Those attending the Premier Boxing Champions card in Hidalgo, Texas, were treated to some absorbing match ups. Saturday’s fight night featured some of the sport’s biggest draws, featuring Omar Figueroa, Ricky Burns, Jamie McDonnell, Tomoki Kameda, and Austin Trout.
Figueroa vs Burns: The Fight
In the competitive headliner, Figueroa and Burns showed their grit, were effective at range, and also knew how to mix it up inside – though things did become a little messy at times. We felt the three judges scores were a little too wide at 117-109 and 116-110 twice, all for Figueroa. But given the close nature of some rounds, it’s hardly controversial stuff.
Figueroa was highly aggressive, always on the front foot, and threw a high volume of punches. But it wasn’t all one-way traffic. Burns should receive credit for his performance, and for taking on such a tough challenge in spite of his recent growing defeats in the sport.
It seems the rising undefeated Figueroa is not quite the full product yet. If he was in with harder, smarter hitters like Danny Garcia and Terence Crawford – 140’s finest – he would’ve been in very deep waters. It is only the Texan’s first fight in the Junior Welterweight division, however, so we’ll give him a break.
Figueroa vs Burns delivered back-and-forth action to the relief of boxing fans following Mayweather vs Pacquiao. Figueroa continued to look marketable and fierce, and bulks his unblemished record to 25 wins, 18 knockouts, 1 draw. Burns picks up another loss which have been cropping up since his defeat to Terence Crawford in 2014. The Scotsman falls to 37 wins, 11 knockouts, 5 losses, 1 draw.
Burns was deducted two points in the contest. One in the 8th, the other in the 11th round. Post fight, it’s hard to forget that Laurence Cole was there. Were the point deductions in fact necessary? BoxingBase.com is doubtful. The grabbing of Burn’s arms seemed unnecessary as a lot of the time neither fighter was significantly resting or locking arms.
Following the win, Figueroa’s boxing career will continue to flourish. He is, however, in a very tough division. Our guess is that his next two or so fights will be carefully chosen before he shares the ring with the division’s top-spot holders. He will certainly need to be sharper than he was tonight against opponents like Lamont Peterson. See Figueroa vs Burns Highlights.
Figueroa vs Burns: Undercard
Chief support of the night also delivered some entertaining action. Jamie McDonnell regained his feet following a third round knockdown courtesy of Tomoki Kameda’s right-hand. It was a peach of a shot from the Japanese native, but it didn’t stop McDonnell rallying to a Unanimous Decision. That victory was sealed by very close scores, however, with all three judges turning in 114-113.
The upset is the biggest win of Englishman McDonnell’s career. He retains his WBA title, extending his record to 26 wins, 12 knockouts, 2 losses, 1 draw. Kameda, part of the successful Kameda boxing family, now picks up his first loss, falling to 31 wins, 1 loss, 19 knockouts.
McDonnell will move on to big paydays at Bantamweight – perhaps substantial – especially since the bout was televised free on CBS. That’s large exposure to an American audience. And what for Kameda? Given the nature of the bout, the razor’s edge decision and knockdown, he won’t be in need of a tune-up bout to draw future crowds.
Austin Trout scored the only knockout of the evening, stopping Luis Galarza in their Junior Middleweight rematch. Referee Mark Calo-Oy saved Galarza in the closing seconds of the 7th round, building Trout’s record to 29 wins, 16 knockouts, 2 losses.
What did you think of Figueroa vs Burns and Saturday’s stacked card? Does Figueroa have what it takes to topple the Junior Welterweight’s finest? Were the scorecards fair to Burns? And what of Jamie McDonnell’s hard-fought victory over Kameda? Get commenting!
The BoxingBase.com writing staff provide worldwide boxing news, coverage and analysis – they can be contacted via email and social media.