Omar Figueroa – “I am down” June fight with Errol Spence Jr.
By Jaime Ortega: The welterweight Omar Figueroa Jr. who will be facing Adrien Broner April 21 said in an interview that he wants to fight Errol Spence Jr. on June of 2018.
Figueroa has called out Spence repetitively in the past weeks, and even said Spence needs “redemption” to avenge his loss during the 2007 golden gloves amateur competition where Figueroa stole his chance to qualify in the Olympics. Figueroa said he also “beat up Spence!” in quite a calm but arrogant manner.
It will be an absolute all-out war and treat to the boxing fans if Figueroa and
Spence decide to fight in June. Both boxers present similar qualities in their game and both enjoy to apply intense pressure to their opponents in order to breakdown their body.
Figueroa said in an interview, that his style is devastating to boxers like “Vassyl Lomachenko”. “My style is Vasyl Lomachenko’s Kryptonite, disruption of order still is his weakness and that is what we do best.”
Figueroa has a solid chin, and he has survived tough head to head battles with underrated boxers like Antonio DeMarco, Daniel Estrada and Nihito Arakawa. Figueroa style of boxing is called “phone booth” because he rushes inside to brawl in head to head combat with his opponent using chaotic tactics. Using the switch hitting style with both hands catches elite boxers in the blind side. His opponents have no other solution than to fight his game to survive his constant onslaughts or simply move a lot. “My kryptonite is boxers who move a lot in the ring, but it still resumes in an ugly boxing fight.”
While Spence uses a better tactical approach to get inside while using the jab as bait to rush inside the body and unleash vicious hooks, Figueroa uses low angle uppercuts with verily no dimension to create devastating power punches as observed with the Robert Guerrero fight.
We haven’t seen Spence fight high intensity pressure boxers just yet, so it is hard to know how he would manage someone pushing him around the ring against his will. Shawn Porter would be a great test for Spence because Porter forces constant intensity on his opponents ultimately breaking down their rhythm, transforming into a mixture of chaos and survival as Figueroa points out.
Figueroa would not be easy for Spence under any circumstances. Unlike Porter, Figueroa charges his punches with a lot more energy at very close distance with sneaky ‘under the radar’ attacks. He is not just a brawler, he is a specialist at close distance. Spence would have to move his legs a lot to keep Figueroa checked and use his power jab to dismantle his attack until he finally slows down.
This is the type of boxing fight were boxing fans would see Spence back-off for the first time and not be the aggressor – Kell Brook at times showed flashes of what it takes to push back Spence off his game. Figueroa is a big welterweight like Spence. Spence has a two inch advantage in height, but the advantage of reach is for Figueroa, he tops Errol only by one inch. Also Figueroa has wider shoulders than Spence, so he can reap more power with less movement. Spence has the boxing style to use his jab to offset Figueroa’s onslaughts.
However, it is not easy to stop someone who salivates close distance wars, and doesn’t mind punishment. To beat Spence, one cannot just box or try to outsmart him. If Keith Thurman fights Spence, the key would be to get dirty and smirk dust out at close proximity by forcing a war – outside of that scenario, no one beats Spence.
Spence’s defense is doubtful at times and against Figueroa he would need to really move his head. Figueroa style is less concerned about defense as his primary goal is to force himself inside making him a kamikaze in the ring.
Spence would have to survive Figueroa and would be forced to fight at very close gaps and manage his space to time counters in an ugly bout full of excitement. Figueroa is definitely not afraid to call out Spence, he doesn’t respect Spence’s latest accomplishments, and doesn’t fear him one bit. Let’s hope we see the fight on June.