The opening bout of Showtime’s Austin Trout vs. Saul Alvarez fight-card ended about as soon as it began. In a match-up that featured a pair of prospects, lightweights Omar Figueroa (21-0, 17 knockouts) and Abner Cotto (16-0-1, 7 knockouts) engaged in what many believed would serve as a solid test for the young Figueroa. Well, they were wrong.
As the opening bell sounded, both fighter’s came out aggressive and began trading shots in the middle of the ring. With both fighters trading blow for blow, it was quickly apparent that Figueroa was the much more talented and technically proficient fighter. Unleashing a quick flurry of punches, Figueroa managed to drop the lesser-known Cotto and seemed poised to add another name to his list of first-round KO victims. Abner answered the referee’s count, and it was then that Omar decided to further showcase his wide-array of skills.
While remaining consistent in his punch output, Figueroa showcased an effortless switching between the southpaw and orthodox stance. The fact that he was able to switch so seamlessly while tagging Cotto with shots to the head and the body, only made the outcome more impressive. After battering Cotto around the ring, Figueroa trapped him along the ropes and dropped Cotto once again but this time with a left-hook to the body. Cotto crumbled to the canvas and was unable to answer the referee’s ten-count.
With the fight ending in only one round, there is no way one can effectively gauge where Figueroa stands now as far as his placement in the lightweight division. Even with this level of uncertainty, one thing is for sure, the young fighter is most definitely ready for a step up in competition. In regards to Abner Cotto’s future, there’s not much that can really be said. Hopefully with a professional or personal reinvention, Cotto can fight off the relative obscurity that seems to overcome many young professionals. Whether or not this happens to Cotto, Figueroa has proved that he’s the one that all eyes should be upon.