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Adrien Broner vs. Omar Figueroa Jr. in the works

By Jim Dower: A fight between former world champions Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner and Omar Figueroa Jr. in the works for the first quarter of this year. Broner (33-3, 25 KOs) feels confident that he’s going to beat the former WBC lightweight champion Figueroa Jr. (27-0-1, 19 KOs) when that fight happens.

Broner wants the fight to take place at 140. Figueroa, 28, will need to drop some weight if the match is going to happen. Broner doesn’t have the size to be competing at 147, and it’s unlikely he’ll take the risk of moving up to that weight class again after his losses to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana. However, Broner’s last defeat came at 140 against Mikey Garcia on July 29. That fight showed that Broner is vulnerable even at light welterweight.

“Meet me at 140 I will stop yo [expletive] ass,” said Broner.

This fight looks to be another mistake by Broner and his management. Broner has been making some questionable decisions about his career in terms of match-making in the last 5 years. He shouldn’t have fought Marcos Maidana, Mikey Garcia and Shawn Porter. Those guys were all wrong for Broner. Now he’s about to make another mistake in talking on Figueroa Jr., who is a step up from Broner’s life and death match against Adrian Granados last year. Broner barely beat Granados by a 10 round split decision last February.

Figueroa Jr. last fought on July 15 last year in stopping Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero in the 3rd round in sending him into retirement. Guerrero was down 3 times in round 2, and 2 times in round 3. It was a total annihilation for Figueroa Jr. over a once good fighter. The way that Guerrero fought, he probably would have lost to Figueroa even in his prime. Guerrero didn’t seem to have any clue in how to fight on the inside. Guerrero was taking his eyes off of Figueroa in close, and getting nailed with hooks and uppercuts. Guerrero fought like it was the first time he’d faced someone that knew how to fight in close. Broner is going to need to make sure he keeps some distance between him and Figueroa Jr. if he knows what’s good for him.

”I guess now we’re waiting on Broner,” said Figueroa Jr. to Fighthub. “They haven’t sent [contracts]. They told me more or less who, at what weight, and more or less when. So that’s why I decided to come to California and start training. I was like ‘it doesn’t matter when, I don’t want to be surprised,’ you know, so I’d rather start training on time,” said Figueroa Jr.

This is a very good fight. The winner of the Broner-Figueroa Jr. match will have some nice opportunities for paydays at 140 and 147. I don’t think it’s a good fight for Broner. Figueroa Jr. has a high-volume offense that could bring out Broner’s clinching like we saw in his fight with Porter.
If this fight takes place at 140, Broner has a chance simply because the 28-year-old Fiueroa Jr. can no longer make 140 without draining himself. He barely makes 147. Figueroa Jr. has filled out and he probably should be fighting at 154 at this point in his career. If Figueroa Jr. makes the weight without being drained, he’ll be a different kind of nightmare for Broner than the one he experienced in his last fight against Mikey Garcia.

Broner was stealing with hard shots and a lot of boxing by Mikey. Figueroa Jr. will play it an unusual way. He’ll get right in Broner’s face and look to unload on him from close range for as long as the fight lasts. Broner is a single shot fighter, whereas Figueroa applies nonstop pressure in throwing countless punches. Figueroa is not as busy as he was when he was fighting at lightweight, but he’s close. There’s nobody at 140 or 147 that has the kind of work-rate that Figueroa possesses. Broner will need to sit down on his left hook for him to hurt Figueroa. In Broner’s fight with Porter, he knocked him down with his left hook in round 12. It wasn’t until that round where Broner had the confidence to unload with everything he had. If Broner fought like that the entire fight, he probably would have knocked Porter out or got knocked out trying.

”I see myself stopping him, yeah,” said Figueroa Jr.

Broner better be ready for a war against Figueroa Jr. This is not going to be a fight in which Broner is able to keep Figueroa off him by throwing his single shots while making a lot of grunting noises. Figueroa will walk through that stuff and unload on Broner will a never-ending storm of punches. If Broner doesn’t increase his work rate, he’ll either get knocked out or he’ll wind up clinching all night long like he did against Porter.

This is a bad style match-up for Broner. It’s like his management keep putting him in with the same style of fighter, hoping that he’ll eventually learn how to defeat that style. The problem is, Broner has not learned how to defeat fighters with a high-volume punch attack after all these years, and I don’t think he ever will. A loss to Figueroa Jr. will wreck Broner’s career. Figueroa Jr. is the type of guy that can make Broner look bad by knocking him out if he’s not careful. Broner hasn’t been knocked out yet. It would be bad for his career if he’s seen getting stopped by Figueroa Jr. Broner might as well retire like Guerrero if he gets knocked out by Figueroa.

Figueroa Jr. says he’s capable of boxing from the outside, but he prefers to slug with his opponents because it’s boring for him to box for an entire fight.

“So to me that feels more comfortable than — plus it’s just boring to me, having to jab and run and move,” said Figueroa.

Figueroa is a good fighter. It’s too bad he doesn’t stay active. He could go for in the sport if he fought 2 to 3 times per year. Figueroa has got a lot of talent. He would give guys like Danny Garcia, Jeff Horn and Keith Thurman a ton of problems.

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