Omar Figueroa Jr. quickly secured a new opponent Monday morning in the aftermath of Adrien Broner’s abrupt withdrawal from their fight scheduled for Saturday night.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Figueroa will square off against Sergey Lipinets in a “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event in Hollywood, Florida. Lipinets (16-2-1, 12 KOs) was readily available to step in and face Figueroa because he was scheduled to oppose Paraguay’s Carlos Manuel Portillo (22-4, 17 KOs) in an eight-round bout on the non-televised portion of the Broner-Figueroa undercard at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger first reported that Lipinets will fight Figueroa.
Kazakhstan’s Lipinets has not fought since he suffered a one-sided, sixth-round knockout loss to welterweight contender Jaron Ennis (29-0, 27 KOs, 1 NC) in April 2021 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The 33-year-old Lipinets, a former IBF junior welterweight champion, later announced that he moved back down to the 140-pound division following five fights as a welterweight.
Broner was supposed to end an 18-month layoff by facing Figueroa, but the former four-division champion revealed through his Instagram account Monday morning that mental health struggles forced him to pull out of their 12-round, 140-pound bout. Cincinnati’s Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) has fought just three times in the past five years and not since he out-pointed Puerto Rico’s Jovanie Santiago (14-2-1, 10 KOs) in a 12-round main event Showtime televised in February 2021 from Mohegan Sun Arena.
Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KOs) will end a long layoff of his own when he battles Lipinets. The Weslaco, Texas native hasn’t boxed since welterweight contender Abel Ramos (27-5-2, 21 KOs) stopped him after six rounds in a May 2021 bout that took place at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Figueroa, 32, has been open about his own mental health issues during the buildup toward his fight Saturday night. He, too, has moved down from welterweight to junior welterweight for his return to the ring.
The rest of Showtime’s four-fight broadcast remains intact for Saturday night.
The Dominican Republic’s Albert Puello (20-0, 10 KOs) and Uzbekistan’s Batyr Akhmedov (9-1, 8 KOs) are scheduled to fight for the vacant WBA 140-pound championship in the 12-round co-feature of a telecast set to begin at 8 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. PT. In the bout before Puello meets Akhmedov, Venezuela’s Roger Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KOs) will defend his WBA world 130-pound championship against the Dominican Republic’s Hector Luis Garcia (15-0, 10 KOs) in a 12-rounder.
The telecast will open with a 10-round, 143-pound bout between Brandun Lee (25-0, 22 KOs), of La Quinta, California, and Will Madera (17-1-3, 10 KOs), of Albany, New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.