Brandon Figueroa stops game Carlos Castro in six rounds

SAN ANTONIO – Carlos Castro came to fight, but Brandon Figueroa knocked the wind out of his sails.

Figueroa dropped Castro in the third round en route to a sixth-round stoppage Saturday in a WBC featherweight title eliminator. Referee Mark Nelson stopped the action 2:11 into the frame after Figueroa overwhelmed Castro and pounded him as he laid against the ropes. The bout was the chief support to Mark Magsayo's first defense of the WBC featherweight title against mandatory challenger Rey Vargas.

“Carlos Castro has a lot of heart,” Figueroa said after the fight. “He’s a proven fighter in the ring and I knew it would be hard to get him out of there.”

Judge Tim Cheatham had Castro leading 48-46 entering the sixth rund, while Jesse Reyes and David Sutherland had Figueroa ahead.

Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KOs) bounced back in his first fight since losing his WBC junior featherweight title to Stephen Fulton last November 27 in Las Vegas. The 25-year-old, of Weslaco, Texas, decided to move up to featherweight, but is hopeful he can get a rematch with Fulton in his new weight class.

Figueroa's triumphant performance moved him into position to get a mandatory shot at the Magsayo-Vargas winner.

The 28-year-old Castro (27-2, 12 KOs) lost for the second time in a row. Former WBC 122-pound titlist Luis Nery (31-1, 24 KOs) beat Castro by split decision in their 10-rounder February 5 in Las Vegas.

Like his Figueroa, Castro also moved up in weight, but it didn't pan out for the Phoenix, Arizona native.

Despite getting dropped in the third from a left hook combination to the head and the body, Castro connected with enough shots to keep Figueroa at bay -- at least temporarily.

“I know Carlos Castro is a crafty fighter,” Figueroa said. “I had to be patient. I knew how to put the pressure on him. After the barrage of punches [in the third round], I got tired and had to step back a little bit. I knew that he was hurt, and I had him on the ropes, and I had to put more pressure on him.”

But he wasn't crafty enough as Figueroa dissected Castro with a concise body attack that eventually left him against the ropes, and with nowhere to go.

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