Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa are ready to deliver on a promised Fight of the Year contender.
The pair of unbeaten junior featherweight titlists both made weight for their WBA “World” and WBC title unification clash, which headlines a Showtime tripleheader Saturday evening from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Figueroa (21-0-1, 16KOs) weighed 121.2 pounds, while Tijuana’s Nery (31-0, 24KOs) tipped the scale at 122 pounds.
Both boxers posted wins in separate bouts as part of a six-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View event last September 26 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The 24-year-old Figueroa—who hails from Weslaco, Texas—scored a 10th round knockout of Damien Vazquez to defend his WBA “World” junior featherweight title. Nery became a two-division titlist that same evening, outpointing countryman Aaron Alameda over 12 rounds to win the WBC junior featherweight title after having briefly held the sanctioning body’s bantamweight belt before losing it at the scale in 2018.
The winner will head to a three-belt unification showdown with WBO 122-pound champion Stephen Fulton (19-0, 8KOs) atop a September 11 card to also air on Showtime.
Another intriguing junior featherweight bout comes in the evening’s chief support. Former unified WBA/IBF titlist Danny Roman looks to pick up his second straight win post-title reign as he faces Tijuana’s Ricardo Espinoza (25-3-1, 21KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout.
Los Angeles’ Roman (28-3-1, 10KOs) hit the scale at a fight-ready 122 pounds for a rare home game. The fight is his first since a 12-round decision win over former bantamweight titlist Juan Carlos Payano, which also came on the aforementioned September 26 Showtime PPV event.
Espinoza weighed 121.6 pounds as he looks to extend his current two-fight win streak. The hard-hitting Mexican contender last appeared in this venue in April 2019, suffering a 12th round stoppage loss to John Riel Casimero in their WBO interim bantamweight title fight before moving up in weight.
Opening the telecast, Xavier Martinez and Juan Carlos Burgos collide in a 10-round junior lightweight contest.
Sacramento’s Martinez (16-0, 11KOs)—who awaits a due title shot—weighed 131.6 pounds for the bout, while Tijuana’s Burgos (34-4-2, 21KOs)—a three-time title challenger and late replacement for countryman Abraham Montoya—checked in at 131.8 pounds.
All three bouts will air live on Showtime, beginning 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
Below are the weights for the three non-televised bouts.
Jose Valenzuela (7-0, 4KOs), Seattle, 136.6 pounds vs. Nelson Hampton (7-3, 4KOs), Edinburg, Texas, 137 pounds—8 rounds, lightweight
Gabriela Fundora (pro debut), Coachella, California, 113.8 pounds vs. Jazmin Valverde Medina (2-1, 2KOs), Calexico, California, 112.6 pounds—4 rounds, junior bantamweight
Justin Cardona (4-0, 2KOs), Salinas, California, 133.6 pounds vs. James De Herrera (4-6, 3KOs), College Station, Texas, 133.6 pounds—4 rounds, lightweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox