Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner will return to the ring next month on August 20th after a 16-month layoff to take on Omar Figueroa Jr in a headliner on Showtime at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
If Broner loses this fight, which is entirely possible given his last performance, it could be for him. Showtime is still televising Broner’s fights despite a lack of quality wins, but losing to Figueroa might signal the end.
On paper, Figueroa is the better fighter and will win this one, as Broner is looking old for a 32-year-old, and he hasn’t shined since his win over Gavin Rees in 2013.
Although Broner has won fights since then, he’s slowed slow, one-paced, and not the guy he once was earlier in his career,
Broner’s opponent, 32-year-old former WBC lightweight champion Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KOs), is coming off a two-fight losing streak in defeats against Abel Ramos and Yordenis Ugas. It’s no shock that they beat Figueroa, but he doesn’t belong at 147, which significantly affected those defeats.
Figueroa was known for his crowd-pleasing style of fighting in the zenith of his career in 2013-2014, when he captured the WBC lightweight title and had thrilling victories over Abner Cotto, Nihito Arakawa, Jerry Belmontes, Daniel Estrada, and Antonio DeMarco.
The Texas native Figueroa’s once-promising career stagnated after he stopped fighting as much and moved up to 147, a weight class where he lacks the power to compete against the big dogs.
Figueroa defeated John Molina Jr. in 2017 and Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero in 2019, but he fell apart when he stepped it up against relevant fighters Abel Ramos & Yordenis Ugas at 147.
The promoters for the Broner vs. Figueroa event are placing it on the same date as the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk II rematch.
In some ways, Figueroa has the same problems that Broner has. They’re both fighting out of their best weight classes, and they’re now in their early 30s, and it’s not realistic for them to drop back down to 135.
The 32-year-old former four-division world champion Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) has been on a slow downward slide since his loss to Marcos Maidana in December 2013.
Earlier that year, in June 2013, Broner had moved up from 135 to unseat WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi by a questionable 12-round split decision.
The way Broner performed against Malignaggi, it was clear that he wasn’t cut out to be fighting at 147 because his power didn’t carry up with him from 135, and he lacked a high work rate to give him an edge.
Los excampeones mundiales Adrien Broner y Omar Figueroa se enfrentarán el 20 de agosto en Hollywood, Florida 🇺🇸
— ESPN KnockOut (@ESPNKnockOut) July 7, 2022
On the undercard of Broner vs. Figueroa, light welterweight contenders Alberto Puello and Batyr Akhmedov will square off for the recently vacated WBA “super” title at 140.
This is the belt that former undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor recently vacated.
Also, on the Broner-Figueroa card, WBA super featherweight champion Roger Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KOs) defends against Hector Luis Garcia (15-0, 10 KOs), who is coming off a big victory over Chris Colbert.