A win by Brandon Figueroa on Saturday will place every major junior featherweight title in the same gym.

It’s not the conflict of sharing a training facility with unified WBA/IBF titlist Murodjon ‘MJ’ Akhmadaliev (10-0, 7KOs) that would prevent an undisputed championship showdown, however; rather the question of Figueroa continuing to make the 122-pound limit.

Figueroa (22-0-1, 17KOs) is still pressed with the daunting task of having to get past Stephen Fulton (19-0, 8KOs) before arriving at that point. The two collide this Saturday, with Figueroa’s WBC junior featherweight title and Fulton’s WBO strap on the line in their Showtime main event which will air live from Park MGM in Las Vegas.

“I don’t know about how that will work out down the line,” Figueroa noted to BoxingScene.com ahead of this weekend’s unification bout. “This fight might be my last fight at 122. I might move up to 126.”

A potential move up in weight for Figueroa is hardly a surprising development. At 5’8”, the 24-year-old from Weslaco, Texas generally enjoys a significant size advantage over his competition and still growing into his frame. Figueroa turned pro just above the bantamweight limit more than six years ago as a teenager, moving up to the 122-pound division for good barely a year later where he has since remained.

The road to the title stage began in 2019, when Figueroa picked up a WBA interim belt which was eventually upgraded to the WBA “World” title. It is still the secondary version to the WBA “Super” belt that his gym mate Akhmadaliev—both of whom train out of Joel Diaz’s facility in Indio, California—btained along with the IBF belt in a January 2020 split decision win over Danny Roman.

Figueroa claimed his first true title this past May, overpowering unbeaten Luis Nery to wrest the WBC junior featherweight strap. The bout was made with the agreement that the winner would next face Philadelphia’s Fulton, who won the WBO belt in a twelve-round, unanimous decision over then-unbeaten titlist Angelo Leo in January.

Figueroa-Fulton was originally scheduled for this past September, only for Figueroa to test positive for Covid. The fight was pushed back by more than two months, fittingly eight days after Akhmadaliev lodged his second successful defense in a points win over late replacement Jose Velasquez.

The chances of a straight away undisputed championship were never realistic. Akhmadaliev remains on the hook to honor his WBA mandatory title defense, while the IBF has a scheduled title eliminator on December 11. A win by Fulton—who is a healthy betting favorite—could keep alive that dream,  whereas a victory by Figueroa could see him hold the belts long enough for he and Akhmadaliev to pose with all four belts on display before moving on to the next step in his career.   

“Definitely, I’m going to leave everything here at 122. Then, move on to 126 and start my legacy,” notes Figueroa.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox