Miguel Flores vs Dat Nguyen, Darwin Price vs Williams Jr & Brandon Figueroa vs Chirino
BY KID HERSH
PBC Toe-to-Toe Tuesday prospect card on FS1 from Houston, at the Texas Silver Street Studios - which is the first time boxing has been at this venue. The Charlo brothers were commentating with Brian Custer for a nice changeup which I really like - it is a great idea by PBC to have more fighters rotating as commentary. First up was Brandon Figueroa (10-0, 7KO's) vs Raul Chirino (10-4, 5KO's). Referee was Laurence Cole. Brandon is all action just like his older brother Omar Figueroa and his mannerisms look just like him as well thus far in his career. In the first round Brandon got off to a fast start and was banging away to Chirino's body and clearly damaging him downstairs. He was getting caught at times but he would not be a Figueroa clans-member if he wasn't getting hit! Figueroa continued blasting away at his man in the second round, clearly having the heavier hands and doing the majority of damage. The damage mounted up in the third round as Chirino was bleeding heavily and went down twice from body shots. Figueroa was absolutely destroying his body but also hitting him with heavy uppercuts on the inside when Chirino was trying to hold. Chirino showed that he is extremely game though, battling back a couple times to last through the round and also jumping up at the count of 8/9 to take the time needed but yet clearly show he wanted to continue to fight. The fight did not last much longer though as in the very next round Figueroa backed up Chirino to the ropes and landed a hard right hook to the body that put him down. This time, he took the full count as he was bleeding and had landed his best punches to no avail. Great showing by Brandon here - he fights a lot like his older brother as mentioned earlier and that is going to take him a long ways combined with his top level sparring and training. He usually trains with his father but he spent a month with his older brother and trainer Joel Diaz for this fight.
Next up was Darwin Price (11-0, 6KO's) vs Hylon Williams Jr. (16-3-1, 3KO's). Referee was Gary Simons. In the first round Price was pumping his jab nonstop to keep Williams on the back foot and on defense. By the end of the first round he was unloading a right hand behind the jab. His punches were landing flush and Williams had a look on his face at the end of the round as if he was saying that he had no idea how to deal with Prices speed and accuracy. In the second round Williams was aggressive in spots but not landing anything since Price is just super sharp tonight. He is bigger, stronger, faster, and just "on". He was landing not just the jab but check hooks and right hands of all variety of straight/cross/overhand. Price was all over Williams - not even giving him a minute to think let alone breathing room. Price continued his total domination through the coming rounds via his jab and excellent reflexes. Williams just couldn't get started and by the end of the fifth round was showing signs of wear and tear with swelling around his eyes. For his part he was still giving a good effort though it should be noted. Darwin has great stamina and supreme focus in the ring - he looks like the type of fighter that comes in with nervous energy that focused but typically that cannot be sustained through the entirety of a fight. I think Price can do just that; he is in amazing physical conditioning to hold this type of focus and reflexes without waning a bit. Price won the well deserved shutout decision in great fashion. He got everything but the stoppage.
Main event time featuring Miguel Flores (21-0, 9KO's) vs Dat Nguyen (19-3, 6KO's). Referee was Laurence Cole. In the first round Flores was using his range to land shots on Nguyen, who was looking as rusty as you would expect him to be. In the second round Nguyen came alive and was pushing Flores into the ropes. Flores looked disturbed by his work rate and aggression and while he was landing punches he was having to work overtime to keep Nguyen off of him. At the end of the round Nguyen landed some overhand punches a la Marcos Maidana that looked like they momentarily stunned Flores. In the third round it was fought on mostly even terms, with Nguyen following Flores around the ring instead of cutting it off and Flores picking his spots but still clearly having trouble with Nguyen's aggression. The rounds were changing hands back and forth, with the fourth likely going to Nguyen off of effective aggression and the fifth going to Flores off of work rate and defense. Then suddenly the fight was over in the sixth round when Dat backed Flores into the ropes and landed a combination that put him down. Flores rose but was still hurt and Dat is in amazing shape so he burst with punches until Cole stepped in and stopped the fight. I thought the stoppage was a bit premature but I am not going to argue it was "terrible" - just a bit premature. Huge, huge win here that could be considered for upset of the year.