Omar Figueroa had the kind of ghastly cut from a head butt where he could’ve begged out and let the bout go to the scorecards and win that way. His corner wanted that Saturday night on Showtime. Figueroa wanted the opposite. He stormed out of the corner and stopped Daniel Estrada in the very next round. That is some manly shit.
It wasn’t at all an easy fight for the lightweight contender, as most people on Twitter scored the first two rounds one apiece. But it was more the kind of fight in which Figueroa (above right) can excel than the one just before, Jerry Belmontes, where Belmontes boxed his ears off. Estrada (left) traded with him, unlike Belmontes, and when he kept it at greater distance — as he started doing in the 5th and 6th rounds — his jab set up his offense and kept Figueroa from getting in close where he likes to work. When Figueroa got a chance to get close, he hammered Estrada pretty good in those exchanges, possibly breaking his nose.
In the sensational 8th, Figueroa was back in control before a head clash opened the aforementioned ghastly cut, along the inside of his left eyebrow. It momentarily put Figueroa on the defensive, backing up, even. But he rallied to close the round and steal it back. Between rounds, the referee and doctor debated halting it. They probably should’ve.
But it’s a good thing they didn’t. Figueroa came out, landed a big right hand that put Estrada on his ass and then went full throttle once he got up, forcing the referee to step in. The action-packed 8th round, the drama over the cut and Figueroa’s bad ass knockout win made for an awesome sequence.
The thing that’s too bad is that Figueroa said afterward that he didn’t think he could stay at lightweight physically, which means no Jorge Linares. Figueroa can probably make good action fights at 140, too, if matched appropriately. His limitations as a fighter are clear. His telegenic boxing style is, too.
(The bout aired on the undercard of the Showtime triple header headlined by Shawn Porter vs. Kell Brook.)
(Photo by Showtime’s Esther Lin, via)