Preview: Broner vs Figueroa

Preview: Broner vs Figueroa

Of Brad Marchetti: On Saturday, August 20, welterweight contender Adrien Broner will return from an 18-month layoff to face top-30 veteran Omar Figueroa Jr. in a scrap that could make or break the careers of both fighters. Broner vs Figueroa betting odds for the 12-rounder from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida has the popular Broner instilled as a -200 betting favorite with 80 of the action on the favorite.

Figueroa, 28-2-1, 19 KOs, was waxed via Ko6 in his last fight against Abel Ramos and is in a must-win situation to stay relevant. Cocky Floyd Mayweather protégé Broner, 34-4-1, 24 KOs, has failed to live up to expectations as a professional, but was able to pick up a workmanlike decision win in his last outing against fringe contender Jovanie Santiago.

Adrien “The Problem” Broner’s biggest problem in his career has been within himself, can he put together another quality performance at the end of his career? Figueroa’s best wins have been against findable fighters who were usually above ground, can he figure out a smart veteran like Broner?

Brandon Figueroa – Profile

Strengths: “Panterita” is long-armed at 5’7 1/2″ with a 73″ reach. A durable guy who takes a good hit to the head. Well conditioned with a larger than average gas tank. His clumsy style and ever-changing movement make him difficult to time with a single punch. Throws a lot of leather and tries to impose his will on the opponents.

Tough in-fighter who can bulldoze guys who can’t fight in the kitchen. Uppercuts are his best weapon, using them like small axes at close range. Fights mostly straight, but can duel southpaw and fire punches from awkward angles. Experienced prizefighter who briefly held the WBC lightweight title for 2 defenses before moving up to jr. welterweight.

Weaknesses: Small for a welterweight without much punch for a top level boxer. Legendary trainer Angelo Dundee once said that “The smaller the movement, the better the movement” meaning that smaller defensive movements are better than big ones.

Figueroa’s style is filled with large, unnecessary defensive moves that limit his ability to stand in position and score. The exaggerated defensive movements also make the Texan impale himself on punches. Comes from a fighting family and wears his heart on his sleeve through thick and thin, and often argues when he is better served boxing.

Adrien Broner – Profile

Strengths: Fast athlete with a smooth style like his idol Mayweather. Bigger puncher than his mentor “Money” and physically slightly stronger weighing around 157-158 pounds. on match night. A slick fighter with plus ring vision, hand placement and use of shoulder rolls. Can fight at different distances giving him versatility against different styles. Good counter-puncher especially with a square hook that has influence from a wide stance.

Goes to the body with authority and speed at his best countering in the mid-range against slower opponents. Above average chin with a rough toughness from the streets of Cincinnati, Ohio. Knows how to close the show when he has an opponent hurt. Carry power late into matches. Competent ring general who can be considered a knowledgeable veteran despite only being 32 years old.

Weaknesses: Short for a 5’6 1/2″ welterweight with questionable focus and training habits. Can be hammered over the top in the temple due to low hand placement and reduced reflexes. Struggles flat-footed and often gets hit around the gloves to the head and up in the middle to the solar plexus.Uses the jab more as a range finder than an effective offensive tool.

The punch volume is poor for a top level contender. A slow starter who often gives away early laps trying to shake off ring rust. With millions in the bank and options outside of boxing, his will to win is questionable.

Match Selection: Broner via unanimous decision 115-113

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