Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Fight of the Year Alert: Figueroa Outlasts Arakawa Over 12

By Jake Donovan

The San Antonio Spurs came one game short of an NBA championship last month, but the city of San Antonio can now lay claim to hosting quite possibly the best fight of 2013.

Omar Figueroa and Nihito Arakawa spent rounds inflicting inhuman amounts of pain upon the other Saturday evening at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. In the end, it was Figueroa who prevailed, scoring knockdowns en route to a 12-round unanimous decision.

Scores were 118-108 (twice) and 119-107 in favor of Figueroa. The scores didn't come close to justifying the amazing action that took place in the ring, but hardly put a damper on what serves as a time capsule moment for the sport.

The bout appeared to be a rout early on, as Figueroa fought the only way he knows how – merciless and with every intention to knock you the (heck) out. The free-swinging Texan fired at will at Arakawa’s chin and body virtually non-stop through the first two rounds, only to be slowed down by a knockdown when referee Laurence Cole ruled that Arakawa’s knee touched the canvas in round two.

Concerns over Arakawa’s health and welfare were raised going into the third, but the visiting Japanese southpaw dug deep and managed to punch his way back into contention. The brave stand trickled into a frenetically paced three minutes of warfare that will garner serious consideration when the best rounds of the year are discussed in late December.

An accidental headbutt produced a cut on the bridge of Figueroa’s nose, only adding to the heightened drama. The sight of his own blood had no effect on the Texan, further motivated by rousing chants of “Omar!” throughout the rabid crowd on hand.

Figueroa regained momentum midway through the fight, spending what seemed like three straight rounds unloading on a way-too-brave Arakawa. The American lightweight was determined to go home with a knockout, but ironically saw his best shot pre-empted by a knockdown in that was ruled in round eight when Cole claimed Arakawa was being held up only by the ropes. Replays didn’t seem to support the call, but provided the visitor with at least eight seconds of not taking punches.

The bombs continued to fly for the duration of the fight, but Figueroa realized by round ten that his best shot at a knockout disappeared. The unbeaten slugger complained to his corner that both of his hands were damaged.

Arakawa doesn't speak English, but his fighting instincts must have picked up on Figueroa's injuries. After absorbing brutal punishment round after the round, the southpaw somehow managed to find the strength to rally and even briefly hurt Figueroa in a tide-turning 11th round.

Both fighters were running on fumes by the 12th and final round, but still never stopped throwing punches. Figueroa, for a guy with two damaged hands from early in the fight, still managed to land 480 punches on the night, coming at a 51% connect rates.

Those stats paved the way for his best win to date as he improves to 22-0-1 (17KO). Arakawa suffers his second loss within his past three fights - both of which served as his lone bouts outside of his native Japan. His stock still skyrockets, however, even as his record dips to 24-3-1 (16KO).

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Hougigo on 07-29-2013

[QUOTE=MDPopescu;13601463]Omar had his both hands injured for the Abner Cotto fight. Now it happened again. Figueroa isn't 24 years of age yet... A proper trainer must show much more attention to such a young and talented fighter. Joel Diaz is…

Comment by nycsmooth on 07-29-2013

the way he fought Arakawa should have got the $10k bonus...4get the ko needed, he deserved & earned it & gave us fans something 2 remember 4 a long while...hope he'll recover well...

Comment by MDPopescu on 07-29-2013

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;13599180]You don't think Joel Diaz is a professional trainer?[/QUOTE] Omar had his both hands injured for the Abner Cotto fight. Now it happened again. Figueroa isn't 24 years of age yet... A proper trainer must show much more attention to…

Comment by SkillspayBills on 07-28-2013

Just watched this fight and I almost shed a tear. FOTY, ROTY anda fight that would make you reaffirm your love for this sport. Arakawa might possibly be the toughest mother****er I have ever seen.

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 07-28-2013

[QUOTE=MDPopescu;13598570]... Though, Omar Figueroa needs a professional trainer -- it's just stupid to brake off hands in the early rounds...[/QUOTE] You don't think Joel Diaz is a professional trainer?

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (49)
Top Headlines Canelo Admits He is "Obsessed" With Giving GGG His First Loss Oscar Valdez: I'm Not Afraid To Risk Record, I Want Gary Russell Jr. DiBella on Mayweather-McGregor: De La Hoya - Shut The F*** Up! Wilder's Manager Likes Idea of Return on Mayweather-McGregor Roach: Pacquiao Lost A lot of His Crowd Due To Lack of Knockouts Dmitry Bivol To Take Some Time Off, Return Planned For The Fall Canelo Paying No Mind to Being Underdog Against Golovkin Photos: Sammy Valentin Putting in Work For Giovani Santillan Boxer Killed By Masked Gunmen After Leaving Gym in Mexico City Ellerbe: Fight is 50-50, But Broner Needs A-Game To Beat Garcia Deontay Wilder Erupts, Tears Apart Hearn and Whyte Over Offer Hughie Fury To Stay Busy With July 8 Return at Copper Box Abel Sanchez Says Kovalev is Stubborn, Was Difficult To Train Golovkin: If I Finished Jacobs, Probably Don't Have Canelo Fight Now That Mayweather is Active Again, Canelo Wants a Rematch Flanagan vs. Verdejo With Tentative Date of September 16 Kautondokwa Is Eager to Face Billy Joe Saunders in September Inquest Finds That Davey Browne's Death Was Preventable Eubank Sr: I Know How To Beat Mayweather, I May Tell McGregor! Canelo Aims To Do a Real Number on GGG: No Rematch Needed Boxing: Not Dying. Again. Mikkel Kessler To Pass on WBSS Wild Card, Eyes Fall Ring Return De La Hoya Not Happy With "Disrespectful" Dana White Over Date Taking a Look at Some of Boxing's Greatest Upsets Milan Melindo To Make First Defense of IBF Belt on September 16 De La Hoya Promises Earlier Start Time for Canelo-Golovkin Abel Sanchez Not on Press Tour, Awaits Golovkin vs. Canelo GGG Not Worried About Mexicans Turning on Him in Canelo Bout Jose Zepeda Picks Up WBO Regional Belt With TKO of Zamudio Mikkel Kessler To Be Part of The World Boxing Super Series Golovkin: Ward-Kovalev Rematch Was Stopped 'A Little Bit Early' Cotto Not Worried About Mayweather-McGregor on Same Date Canelo, GGG on Mayweather-McGregor: Ours is a 'Real Fight!' Jeyvier Cintron, Serrano, Oquendo Part of New PRBBP Series McGregor's Boxing Coach Confident Mayweather Gets KO'd Nelson: Ward Gets Drilled By Joshua, He Should Face Bellew Luis Arias Makes His Statement, Seeks Late Summer Fight Yunier Dorticos Signs On For World Boxing Super Series Kell Brook: Looking To Enter Camp in Summer, Fight in 2017 Badou Jack: Mayweather Looking Sharp, He'll Destroy McGregor!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement