The Gato’s Meow: Figueroa Wins Again

Bronx, NY based jr. welterweight prospect/contender Francisco “El Gato” Figueroa scored a wide unanimous decision over Mexican unknown Luis Rodriguez last night on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Fights.¬† I am not exactly sure where I stand on Figueroa.¬† He fights with a lot of swagger and bravado but in my opinion has not been tested inside the ring to earn that right.¬† A quick glance of Figueroa’s resume shows no one of note other then maybe Ubaldo Hernandez who despite his unimpressive record has faced some stern competition.¬† What I do like about El Gato is his hand speed and athleticism which is quite impressive given his late start in boxing.¬† Figueroa is also a great self promoter who has built a loyal fanbase within the Puerto Rican populace in the five boroughs of New York as well as in Florida where he trains.¬† A self taught computer nerd, Figueroa’s website and Myspace page are constantly updated and provide fans great content such as a behind the scenes look at his training for this past fight.¬† What I am not too high on with Figueroa is his lack of fundamental technique and those you know me understand that nothing irks me more then a talented fighter who fails to master the fundamentals.¬† I blame this on Roy Jones Jr. who got away with it for so long and made such a name for himself that many fighters coming up chose to emulate his style.¬† The problem with that is the minute you lose a fraction of your speed you are in trouble.¬† See Jones KO loses to Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson for prime examples.¬† Do I see Figueroa as the future of the 140 lbs. division?¬† No.¬† While I think that the waters are shallow in the junior welterweight division¬†I just can’t see Figueroa beating the likes of a Paul Malignaggi or a Ricky Hatton.¬† Hell, I can’t see him beating the likes of a Tim Bradley or Steve Forbes.¬† Perhaps with some more seasoning under the tutelage of famed trainer Buddy McGirt and a step up in competition my perception will change but that all remains to be seen.¬†

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.