EDINBURG — Chants of “Brandon” filled Bert Ogden Arena as Brandon Lee Figueroa walked to the center of the ring during the opening round of his World Boxing Association interim Super Bantamweight title defense. Minutes later, “Heartbreaker” delivered on his promise to put on a show for Rio Grande Valley fight fans. He also called his shot, a fourth-round finish, which he followed through on after a flurry of right hands to Javier Chacon’s body and head.
“He wasn’t throwing punches so I had to get in there and rough him up. He didn’t want to fight my game so I had to punish him and I caught him with a good right hook,” Figueroa said after retaining his interim belt.
Once Chacon failed to get up from his feet, Figueroa (20-0) stepped onto the ropes in each corner with his hands raised above his head as the hometown crowd roared.
“It was one of the best moments of my life fighting in front of my family and supporters who have been with me since I was seven years old. I want to do this again over and over. These are my people and it feels amazing,” he said.
After the fight, Stephen Fulton entered the ring to face off with Figueroa. Fulton, a 17-0 super bantamweight, knocked out his opponent earlier in the night, which could set up a matchup with “Heartbreaker.”
“I’m more than happy to do it,” Figueroa said of the potential fight against Fulton. “I can switch up my game and do everything at any time. I don’t think he’s seen a hard-hitter like me.”
Brownsville’s Omar Juarez knocked out McAllen’s Gino De La Paz with a vicious right hook that sent De La Paz crashing to the canvas in the first round. De La Paz got to his knees as Juarez stood feet away urging his opponent to get up, but the referee saw enough to call an end to the fight. Juarez improves to 5-0 in his pro career with three knockouts.
“We’re both from this area and everyone from down here is a tough fighter. We train to be calm and composed in the ring. I just listen to my corner so that we can complete the mission,” Juarez said in the ring after his fight.
Weslaco’s Cesar Cantu (3-0) was dominant in his unanimous decision performance against Eddie Hines in a super featherweight fight. After the fight, Cantu show his appreciation to his coach Omar Figueroa Sr.
“I felt ready and prepared thanks to Omar. Without him, this would not be possible,” Cantu said.
Mission native Dimas “Saymore” De Leon kept his record perfect (9-0) as he earned a unanimous decision (58-56) victory over Roberto Pucheta in the bantamweight division. De Leon now sits at 9-0 in his professional career.
Harlingen’s Raphael Murphy picked up a unanimous decision win in a back-and-forth cruiserweight contest against Larry Pryor. The win improves Murphy’s career record to 14-1 overall with 11 knockouts.
Former Edinburg Economedes football standout Nelson Hampton had his hand raised after a unanimous decision win (40-36, 39-37, 39-37) over Jesus Arevalo.
San Antonio’s Raymond “Tito” Guajardo TKO’d his opponent McArio Del Castillo in the first round.