Omar Figueroa defeats Nihito Arakawa in an Instant Classic

In case you guys missed it last night in San Antonio's AT & T Center on the Andre Berto-Jesus Soto Karrass undercard, Omar Figueroa retained his WBC Interim Lightweight title defeating Japan's Nihito Arakawa in an amazing 12 round bloody war.



The bout is already being called "Fight of the Year" and drawing comparisons past gems in the likes of Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward and Chico Corrales-Jose Luis Castillo.

Figueroa retained his title winning a unanimous decision with scores of 118-109, 119-107, and 118-109; But don't let the scorecards fuel you, this was a very close and competitive fight. Figueroa scored 2 knockdowns in the fight, once in the epic 3rd round which is in the running for "Round of the Year" as well as round 8 in which Arakawa was saved by the ropes; however it was ruled a knockdown due to keeping Arakawa from hitting the canvas.

The bout had just about everything a great fight does, two brave warriors going toe-to-toe, a guy who just won't give up in Arakawa, and of course why not throw in an accidental headbutt causing a cut on Figueroa's nose to intensify the drama.

Arakawa's unwillingness to concede defeat was incredible, he took shot-after-shot and even went down twice but remained standing and even had Omar in some serious trouble.

Amazingly the combatants threw a combined 2,112 punches, with Figueroa landing an incredible 480-942 punches(51%!!!!) Arakawa threw 1170 punches.

Defiantly check out the fight on a Showtime replay, you won't regret it, it's a great fight.

Also in the main event, Andre Berto was TKO'd by the Gatekeeper himself Jesus-Soto Karrass in the 12th round. Once again, Berto attempted to implement the shoulder roll strategy, and once again it failed miserably. At some point in the fight, Berto seemed to re-aggravate a nagging shoulder injury in which gave him problems in the past(pulled out of the Victor Ortiz fight with the same injury.) The injury clearly effected Berto's abilities and worsened when Berto slipped and landed on the shoulder further damaging it.

When the slippage occurred it really looked like Berto was gonna quit because he was in a tremendous amount of pain, but Berto does as he always does and fought on. He put up a valiant effort even knocking Karrass down with a legal blow(as much as Jesus wants to bitch, that was clearly on the belt line,) but it wasn't enough.

Jesus landed a lot of big shots and it took it's toll on Berto who was knocked down with a flush shot in the 12th and got up but the ref called a halt in the action as Andre was a bit wobbly(bit premature, he deserved a chance to fight on, but Jesus deserved it.)

For Jesus it's two big wins in a row over Berto and Aydin, so this means he could get a big fight, but to me he's pretty much reached his ceiling here, the top guys would have a field day with him. Hopefully he accepts his role as a gatekeeper as he's always been and takes on some other guys in the likes of Zab Judah, Josesito Lopez, and Victor Ortiz who all need tests, and Jesus it just what they need.

On the other hand, Berto now lost 3 of his last 4, and with a re-aggravated shoulder injury and overall disappointing fight, it may be time for him to maybe retire, if not re-dedicate himself, because whatever he is doing is simply not working. Hopefully he will be back, he's a great great fighter with great heart, but he's just not top level anymore unfortunately. He's kinda in Paul Williams land.

Maybe he ought to try out MMA? What's the worst that can happen, his Boxing career is clearly on the fritz, but maybe I'm too frantic here, he's still a top Welterweight in the sport, I hope as a fan we see him back at some point.

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