Paul Wheeler writes that Lewis Nyeri and Brandon Figueroa prepare for battle
When Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime announced their upcoming fight schedule last month, there were some catchy matches on the list. One of them was the 12-round lap between WBC belt holder Louis Neri and fellow unbeaten superweight Brandon Figueroa. Both men love to step up and let their hands go, so don’t expect any lack of movement when they bump into Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Saturday (May 15).
The last time in September, the fighters scored victories on the same bill. Neri secured the vacant WBC title by unanimously defeating the undefeated but untested Aaron Alameda, while Figueroa dominated and stopped beating Damien Vazquez in 10 rounds. Even though Neri was a good winner against Alameda, his performance wasn’t as dynamic as we used to see him from him. The match ended a series of 11 successive wins in the same schedule as Southbaw Mexico.
For the Alameda competition, Neri had Eddy Reynoso in his corner – a coach Canelo Alvarez’s photo And other prominent names. However, in February, Neri announced that he had split from Renoso after only one fight together. Now reunited with his former coach Ismail Ramirez, the 26-year-old wants to get back to what he does best – fighting on the front foot and letting his fists fly.
“There has been a lot of difference in this training camp,” Neri commented. “The knockout streak ended because I wasn’t fighting my style. I am becoming more myself now, as I was during the knockout streak. My mindset is simple – either me or him. I will be myself and I will be aggressive. I plan to win the fight with my style. They change a threat to my future plans. I need elimination.” On this threat. “
For Texan Figueroa, this match provides an opportunity to secure a prominent win, as beating Neri would undoubtedly be his biggest achievement so far. The talent trained by Joel Diaz is confident he has what it takes to succeed at the highest level.
“My camp was amazing and I’m in good shape,” Figueroa said. “I know Niri is a strong fighter, but now I am twenty-four years old, so it is time for me to start fighting these world class opponents. I want to show that I belong there with the best.”
While Figueroa is still looking for a real win, Neri made his back in August 2017, when he categorically knocked out the WBC Bantamweight Championship Shinsuke Yamanaka at a faraway land in Japan. The fourth round of hiatus saw him lose the esteemed Yamanaka for the first time in his career, but Neri’s joy was to prove that it was short-lived.
Just over a week later, VADA revealed that in a sample submitted 19 days before the fight, Tijuanan tested positive for the banned substance zilpaterol, which is similar to the widely known substance clenbuterol. There was talk of a possible reversal of the score and stripping Neri of his belt, but it was delayed when the WBC ruled that “all information and facts lead to the conclusion that the negative result was due to the consumption of contaminated food products.”
Although WBC ruled that Neri had not intentionally taken zilpaterol, they still instructed him to participate in the rematch with Yamanaka, which took place in March 2018, again in Japan. There was controversy again when Neri came in at 3 pounds above the bantam weight limit and had to relinquish his title. Although he lost his belt, he did not lose the fight, as Yamanaka was ruthlessly sent in two rounds and sent into retirement.
So far, Figueroa’s most notable victories have come against Oscar Escandon and Moise Flores, who melded in good company. Citizen of Weslaco KO’d Escandon in the tenth round in September 2018, before he was sent off Flores in the third round, four months later. The only defect in his record of 21-0-1 (16) came a year and a half ago when he was tied by Julio Sega in a thrilling toe-to-toe match. The fact that Sega lost more than four pounds didn’t help Figueroa case.
The younger brother of former WBC champion Omar Figueroa Jr., Brandon is a pressure fighter who works on electroshock and uses an all-fan-friendly style. He is so tall and strong that he can take a shot, he has a tireless drive, which he puts to good use by regularly unleashing mischievous hooks and fixtures to the head and body.
Like Figueroa, the 31-0 (24) Nery is a powerful punch-hole tool. It attacks fast and furious blisters, with a special focus on the midsection. He is a feared aggressor, despite having fallen more than once in the past.
Despite having significant advantages in length and reach for Nery, he does not usually fight and changes to size by boxing from the range, and instead chooses to engage closely inwardly. Matches of this kind should suit the tighter Neri, who can win a heavily contested point match, and set up a 9/11 match with Stephen Fulton of WBO in the process.
Judgment Fulton will be watching intently from his seat in the ring.
The bottom card
Roman heads the supporting business, while Martinez continues his education
As in the main event, main support pits two fighters ahead against each other in the lightweight, with Daniel Roman meeting up with Ricardo Espinosa over 10 rounds.
Roman, 28-3-1 (10), is the most experienced of the couple, sharing the ring with several notable competitors. A former WBA and IBF belts holder, Los Angeles man dropped the titles for Quality Murodjon Akhmadaliev in January of last year. In a close and convincing battle, Akhmed Aliyev defeated the 31-year-old in a split ballot. He recovered after eight months by unanimously distinguishing him from the best skilled Juan Carlos Baiano in the past, even though he didn’t have everything in his own way.
Espinosa is best known for his participation in the give-and-take war with John Reil Casemiro dressed up in the bantamweight welter in April 2019. Level in the scorecards that entered the 12th and final frame, 23-year-old Casemiro of Mexico soaked just over two minutes into the match.
With 21 early wins out of 25 victories (versus three defeats), Tijuana’s Espinoza can definitely dig. However, it can also be decorated. Espinosa and Roman are both strongest punches, but Daniel is the most polished boxer with his varied choice of shots. A tough, well-conditioned California native can come to points in an amusing junk.
Also on the card, Xavier Martinez, 16-0 (11) from Sacramento, California, will face Mexican veteran Juan Carlos Burgos in the supernatural 12-round featherweight.
The last time in October, 23-year-old Martinez was frightened by the dangerous Claudio Marrero, who sent him to the board twice. Martinez showed his determination and resolve by bouncing back with a unanimous ruling.
Burgos, a 33-year-old professional since 2004, has fought some adorable opponents, but his start is back in early 2010. Expect another loss to be added to Tijuanan’s ledger 34-4-2 (21) this weekend, with Martinez strikes The malevolence that earned him a victory in the decision.
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