By Thomas Gerbasi
NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New York - UNIONDALE - After a nearly 20-month layoff, former lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa was immediately put in the middle of a brawl by veteran former multi-division champ Robert Guerrero Saturday night, but the Texas power puncher responded well, going on to drop Guerrero five times en route to a third-round stoppage victory in their welterweight main event at Nassau Coliseum.
"We knew that it was going to be tough to accomplish but I had obviously trained to get the knockout," Figueroa said. "With my hands finally being healthy, we knew that it was actually possible."
Guerrero got down to business immediately and had a solid first round as he kept Figueroa from getting enough distance to punch while he mauled his foe on the inside.
Figueroa got even in the second round as he stunned Guerrero with a right hand and kept them coming. Finally, a left uppercut put Guerrero on the deck, and it looked like the tide had turned. But as soon as Guerrero got up, he let loose with both hands, thrilling the crowd. But Figueroa is no stranger to slugfests, and he roared back, dropping Guerrero twice more before the end of the round.
After a look from the ringside doctor, Guerrero roared out of his corner for round three, throwing bombs at Figueroa before pinning him in the corner. Figueroa responded with another knockdown, and he shook his head as he walked to a neutral corner, wondering why the fight wasn't stopped. But after Guerrero got back to his feet, Figueroa closed the show with a body shot that put "The Ghost? down for the fifth time. This time, referee Ron Lipton had seen enough. The official time was 1:34.
With the win, Figueroa moves to 27-0-1 with 19 KOs; Guerrero falls to 33-6-1 with 18 KOs.
"I've been working since January so I'm going to take some time off," Figueroa said. "Then I'm going to get back into camp to get back to 140 pounds. I want to be back in the ring by the end of the year."
Long Island's Seanie Monaghan waited a long time for his big fight on the world stage, but it didn't pan out the way he hoped, as former Olympian Marcus Browne scored a spectacular second-round TKO that continued to raise the Staten Islander's stock in the light heavyweight division.
Browne was sharp from the opening bell, and after establishing his jab, he shot in a flush left hand that put Monaghan down with less than a minute gone in the round. Monaghan rose, but the die was cast. A low blow by Browne gave Monaghan a momentary reprieve, but in the second, Browne stepped on the gas and finished the bout, with a barrage of hard, unanswered shots bringing in referee Steve Willis to stop the fight 40 seconds into the second frame.
Browne moves to 20-0 with 15 KOs; Monaghan falls to 28-1 with 17 KOs.