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Adrien Broner vs. Omar Figueroa Jr. possible for April or May

Adrien Broner

By Sean Jones: Adrien ‘The Problem” Broner and former WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa Jr. could be facing each other in April or May of next year on Showtime, according to RingTV. Like Broner’s last fight, a lopsided 12 round decision loss to Mikey Garcia, it’ll be televised on Showtime.

Figueroa Jr. (27-0-1, 19 KOs) is not a good match-up for Broner. Figueroa Jr. is known for being a nonstop puncher, who is devastating on the inside with his uppercuts and hooks to the body. If you were to create a fighter that is all wrong for Broner, you would have someone just like Figueroa Jr. He’s got the perfect style to defeat Broner and beat him badly. Broner will need to come up with a good game plan for him to dodge a defeat against Figueroa Jr.

Figueroa Jr. recently took former 2-division world champion Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero apart in stopping him in the 3rd round on July 15 in Uniondale, New York. Figueroa Jr. knocked Guerrero down 3 times in the fight before it was stopped. Guerrero had never faced anyone with the inside fighting skills of Figueroa Jr., and he was badly exposed in that fight. Guerrero never made any adjustments to Figueroa’s game by trying to keep the action on the outside rather than in close.

Figueroa Jr. held the WBC lightweight title in 2014. He moved up in weight to welterweight because he couldn’t make lightweight, but his career has slowed down in the last 3 years for lack of fights. It’s unclear how long Figueroa Jr. will be able to make 147. He looked drained in making the weight for the Guerrero fight.

At 147, Figueroa Jr. is a good contender level fighter, but not someone that would be a threat to beating the top guys like Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman. Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia would be a problem for Figueroa Jr. due to their power. Nevertheless, Figueroa Jr. will be a problem for Broner.

A defeat for Broner against Figueroa Jr. could be unofficially the end of his pro boxing career as a major player. Broner could still stick around the sport if he loses to Figueroa Jr., but he would be just a name and not one of the relevant guys. In Broner’s last 5 fights, he’s lost twice in defeats to Mikey Garcia and Shawn Porter. You can argue strongly that Broner also deserved a loss to Adrian Granados earlier this year. That fight took place at welterweight. If you count that as a defeat for Broner as well, his record is 2-3 in his last 5 fights. We’re talking journeyman here.

It’s too bad Broner’s career has imploded, because he was a good fighter at super featherweight and lightweight, but he’s not the same guy since he moved up to 140 and 147. Broner lacks the power and more importantly the work rate to compete against the best at light welterweight and welterweight.

This shapes up to be an interesting fight similar to Broner’s war with Adrian Granados last February in Cincinnati, Ohio. Broner just barely won that fight by a 10 round split decision. Figueroa Jr. is a bigger puncher than Granados with just as high a work rate. This match could result in the 28-year-old Broner suffering yet another loss to his once promising career.

Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) lost his last fight to Mikey Garcia by a 12 round unanimous decision on July 29, and he didn’t look good in losing that fight. Garcia was schooling Broner through the first 6 rounds of the contest before he let his foot off the accelerator and cruised in the last half of the fight. Mikey either coasted intentionally or gassed out. It’s unclear which of the two it was. It looked to me like Mikey coasted to avoid getting hit with one of Broner’s desperate Hail Mary shots.

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