Fulton May Be Looking At Featherweight For Figueroa Rematch Despite Inoue Emergence
One of the bigger match-ups in the lower divisions that has recently attracted the attention of boxing fans is the possibility of undisputed bantamweight champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue (24-0, 21KO) vs unified super bantamweight champ Stephen “Cool Boy” Fulton (21-0, 8KO). However, word on the streets is Fulton may be moving to the featherweight division instead in pursuit of an old foe in former champion Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa (23-1-1, 18KO)!
The rivalry between Fulton and Figueroa started when the former took the WBC super bantamweight title from the latter via majority decision in their November 2021 unification. The close bout had many fans split on who they thought actually won. In an interview with 3kingsboxing.com, Fulton dismissed and was displeased with the idea that he had to take most of the questioning from the media about a possible rematch. This because he felt since he won, everyone should be questioning Figueroa instead. In the same interview, he seemed more focused on facing the division’s other unified champion Murodjon “MJ” Akhmadaliev and mentioned if Inoue moved to super bantamweight, he would face him too.
Interestingly enough, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman announced during the November convention that Cool Boy petitioned to face Figueroa in a rematch!
“We received a petition to have #1 contender Figueroa to have a rematch with Fulton. We allowed Fulton to move up to featherweight to fight Brandon Figueroa for the WBC interim featherweight championship.”
DUCK OR NAH?
This sounds like Fulton is actually pursuing the rematch which is contrary to how he felt during the aforementioned interview. Furthermore, the timing is questionable. The possibility of Fulton vs Inoue has been a major topic since the latter announced he will be moving to super bantamweight. To spice things up more, the WBO recently granted Inoue the title of “Super Champion”. This gives him free-reign to move up to super bantamweight and battle Fulton for that version of the WBO title immediately.
On the flip side, Fulton has made it clear prior to the rumblings of a possible Inoue bout that he may be outgrowing the division. He also claimed that his main focus at super bantamweight was to face MJ. Cool Boy has expressed several times in getting the undisputed bout set with no results.
There are clearly arguments in favor of and against Fulton’s image if he indeed moves up to featherweight at the precise time Inoue moves to super bantamweight. However, as long as both men can make big match-ups without each other, boxing still wins.
By: EJ Williams