Adrien Broner may have his return to action set for July 23 in Chicago, as Franciso A. Salazar is reporting via his Twitter that Broner will face Omar Figueroa Jr in a PBC main event on that date, with Broner seemingly confirming on Instagram.
Broner (34-4-1, 24 KO), who turns 33 on July 28, has seen his stock plummet the last few years, going 1-2-1 in his last four fights, and his win in early 2021 over Jovanie Santiago was a controversial decision. His win prior to that, in 2017 against Adrian Granados, was also controversial.
Just as troubling in another way is that Broner’s return against Santiago drew lousy numbers on Showtime, which was really the last thing he had going for him. Yeah, it was head-to-head with Berchelt-Valdez on ESPN, but even considering that, the numbers were really weak for a Broner fight.
Broner’s wider reputation among fans has become that he only fights when he needs the money, which matches up against Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KO), whose interest in fighting anymore has also been routinely questioned over the years, though when he fights he does come to fight and throw punches, which is not really the case for Broner.
Figueroa, 32, has lost his last two. He was dominated over 12 rounds by Yordenis Ugas in July 2019, and came back 22 months later to get absolutely thrashed by Abel Ramos, a fight that was mercifully stopped after six rounds. He was doing his best, but in that fight it became clear that he’s really not a welterweight. Figueroa couldn’t put a dent in Ramos.
That said, Broner has never really been a welterweight, either, at least as far as being at his best. So in many ways this is a well-matched fight! That’s the way to go about it.
It’s also a fight that was meant to happen in 2018, but Figueroa pulled out with an injury.
It’s also a rare notable event for Chicago, if that is where it winds up going. There are boxing fans in the Windy City, but it’s also expensive to run in the city itself and it’s not exactly New York or Los Angeles, let’s be honest. So if you’re a Chicago fight fan, hey, here’s a card of some stature for you.
In all sincerity, I don’t hate this fight at all. It’s maybe not the best Showtime main event if you don’t stop and think about what Showtime main events actually are most of the time (Benavidez-Lemieux, Garcia-other Benavidez, etc.), but it’s not a poorly-matched fight and who gets their hand raised will depend on what versions of both of these guys show up on the night, and then what the judges think they should do with the likely 12 rounds we get of Broner not throwing very much and Figueroa throwing but probably not landing a ton clean.