In an all-action crossroads clash, former world champions Omar “Panterita” Figueroa Jr. and Sergey Lipinets will battle in a 12-round WBC Super Lightweight title eliminator headlining live on SHOWTIME this Saturday, August 20 from Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. in a Premier Boxing Champions Event.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also feature top 140-pounders Alberto Puello and Batyr Akhmedov squaring off for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight World Championship in the co-main event and WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Roger Gutierrez defending his title against unbeaten Hector Garcia. In the telecast opener, Brandun Lee, one of the sport’s most exciting prospects and biggest punchers, will take on Will Madera in a 10-round super lightweight bout opening a loaded four-fight telecast that begins live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Additionally, SHOWTIME SPORTS will offer live streaming coverage of unbeaten Cuban heavyweight standout Lenier Peró battling Joel Caudle in an eight-round bout and undefeated middleweight Fiodor Czerkaszyn taking on Gilbert Venegas Jr. in an eight-round duel via the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page prior to the start of the televised quadrupleheader. The streaming show begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and will be called by SHOBOX® analyst and MORNING KOMBAT host Brian Campbell alongside former unified welterweight world champion Keith “One Time” Thurman joining as guest analyst.
Four-division world champion Adrien Broner pulled out of the previously scheduled match against Figueroa, citing personal issues in advance of the fight.
"Man, I'm going [through] a lot at this moment in my life, but I ain't gonna give up. I set some more goals and I finish what I started but sorry to say this, but I'm not fighting August 20," Broner said in an Instagram post. “Sorry to all my fans but Mental Health is real and I’m not about to play inside the ring … So, I have to step back and overcome this obstacle before I go put my life on the line inside the square circle again. I know I’m far from being finished with the sport SEE Y’ALL SOON.’’
The 32-year-old Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KOs) is from a fighting family along with his younger brother Brandon, a former super bantamweight world champion. Figueroa won the WBC Lightweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Nihito Arakawa in a 2013 “Fight of the Year” and successfully defended the title two times before moving up to super lightweight in 2015. Figueroa has also fought at welterweight, earning action-packed victories over Robert Guerrero, John Molina Jr., and Antonio DeMarco. He’ll move back down to super lightweight on August 20 after back-to-back defeats against Yordenis Ugas and Abel Ramos. His match against Lipinets is a classic crossroads fight.
"This is going to be a great fight against Lipinets and I hope he's ready for what I'm bringing," said Figueroa. "I've made changes in my life and I'm excited to see the kind of fighter that I am now. I'm going to show what I can do now that I have a clear head and a clear path ahead of me. With the opponent change I'm even more ready to take all the frustrations and anger that have built up in camp and bring it into the ring on Saturday and come out victorious."
Lipinets (16-2-1, 12 KOs) has been in training and was already scheduled to appear on the August 20 card before being elevated as a replacement for Broner in the main event. Born in Martuk, Kazakhstan and now living in Woodland Hills, Calif., Lipinets is no stranger to the main stage, having tangled with champions including Lamont Peterson and Mikey Garcia. The 33-year-old defeated Akhiro Kondo for the IBF super lightweight title in 2017 and lost the title to Garcia by unanimous decision in 2018. He is coming off a loss to Jaron Ennis in a welterweight title in April 2021.
“We’ve actually been in camp for almost three months getting ready for whoever they put in front of me,” said Lipinets. “We’ve been training with no particular opponent in mind. There have been a few different guys that have said they wanted to fight me. So, we’ve been sparring with and preparing for all types of styles. And now we get this great news that I get to fight Figueroa this Saturday. I can’t wait to show everyone that I’m still a force to be reckoned with at 140 pounds.”