Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Updated: April 24, 3:29 AM ET
Omar Figueroa joins tripleheader
By Dan Rafael
The tripleheader Golden Boy Promotions is planning for July featuring welterweights Andre Berto and Keith Thurman in separate bouts got a date, a venue and a third featured fighter Tuesday.
Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com that the Showtime-televised card will take place July 27 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
Former two-time welterweight titlist Berto will face Jesus Soto Karass in the main event with Thurman challenging interim welterweight titlist Diego Chaves in another bout.
But Schaefer said rising lightweight contender Omar Figueroa, who is from Weslaco, Texas, and enjoying a growing fan base in Texas, has been added to the card. He will face an opponent to be determined, although he could fight for a vacant interim 135-pound belt, Schaefer said.
"We're going to price the tickets right, and I think we're going to call the card 'Bang for Your Buck' because with Berto, Thurman and Figueroa, you have big bangers on the card," he said.
Figueroa (21-0-1, 17 KOs), 23, impressed Saturday night when he scored two knockdowns in a first-round destruction of fellow prospect Abner Cotto -- a cousin of former three-division champion Miguel Cotto -- at the Alamodome in San Antonio in the co-featured fight of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's unanimous decision victory against Austin Trout. Alvarez unified junior middleweight world titles before a sold-out crowd of 39,247, many of whom were cheering wildly for Figueroa, an all-action brawler, during his bout.
"We are really looking forward to bringing another big card to San Antonio. It's a great fight city, and we wanted Omar Figueroa to be part of this significant tripleheader," Schaefer said. "He will be in a significant fight. He had a terrific performance against an undefeated guy [Abner Cotto], and he's one of those exciting guys where you want to have your popcorn and drink in front of you because you don't want to get up because you know he might knock his opponent out at any moment.
"After the fight [against Cotto], I got a lot of emails from people saying, 'Who is this guy? He's so exciting, so strong.' These kind of comments. Saturday night was a big night for Canelo Alvarez but it was a big night for Omar Figueroa also to have almost 40,000 people going nuts for him. It was amazing. Omar Figueroa has arrived, and let's see how far he can go."
Berto (28-2, 22 KOs), 29, will face brawler Soto Karass (27-8-3, 17 KOs), 30, of Mexico, as he tries to rebound from getting dropped twice and losing a decision to interim titlist Robert Guerrero in a November slugfest that was one of the most action-packed bouts of 2012.
Thurman (20-0, 18 KOs), 24, of Clearwater, Fla., will be in his first title fight against Argentina's Chaves (22-0, 18 KOs), 27, who will be making his second defense and fighting in the United States for the second time.