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Brandon Figueroa demonstrated again on Saturday that determination can take you a long way.

Figueroa attacked WBC 122-pound titleholder Luis Nery relentlessly in a close, give-and-take fight until a single left to the tiring champion’s ribs ended the fight in the sixth round, giving the winner his first major titles at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.

The victory sets up a title-unification showdown with WBO beltholder Stephen Fulton in September.

“It feels amazing,” said Figueroa, who also holds a secondary title. “This is a dream … since I was 7 and now I’m living it. I know everyone doubted me but I’m here with the two belts. This is all hard work and dedication.”

Nery (31-1, 24 KOs) fought well for most of the fight, jabbing, moving at times, and getting the better of brutal exchanges when he and Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) stood toe-to-toe. He did particularly good body work.

Brandon Figueroa celebrates after stopping Luis Nery to win the WBC 122-pound title Saturday in Carson, Calif. Esther Lin / Showtime

The judges had the fight even after six rounds, 59-55 for Nery, 58-56 for Figueroa and 57-57. Boxing Junkie had Nery ahead 58-56.

However, Figueroa, known for his conditioning and punch output, began to wear Nery down by the fifth or sixth round. Figueroa said beforehand that he was too big and strong for Nery, who was fighting for only the second time as a full-fledged 122-pounder. He might’ve been right.

Figueroa landed many of his most-telling shots in the first few minutes of the final round before connecting on his biggest one, the left to the ribs that put Nery onto his hands and knees after a delayed reaction.

The Mexican, in obvious pain, failed – or chose not to – beat the count. He was still holding his side as he sat in his dressing room afterward.

The official time of the stoppage was 2:18 of Round 7.

“That was the plan, to break him,” Figueroa said. “[Trainer] Joel Diaz told me to put pressure on him, he wasn’t going to last. … I knew he was getting tired. He was trying to box me. The pressure was getting to him.

“I saw him breathing heavy. The body shots were getting to him. And my team said, ‘Let’s go get him.’”

Figueroa will go home to Weslaco, Texas, to enjoy his new status as world champion but he’ll be back in the gym soon to prepare for an even bigger fight against the unbeaten Fulton, who was at the fight on Saturday.

The two have been on one another’s radar for some time. And now it’s going to happen.

“Man, we’ve been waiting for a while for this fight,” Figueroa said. “… I knew I had to get past Nery and I did that. Everything in time. Now we’ll have a hell of a show in September.

“I envisioned beating Nery and envisioned fighting Stephen Fulton. Let’s get at it.”

That works for Fulton.

“It was a hell of a performance,” Fulton said of Figueroa. “I predicted it. Like I said, Nery is a 118-pounder. He needs to say down there. It’s my time now. I’ve been waiting for this moment.”

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