PBC on NBC Tripleheader

By Robert Ecksel on December 9, 2015
PBC on NBC Tripleheader
"It’s going to be exciting. I will break down DeMarco and give the fans and myself a win.”

“As we say in Spanish, ‘Si, se puede,’ yes we can. I am ready to get in the ring, risk it all and be the man who wins…”

Saturday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, former WBC World lightweight champion Omar Figueroa (25-0-1, 18 KOs), the undefeated phenom from Weslaco, Texas, returns to action against former world champion Antonio DeMarco (31-5-1, 23 KOs), the southpaw fighting out of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, in a super lightweight special attraction on NBC starting at 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT.

Twenty-five-year-old Figueroa never gives less than his all and then some. He turned pro as a lightweight in 2008 and has been clocking guys ever since. “Panterita” won the vacant WBA 135-pound title in San Antonio in 2013 in when he outslugged Nihito Arakawa in a brutal closet classic that some deemed “Fight of the Year.” Figueroa made his 140-pound debut on May 9 when he defeated former WBO super featherweight and lightweight champion Ricky Burns in Hidaldo, Texas, in a scintillating toe-to-toe war.

“I’m excited to once again be fighting in my home state of Texas,” said Figueroa, “in front of my fans who know what to expect from me. I’m ready. Since I’ve moved up to 140 I’ve felt stronger than ever. This weight division feels natural to me. I’m going to fight smart. It’s going to be exciting and I will slowly break down DeMarco and give the fans and myself a win. I can box straight forward and also trade fire with fire. As we say in Spanish, ‘Si, se puede,’ yes we can. I am ready to get in the ring, risk it all and be the man who wins.”

Twenty-nine-year-old Antonio DeMarco turned pro in 2004. Except for losing a majority decision in his ninth fight in 2006, DeMarco went unbeaten until he faced Edwin Valero for the WBC World lightweight title in 2010. He eventually won that title in October 2012 by defeating Jorge Linares (31-1 coming in) in a memorable bloodbath. After two successful defenses, including a first round stoppage of John Molina Jr., DeMarco lost the crown to Adrien Broner via eighth round TKO. Things have been touch and go since then. DeMarco has lost his last two fights, to Jesse Vargas in 2014 and Rances Barthelemy this year, so he needs a win and he needs it bad.

“I did think about giving up boxing,” said DeMarco, “but that was because I did not feel right in so many ways inside or outside the ring. I had some personal problems that have taken me awhile to come to terms with, and after many hours of self-awareness and going to a spiritual retreat and getting away from everything and everyone also has helped. But I feel great now and want to prove to myself that I still have something to offer.”

The NBC tripleheader also features two undefeated American heavyweights, 30-year-old Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (16-0, 14 KOs), the 2012 Olympian from Alhambra, California, and 29-year-old “Prince” Charles Martin (22-0-1, 20 KOs), from Carson, California, by way of St. Louis, Missouri, in a pulse-pounding 10-rounder.  “Trouble” expects to cause Martin trouble and can’t wait to get it on.

“Charles Martin has nowhere near the experience I have,” said Breazeale. “It’s like night and day. I do everything better than him and am in much better condition. I’m looking to end 2015 with a bang and get ready to kick-off my 2016 campaign in style. I want to move toward challenging for a world title.”

But the “Prince” won’t go down without a fight.

“I’m looking forward to a big night on December 12,” said Martin. “I know Dominic very well and have a lot of respect for him, so I know it’s going to be a tough fight. We’re training to be superstars. We’re not training to be mediocre jokers. We’re not training to be average heavyweights, throwing one or two punches. This fight is about two of the best young heavyweights in the world fighting each other. I won’t let anything stand in my way of becoming heavyweight champion.”

Rounding out the show, 34-year-old Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs), from Escondido, California, fights a do-or-die battle against 30-year-old Travis “My Time” Kauffman (30-1, 22 KOs), hailing from Reading, Pennsylvania.

“You’re only as good as your last fight, and my last two fights I looked like shit,” said Arreola. “I’ve got to pull my head out of my ass and do what I have to do. I’ve known Kauffman for a long time and very well, but once the bell rings it’s time to go to work. The main thing that I have to do is bring it. That’s what I really have to do. I felt like I was just going through the motions in my last two fights. There was no second gear. I was just coasting through. I’m a beast when I’m in great shape and that’s what I will be for this fight.”

Arreola had better be in great shape. He has been his own worst enemy and his once-promising career is in doubt, a doubt which his opponent intends to exploit.

“This is a fight that I’ve been wanting,” said Kauffman. “I know how tough Chris is and how great his desire to win is. This is my toughest test to date, but it is my time to shine. I believe that I will be a world champion and to do that I have to win this fight.”

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Figueroa vs. Arakawa: Full Fight - SHOWTIME Boxing

Antonio DeMarco vs Jorge Linares

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