquez and during an online press conference from the gym, he talked about the third defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Bantamweight Championship at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The Mexican-American boxer talked about his expectations for the fight, his career in the recent past, and what he hopes for the future.
“I see this as the biggest opportunity of my career and Vazquez is standing in my way. This is my chance to show everyone why I am one of the best fighters in the world. I’m ready, I’m focused on September 26th and I can’t wait to show my skills”, said the 23-year-old fighter.
His last fight was a tough one against Julio Ceja that ended in a draw and allowed him to retain his crown, but Figueroa is aware that he was far from his best potential for that fight.
“Heading into my last fight, I had some injuries that I was dealing with. However, I don’t take anything away from Ceja. He came to fight. But we learn from every fight. What I took away from it was that even at the worst moment of my career, I didn’t lose. I’m a different fighter now, though. I’m healthy heading into this upcoming fight and I feel like everyone is going to see a different type of Brandon Figueroa”, he said.
His challenger, Damien Vazquez, has said that he wants a toe-to-toe fight in what he calls “a Mexican war”. Figueroa had his opinion on his rival’s comments.
“I feel that action fight has always been my style and my fight plan since day one. But obviously I think I would also have an advantage if I were to box from a distance. You can say what you want, I don’t think you want to come face to face with me. I can guarantee you he’ll regret it”, said one confident Figueroa.
The WBA Champion also said he wants to fight against the best boxers in the division and that defending his crown on September 26th is a test he plans to pass with flying colors.