WBC/WBO boxing world super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton (USA, 28) will face former WBA/WBC bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa (USA, 26) on February 25, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Several international media reported.
Naoya Inoue (Photo: Hiroo Finito/Aflo Yamaguchi)
Possibility of promotion to the regular championship game
The two fought in the WBC/WBO world bantamweight championship unification match held in November 2001, and the WBO champion Fulton won by decision and was able to unify the throne. The rematch for the first time in about a year and 3 months is expected to be an interim WBC World Featherweight championship match, one class higher.
Rey Vargas (Mexico, 32), who currently holds the WBC World Featherweight Championship, will take part in the WBC World Super Featherweight Championship on February 11th. It is unclear when Vargas will relinquish the featherweight title, but if he does, Fulton vs. Figueroa will likely be the usual title fight.
The super bantamweight title held by Fulton is being targeted by Naoya Inoue (Ohashi, 29), the unified champion of the world’s four bantamweight divisions, and Fulton’s tendencies are attracting attention.
If the February fight is promoted to the WBC World Featherweight Title Match and Fulton wins Figueroa, he could remain in the featherweight division as world champion. If Fulton moves up in weight class, he will relinquish the WBC and WBO world bantamweight titles, leaving two titles vacant.
If he leaves the throne, he might lose the big match with Inoue…
On January 11, BOCSIO NEWS 24 (WEB version), media specializing in boxing in the United States, reported that Fulton will have an interim WBC World Flyweight championship match against Figueroa in February, and the prospects on for a future super bantamweight front. .
The media explained that if Fulton wins the featherweight title and gives up the super bantamweight title, he will lose the big match with Inoue, who can expect attractive fight money.
On the other hand, it was pointed out that Fulton could avoid the possibility of defeat by giving up the super bantamweight title. He said that if he stayed in the super bantamweight division and faced Inoue, there was a very high chance that he would lose by KO to the KO artist “Monster”. Fulton has a record of 21 wins (8 KO) to date.
In December 2010, Inoue faced WBO world bantamweight champion Paul Butler (UK, 34), and won 11 times by KO to fulfill his long-held desire to unify the four teams. In the future, he has stated that he will move up the class and aim for the world in the super bantamweight class.