Extra Points: A.C. fighter Justin Figueroa ready for next challenge
Popular Atlantic City boxer Justin Figueroa is getting back in the ring Saturday night.
He doesn’t plan on being there for long, however.
Figueroa (1-0, 1 KO), an Atlantic City lifeguard and Holy Spirit High School graduate, will face Philadelphia’s Jeremiah Kendrick (1-2, 1 KO)in a four-round bout at Showboat Hotel Atlantic City.
The 23-year-old is hoping his second fight will follow the same pattern as his first one. The former football and wrestling standout at Holy Spirit made his pro boxing debut on Aug. 20, notching a first-round knockout over Tavaris Smith (0-6) at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Ballroom. He celebrated by doing “the Worm” across the ring while a capacity crowd cheered.
He’s expecting to do the dance again on Saturday.
“‘The Worm’ has been my favorite breakdance since I was a kid and you’ll definitely see it again on Saturday,” Figueroa said. “I’ve seen some tapes of his fights and the one thing I learned is that (Kendrick) is not on my level “I’m expecting to take this victory by knockout. He’s very reactive and if does that on Saturday, it will be very bad for him.”
And very good for the fans who will be attending the bout at Showboat’s Carousel Room.
Figueroa said he sold over $10,000 worth of tickets for the card. Most of the seats went to family, friends, fellow members of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol and some former teammates at Holy Spirit.
“That would really touch my heart to see some of my Holy Spirit coaches and teammates there,” the 2017 Spartans graduate said. “I’m hoping to put on a show for them.”
Figueroa-Kendrick is among eight bouts on the card, which is being promoted by Millville-based Rising Star Promotions.
In the eight-round main event, undefeated junior-featherweight Emmanuel Rodriguez (12-0, 7 KOs) will take on Manuel Manzo (8-7-3, 4 KOs), of Fresno, California. Atlantic City junior-bantamweight Gerald Fundenberg (0-1) returns from a four-year hiatus to fight Englewood’s Jay Liano, who will be making is pro debut.
Doors to the Carousel Room open at 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Tickets are priced from $60 to $200 and available (cash only) at the door.
Saturday’s card will be the seventh held in Atlantic City this year, the most since 2018, when there were 10 shows. Number eight will take place at Showboat on December 17, when world-rated middleweight Thomas LaManna (30-4-1, 12 KOs) is scheduled to be in the main event. Atlantic City super-middleweight DeCarlo Perez (18-6-1, 6 KOs) will also be on the card.