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 Photos: Crawford vs. Molina - Face To Face at Final Presser Video: Hearn Talks Crazy Week - Shannon Briggs Crashes Interview! Whyte vs. Chisora is STILL ON - But No British Title! Andy Ruiz: Everyone's Underestimating Me, But I'm In Great Shape Jose Pedraza: Gervonta Davis Will Leave Ring With First Career Loss Photos: Anthony Joshua, Eric Molina - Face To Face at Final Presser Lee Haskins Suffers Leg Injury, Out Of Dec 31 IBF Defence Cueller vs. Mares Undercard - Facebook Stream By Showtime Photos: Erik Skoglund, Sven Fornling, Mikaela Lauren on Weight Molina Not Worried About Judging in Crawford's Hometown Stiverne Says Goal is 'Fake Champion' Wilder, Tabs Parker To Win BBBofC To Hold Meeting, Discuss Whyte-Chisora Altercation Roach: Cuellar Said He Was Never Learning Anything At Garcia's Gym Chavez's Trainer: If Julio is Well Prepared - He Beats Golovkin! Frank Warren Gives Thoughts on Billy Joe Saunders' Poor Form Molina Reacts To David Haye's Prediction: He is Nothing in America! Jeff Horn, Lenny Zappavigna Lead Aussie Charge This Weekend Enrico Koelling vs. Ryno Liebenberg Rematch on February 4 Joshua-Molina: Conor Benn To Face Steven Backhouse Amir Khan Hangs Back as Family Dispute Erupts on Social Media UFC's White: 50 Cent Told Me Mayweather Really Wants McGregor Anthony Joshua: I Put Away Molina, I'll Fulfill My Destiny in 2017 Felix Diaz Ready For Stay Busy Fight With Morales in Santa Domingo Jason Quigley Aims To Finish Off 2016 With a Bang Mikey Garcia: If Top Rank Makes Fair Deal, I'll Face Lomachenko Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Moises Flores Purse Bid on December 19 Parker's Trainer Sees Ruiz Clash as Heavyweight Fight of The Year Knockout Season 3 Slated For April 2017 Premiere Kirkland's Manager: Wolfe Will Make Difference for Cotto Fight Video: John Molina Feels Very Ready To Stun Terence Crawford Photos: Roach vs. Garcia, Breadman vs. Shields - Go Face To Face Video: Terence Crawford Aims To Impress in Molina Showdown Photos: Joseph Parker, Andy Ruiz - Face To Face at Final Presser Chavez Jr: I Want To Prove That I'm Ready For Elite Boxing Again Photos: Terence Crawford, John Molina Hold Open Workouts Chocolatito's Manager Gives Update on Trainer Situation Arum Paid Creighton Step-Aside Money to Set Crawford-Molina Golovkin-Jacobs Deal Won’t Be Done Today; 12/19 Purse Bid Looms Video: Luis Ortiz Talks Allen Fight, Joshua, Wilder, Scott, Matchroom British Board Will Take Action Over Chisora-Whyte Presser Chaos
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement