Both guys were fighting heavier than they should, and neither of them looked great, but Omar Figueroa and Antonio DeMarco put on an entertaining match of former lightweight titleholders fighting as junior middleweights tonight on NBC, with Figueroa working his way to a close but clear decision win.
Figueroa (26-0-1, 18 KO) weighed in on Friday at 151 pounds with DeMarco (31-6-1, 23 KO) at 149 for a fight that was originally supposed to be a junior welterweight bout. The limit was renegotiated earlier this week because Figueroa wasn't going to make weight, and that's going to be something to keep an eye on with him, and has been a problem in the past.
Figueroa started fast here, winning the first six rounds on our card before fading down the stretch, as DeMarco picked up some momentum and savagely rocked Figueroa around a handful of times, too. Our final score wound up 115-113 for Figueroa, meaning that DeMarco won six of the last seven rounds on our card. Official scores were 115-113, 116-112, and 115-113, all fair.
Chris Arreola won a disputed split decision over Travis Kauffman, with scores of 114-113 across the board, two for Arreola and one for Kauffman. PBC's Steve Farhood had it 114-113 for Kauffman, as did BLH, but this was a close fight with understandable scores from all three judges. Arreola (37-4-1, 31 KO) was dropped in the third round and seemed sluggish in the middle rounds, but did close strong and arguably won all of the last four rounds in this fight.
Arreola, 34, was around 236 pounds for this fight, almost 30 under what he was for his fight with Curtis Harper in March, but didn't look dramatically better with less weight. He's just a faded heavyweight who has taken a lot of punishment, and whatever his weight, that's what matters most now. A potential fight with Deontay Wilder may still loom, but Arreola is only a more serious challenger than the likes of Eric Molina or Johann Duhaupas now in terms of name recognition.
On the undercard, Victor Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KO) returned from a year layoff and a broken wrist to stop Gilberto Sanchez Leon (33-14-2, 13 KO) in the eighth round. Ortiz, 28, looked pretty good physically, but this was no real test for him. Just a tune-up comeback fight, but he passed that test with trainer Joel Diaz, and the two looked like a good match for one another. Ortiz, remarkably, is still quite young, just entering what could be his prime, and is so bizarre you can't count him out.