By Steve Kim

Former WBC lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa (26-0-1, 18 KOs) was dormant in 2016 but he's now back in training and he's returned to Indio, California to work with Joel Diaz.

For the last few years, Figueroa has been plagued with injuries - specifically to his hands, which has caused big gaps in activity.

He had hand issues in 2014, which caused him to be inactive from August 2014 to May 2015 - when he won a twelve round decision over Ricky Burns. He then appeared in the ring in December of the same year with a decision over Antonio DeMarco and has been inactive since.

Figueroa had been away from Diaz's side, but now they are back together after the boxer's team reached out to get the relationship back on track. Diaz says his fighter took some time off to deal with personal issues, but now he's back training hard and ready to fight.

"Omar's back, he's been here for a week," said the trainer, late last week. Diaz told that representatives of Al Haymon got in touch with him and asked if he would still be interested in working with Figueroa, who soon reached out to him. Diaz made it clear that he had no ill-will towards the 27-year old native of Weslaco, Texas.

"He rented a house for five months and he's already in camp,"said Diaz of Figueroa.

"He says he just wanted to take the whole year off. He had some personal issues and he just wanted to take one year off and say,'You know what, I'm going to take care of everything I have to take care of and then I'll be back.'

"So he did it and now he says they gave him a couple of dates, end of May, beginning of June."

Steve Kim is the news editor for