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Figueroa talks Estrada fight

OMAR “PANTERITA” FIGUEROA JR., WBC Lightweight World Champion

“It’s an honor to represent the people in my hometown. I fight for my brothers and the little kids in my city who feel like they have no hope to leave the city. I started fighting when I was six-years-old; success doesn’t come over night. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I want to show the people where I am from that it is possible to be successful and make a good life for yourself. I know that boxing has kept me out of trouble and in some ways saved my life.

“The reason why I moved back home and started training with my dad was mainly because I wanted to be close to my daughter. I missed her terribly when I wasn’t home.

“I wasn’t able to take advantage of the things that were presented to me by training with Joel Diaz because of my (sore) hands, so I decided to just stay home. If I wasn’t able to get the world-class sparring and training, then what was I doing being away from my family? Leaving Joel Diaz had nothing to do with him, I love him. It was solely a personal decision.

“My dad (trainer Omar Figueroa Sr.) grinds my gears, it can be a bit rocky. But with the knowledge I brought over from training with Joel Diaz it can make me grow as a boxer and my dad will grow as a trainer.

“Training is six days a week for three hours and then a jog. I can’t put on too much muscle because then I won’t be able to make weight. Training and dieting is very hard, but I am proud of myself because I actually kept up with it.

“People take care of me from where I am from. The love and support I feel in Texas makes me feel great.

“My hands will always be an issue. We will find out how long they last me on Saturday. I hope they last me long enough to get rid of my opponent. If not, then I will have to suck it up.

“I haven’t looked at any footage of Estrada but my father tells me that he is a straight forward kind of guy. He will get punched a lot and I have to be prepared for that. I am trained in a certain way that will give me the opportunity to exploit his weaknesses. I will focus a lot on the body like I always do.

“Fans can expect a great fight. They will get entertained and get their money’s worth and I will put on an excellent show for them.”

DANIEL ESTRADA, Leading Lightweight Contender

“It doesn’t bother me that I’m sort of the forgotten fighter on this card, but I came here to win my U.S. debut and in my mind I know I will win Saturday and then maybe more fans and media in America will recognize me more.

“I’ve watched a couple of Panterita’s fights and he’s a good, tough champion. That’s why I prepared so hard in Mexico for this. So I definitely respect him as a champion, but he’s not going to win.

“I’ve waited a year-and-a-half for this opportunity, and that gives me extra motivation. This is my chance and I know it. I train all the time and I’ve learned from one of the best fighters, Juan Manuel Marquez, who is my adviser and who will be in my corner Saturday.

“I don’t like to talk, but I am very confident. My camp went well. My conditioning is perfect. I’m hungry for that world title and can’t wait to face Panterita on Saturday night.”

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