By Keith Idec
Omar Figueroa Jr. has pulled out of his fight against Adrien Broner.
The undefeated Figueroa and Broner were supposed to square off April 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. According to an ESPN.com report Sunday, Figueroa withdrew from their 140-pound championship elimination match due to a shoulder injury sustained during training.
Broner reportedly will still fight April 21. Matchmakers for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions have begun the process of finding a suitable substitute for Figueroa. Showtime is supposed to televise that April 21 card, which also is slated to include a bout between Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) and Huge Centeno Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC) for the WBC interim middleweight championship.
In addition to his shoulder injury, Figueroa (27-0-1, 19 KOs) also has a legal situation he must address.
The Weslaco, Texas, native has a court date set for March 26 in Indio, California. The super lightweight contender will face a charge of driving under the influence, stemming from an arrest January 29 in Indian Wells, California.
Figueroa, 28, prepares for his fights in nearby Indio, where trainer Joel Diaz owns a gym.
Broner (33-3, 24 KOs, 1 NC) was arrested two weeks after Figueroa was busted for DUI. The four-division champion from Cincinnati, who has dealt with numerous legal issues in recent years, was arrested February 12 because a woman claimed Broner “inappropriately groped her” outside of a store in Lenox Square, an upscale mall in Atlanta.
Police charged Broner for misdemeanor sexual battery.
Broner and Figueroa were supposed to fight to become the WBC’s mandatory challenger at 140 pounds. Whether Broner’s next bout remains a WBC eliminator likely will depend on the opponent that replaces Figueroa.
Amir Imam (21-1, 18 KOs), of Albany, New York, and Jose Ramirez (21-0, 16 KOs), of Avenal, California, will meet March 17 in New York for the vacant WBC super lightweight title Terence Crawford relinquished when he moved up to the welterweight division last year.
The Imam-Ramirez winner will face whoever emerges from the Regis Prograis-Julius Indongo fight Friday night. Houston’s Prograis (20-0, 17 KOs) and Namibia’s Indongo (22-1, 11 KOs) will fight for the WBC interim 140-pound title in Deadwood, South Dakota (Showtime).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.