Ricky Burns vs. Omar Figueroa on May 9th in San Antonio, Texas
By Scott Gilfoid: In a battle for former champions, Ricky Burns (37-4-1, 11 KOs) will be facing former WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa (24-0-1, 18 KOs) on May 9th in San Antonio, Texas. There won’t be any world titles on the line, as both guys are out of the loop for the time being.
Figueroa is the WBC lightweight Champion in Recess after he suffered an injury in his recent life and death struggle against Daniel Estrada last August. Figueroa got the victory in stopping Estrada in the 9th, but Figueroa suffered a really bad cut over his left eye in the fight.
The cut has needed a lot of time to heal, and it’s obviously still healing at this time. Before that fight, Figueroa had struggled to defeat Jerry Belmontes and Nihito Arakawa in his other two title defenses of his World Boxing Council 135 pound title.
The fights showed pretty clearly that Figueroa’s time as the WBC champion was going to be limited, as he looked very, very poor in each of those fights. Yes, Figueroa beat all three of those guys, but he looked mediocre and not like someone who was good enough to hold down his WBC title for any length of time.
It’s perhaps fortunate that Figueroa suffered an injury against Estrada, because he wasn’t going to be able to keep his title if he had faced a guy like Jorge Linares or Sergio Thompson.
For Burns, this is probably the end of the line for him if he gets beaten by Figueroa. It would be Burns third defeat in his last four fights, and a pretty clear sign that his time as a major player is pretty much over. Burns was beaten by Dejan Zlaticanin and Terence Crawford in 2014.
Further, you can make an argument that Burns was beaten soundly by Raymundo Beltran in their fight in September 2013, in a fight that was scored a 12 round draw in Glasgow, Scotland.
That has to be one of the worst scored fights I’ve ever seen before. In another fight in 2013, Burns took a real beating in his fight against Jose Gonzalez. Burns won the fight, but he was totally dominated and took a pounding until Gonzalez gassed out.
In an experiment, Burns recently moved up to the light welterweight division to beat a guy named Alexandre Lepelley by an 8 round decision. In this weight class, Burns looked flabby and weak and definitely not cut out to fight at this weight.
After struggling to beat the 3rd tier Lepelley, Burns did the right thing in moving back down to lightweight. However, he still is faced with the same dire circumstances as he was after his losses to Crawford and Zlaticanin.
Just where does Burns go in this division? He doesn’t have the talent or the power to compete with any of the top guys in this weight class. Unlike other people, I don’t see it as a case of Burns being a shot fighter or anything like that.
I just believe that Burns was matched very, very carefully for years with him being put in with guys that he could beat like Kevin Mitchell. He also was given some controversial decisions in fights against Michael Katsidis and Beltran. So when Burns finally did start facing better opposition, he was exposed again and again.
I really can’t see Burns doing well at all against Figueroa, even though I see Figueroa as little more than a former paper champion.