Gary Russell Jr and Omar Figueroa get victories in Texas

By Javi Chirinos / Photos: Adrian Hernandez: In the main event, Omar “La Panterita” Figueroa overcame a hand injury to defeat Eric Cruz in a eight round unanimous decision. The judges’ scorecards read 79-73 and 78-74 (twice), all in favor of the 21 year old fighter. Figueroa and Cruz (11-7-3, 11 KOs) put on a great show for the fans in attendance at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas.

Many stunning power shots were exchanged by both fighters, and at times became a dirty fight causing the referee to warn both fighters on numerous occasions. “He felt he had to do those dirty tricks to win the fight,” stated Figueroa. The fighter from Weslaco, TX, injured his hand during the fight but prevailed in order to put on a show for his fans. “I need to go to the locker room and check my hand, but there was no way I was going to stop the fight. I came to put on a show for my fans, and by the roars I heard, they enjoyed my performance,” added Figueroa.

Figueroa improves his record to 12-0-1 with 9 knock-outs. The Texas native has been training since January and hopes to take a break before entering the ring again. “I’ve been working hard for a long time and I really need to take a break. I want to see what the doctors tell me about my hand. I will get back to training once my hand heals properly,” said Figueroa.

In the co-main event, top featherweight prospect and former Olympian Gary Russell Jr. made short work of Mexican fighter Antonio Meza. The pugilist from Capitol Heights, MD, put Meza on the canvas with 45 seconds remaining in the 3rd round for the first of three knockdowns. Meza (24-10-1, 16 KOs) was overmatched from the opening bell and never could match Russell Jr.’s speed.

The featherweight prospect started the 4th round determined the end the fight. Russell Jr. put Meza down for the second time with a powerful straight shot. Meza managed to get up but would not last too long. After sustaining the eight count by the referee, Meza took a flurry of punches by Russell Jr. that put him on the canvas for a 3rd and final time. The referee called a halt to the fight and allowed Russell Jr. to make good on his statement.

“I guaranteed everyone that I would knock him out and that’s exactly what I was looking to do,” mentioned Russell Jr.

Gary Russell Jr. looks to get back in the gym to train for his next fight.

“I will sit down with my team and see what’s next for Gary Russell Jr.” Gary Russell Jr. improves his unblemished record to 16-0, 10 KOs.

In other action, Jermell Charlo improved to 15-0 with 7 KOs with a unanimous decision over Larry Smith (9-4, 6 KOs), Juan Reyna won his pro debut by split decision over Angel Hernandez, and Oscar Tovar improved his record to 2-0, 1 KO with a first round knockout of Robert Perez.

Article posted on 18.06.2011

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