Though Luis Nery is, without a doubt, one of the best junior featherweights in the world, there are a few disconcerting thoughts about him as he prepares to fight Brandon Figueroa. And the boxing world wonders whether Figueroa, in the biggest fight of his life, can exploit potential Nery weaknesses and take his 122-pound world title. Here’s everything you need to know about Brandon Figueroa vs. Luis Nery, including the odds, their records and a prediction on who will win.
Nery is coming of a so-so performance against Aaron Alameda last September (and he’s had trouble on the scales before, as well), and though he’s still the betting favorite against the prospect-turned-contender Figueroa, Nery’s stock isn’t quite as high as it was in 2019. But that hasn’t changed his mental state.
“My mentality is simple: It’s either me or him,” Nery said. “I don’t get in the ring thinking of getting to the final bell and potentially losing because of the judges. I am not leaving anything in the hands of the judges. I am going to be aggressive and I will be myself. I plan to win fighting in my style.”
If he fights in his normally aggressive, stalking style, that could fit in well with Figueroa, who throws an endless supply of punches despite the fact that, at 5-foot-9, he could probably be successful jabbing and pot-shotting from the outside. For Saturday, though, Nery predicted an “all-out war from the first round on,” and that sounds good to Figueroa.
“Nery is going to learn a lot about me on Saturday night,” Figueroa said. “My size will definitely help me. I feel like he hasn’t fought a guy this big, this strong and he’s going to find out on Saturday night.
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Nery’s title is on the line, but another big payday for the fight would come in the form of Stephen Fulton Jr. in September. The winner of Saturday’s fight will meet Fulton for his 122-pound title on Showtime to unify two of the belts at junior featherweight (the other two are held by Murodjon Akhmadaliev).
“I’m only focused on Brandon Figueroa,” Nery said. “After that fight, I’ll be ready for Stephen Fulton, Jr. Once I beat him too, he can tell me how my power feels at this weight.”
Here’s more info on the Brandon Figueroa vs. Luis Nery showdown that U.S. viewers can watch on Showtime beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
Brandon Figueroa vs. Luis Nery odds
I was a little surprised at how big a betting favorite Nery was when the first odds emerged. When the opening odds came out on Monday, Nery was a -400 favorite with Figueroa at +275. But then this happened Tuesday night.
As of this writing, Nery is -285 at Bet 365 and Figueroa is +215 (at BetOnline.ag, Nery is -260 and Figueroa is +200). I think Nery will win, and Figueroa’s money line probably isn’t tempting enough to take. I don’t know if I’d wager on Nery’s -285, but I would take him at +125 to score the KO/TKO on Figueroa. For what it’s worth, if you do want to bet on Figueroa, I’d take him to win via decision at +550.
Brandon Figueroa vs. Luis Nery records
The only blemish on Figueroa’s record came when he had a draw vs. Julio Ceja in 2019. Otherwise, Figueroa (21-0-1, 16 KOs) has been perfect. He has some solid victories against Oscar Escandon and Moises Flores, but he’s never faced anybody as elite as Nery. In his last fight, Figueroa won a secondary title by knocking out Damien Vazquez.
Before his last fight, Nery (31-0, 24 KOs) was on an 11-fight knockout streak, and that included stopping former world titlists Juan Carlos Payano, McJoe Arroyo and Shinsuke Yamanaka twice. That streak ended last September when Alameda took him the full 12 rounds, but Nery expects to restart the streak on Saturday.
“A lot has been different in this training camp. I am sparring against opponents that are very similar to Figueroa’s style. I am running more often. I am eating right. I am preparing in a very conscious manner,” Nery said. “My knockout streak came to an end because I wasn’t fighting in my style. I am being more myself now like I was during my knockout streak.”
Brandon Figueroa vs. Luis Nery prediction
This is a tough to figure out since Figueroa has never faced a fighter the caliber of Nery, and I think people have soured a little on Nery because of the Alameda fight when perhaps it was only an anomaly. This could be an exciting fight, and I think Nery gradually will wear down Figueroa in the later rounds. I wouldn’t be surprised for Figueroa to pull out the win, especially because he has size (and possibly strength) advantages. But for now, I’ll say Nery by stoppage in the 10th round.