Stephen Fulton Vs. Brandon Figueroa II on February 25 in Minneapolis
Via Sam Volz: Stephen Fulton will advance to 126th to take on Brandon Figueroa in an interim WBC featherweight title rematch on Showtime on February 25 at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dan Rafael is reporting the news on sub-stack site WBC/WBO super bantamweight champion Fulton (21-0.8 KOs) advances to featherweight to face former WBA & WBC 122 lb champion Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KOs) in a rematch fight.
WBC title is expected to be vacated
The WBC featherweight belt is being released by the champion Rey Vargas 130 to face O’Shaquie Foster for the WBC super featherweight title next month on February 11 in San Antonio, Texas.
If Vargas wins, he will need to make a decision whether he wants to keep the 130 lb WBC belt or go back to 126 to continue defending his title in that weight class.
Returning to the 126 lb weight class means Vargas will have to defend his WBA featherweight belt against winner Fulton-Figuera 2.
Assuming Vargas vacated his WBC featherweight belt, the winner of the match between Fulton and Figueroa II will be elevated to the full champion. In other words, the WBC 126 lb interim title they’re contesting on February 25 will be upgraded to a full belt.
On November 27, Fulton defeated Figueroa by a 12th round majority decision in a unification match in Paradise, Nebraska. After that, Figueroa was not satisfied with the outcome of the fight.
Fulton will need to drop his 122 lb WBC belt
Nothing has been said yet as to whether Fulton will need to choose between keeping the 122 lb WBC title or the 126 lb belt if he defeats Figueroa for the interim belt on February 25. That means Fulton will be in a similar situation to Vargas, need to decide which division to hold the championship.
If Fulton misses out on his WBC super bantamweight belt, he’ll miss out on an exciting matchup with the superstar Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue.
On the plus side, Fulton will avoid a possible defeat by dropping the 122 lb WBC belt as he will face a very likely knockout loss to KO artist ‘Monster’ Inoue (24-0, 21 KO), who recently became the undisputed champion at bantamweight by stopping WBO champion Paul Butler last month on December 13 in Tokyo, Japan.
When it comes to featherweight, Fulton’s main immediate threats are Mark Magsayo, Mauricio Lara, Gary Russell Jr, Michael Conlan and Josh Warrington.