Remember back in the first week of June when Adrien Broner said he’d be fighting Omar Figueroa on July 23rd in Chicago, and then we got a month of radio silence? We’ve got an update. Various sources report that the pair are now set to square off at Hollywood, Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on August 20th.
Julius Julianis brings word that the Showtime card will also feature Alberto Puello vs Batyr Akhmedov for the vacant WBA “super” title at 140, which Keith Idec confirms while adding that the rescheduled super featherweight title fight between Roger Gutierrez and Hector Garcia will land on it as well.
The main event is several years, criminal charges, and weight classes too late. Broner (34-4-1, 24 KO) hasn’t turned in an impressive performance since stopping the undersized Ashley Theophane in 2016, a fight he actually missed weight for. Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KO), meanwhile, looked absolutely shot to hell in last year’s one-sided loss to Abel Ramos.
But hey, maybe they’re the exact right levels of over-the-hill to make for a competitive fight.
Puello (20-0, 10 KO) vs. Akhmedov (9-1, 8 KO) has arguably a dumber story behind it, having come about when the WBA rang up its top contenders to give an elevator pitch for why they deserved a title shot. Akhmedov’s ranked sixth, but that didn’t stop them. While it’s nice to see Akhmedov get another crack at gold after arguably getting hosed against Mario Barrios three years back, the whole situation just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Gutierrez’s (26-3-1, 20 KO) fight with Garcia (15-0, 10 KO) has a simpler backstory. Garcia got the title shot by replacing Gutierrez against Chris Colbert and running roughshod over Chris Colbert in February, then waited until the last minute to refuse to travel to Gutierrez’s native Venezuela. Still deeply interested in how that whole situation came to be, but I suppose I’ll just have to accept it as one of life’s unsolved mysteries.