HOLLYWOOD, Florida – Sergey Lipinets made the most of the unforeseen chance he received on only five days’ notice.

The former IBF junior welterweight champion stopped Omar Figueroa Jr. after the eighth round Saturday night in their 12-round, 140-pound main event at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Lipinets, who replaced Adrien Broner on Monday morning, was too strong for Figueroa, who showed a lot of heart in a fight Showtime televised.

Lipinets punished the tough Figueroa toward the end of the eighth round, which prompted Figueroa’s father and trainer, Omar Figueroa Sr., to instruct referee Christopher Young to stop the bout. Figueroa (28-3-1, 19 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, has lost three straight fights and told Showtime's Jim Gray during his post-fight interview that he will retire.

Kazakhstan’s Lipinets (17-2-1, 13 KOs), who dropped Figueroa in the second round, got a much-needed victory that he hopes rejuvenates his career within the junior welterweight division.

“It was the right call to stop that fight,” Lipinets told a small group of reporters. “Right from the get-go he caught a couple of straight shots and he was getting hurt. I mean, gradually he was getting hurt more and more. And the body shot did him in, more or less, because he was just, you know, not even responding anymore at the end of the last round, before they stopped it. He was really getting a tough beating, something that, you know, I wouldn’t wish on anybody.” 

Lipinets, 33, and Figueroa, 32, each ended long layoffs Saturday night.

Lipinets hadn’t boxed since April 2021, when Philadelphia’s Jaron Ennis (29-0, 27 KOs, 1 NC) dropped him twice and knocked him out in the sixth round of a 12-round welterweight fight Showtime televised from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Welterweight contender Abel Ramos (27-5-2, 21 KOs) defeated Figueroa by technical knockout following six one-sided rounds in May 2021 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Figueroa and Lipinets both dropped down from the welterweight limit of 147 pounds to the junior welterweight maximum of 140 for this fight. Lipinets was supposed to fight on the non-televised portion of the undercard, but he happily stepped in for Cincinnati’s Broner, who withdrew to address his mental health issues.

Lipinets landed numerous head shots toward the end of the eighth round, which caused Figueroa’s father to stop what had become a one-sided fight.

Figueroa took another flush right hand from Lipinets early in the seventh round. Lipinets provided the pressure for most of the seventh round, when he landed flush punches to Figueroa’s head and body, including back-to-back right hands to Figueroa’s head as the round wound down.

Lipinets clipped Figueroa with a right hand that knocked him off balance barely 15 seconds into the sixth round. He followed up with a right hand that kept Figueroa against the ropes.

A left hook by Lipinets turned Figueroa’s head later in the sixth round.

Figueroa tried to smother Lipinets at the start of the fifth round, but Lipinets established some distance and drilled Figueroa with a right hand with 2:17 to go in it. Figueroa slipped most of Lipinets’ punches for the remainder of the fifth round.

Lipinets caught Figueroa with multiple right hands while working inside toward the end of the fourth round. That didn’t deter Figueroa from coming forward,

Figueroa and Lipinets slugged it out on the inside for most of the third round, when both boxers landed their fair share of punches. Lipinets blasted Figueroa with a right hand that connected with just over 30 seconds to go in the third round, but Figueroa took it well.

Lipinets landed a right uppercut with just under 1:20 to go in the second round. A few seconds later, his right hand to the side of Figueroa’s head made him stumble and use his left glove to hold himself up, which counted as a knockdown.

Figueroa motioned to his corner that he was OK to continue and he withstood Lipinets’ attempt to knock him out for the remainder of the second round.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.