Saturday, September 30, 2023  |


Adrien Broner likely to fight Jessie Vargas on April 21 after Omar Figueroa Jr. withdraws

Photo by Peter Young/Premier Boxing Champions
Fighters Network

Omar Figueroa Jr. is out, but his replacement figures to be an even tougher challenge for Adrien Broner.

Jessie Vargas is being pegged to step in on April 21 and fight Broner, a source told Figueroa won’t be available due to a rotator cuff injury, reported Sunday, creating a void in the Showtime Championship Boxing main event slated for Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. ESPN first reported the news.

Broner-Figueroa was set to be contested at 140 pounds, even though both fighters have had trouble making weight over the years and each man also competed at 147 pounds. That’s where Broner-Vargas figures to take place. Vargas held a title at 140 pounds, but he’s fought at 147 since June 2015, and earned a welterweight title, too.

Vargas (28-2, 10 knockouts) was outpointed by Timothy Bradley in his welterweight debut, though he hurt the titleholder in the closing seconds and was robbed of the chance to finish him off after referee Pat Russell’s officiating error.

Vargas went on to knock out Sadam Ali, who now holds a title at 154, but the Las Vegas resident dropped his belt against the great Manny Pacquiao.

The 28-year-old was off for a year after the Pacquiao setback, but returned with a shutout of journeyman Aaron Herrera in January.

Vargas left Top Rank in hopes of securing significant fights, with most of the key players at welterweight competing under the PBC banner. He was in talks to fight Keith Thurman for two titles in May, but after that bout fell by the wayside, he now has the kind of marquee fight he was looking for.

Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) is coming off a lopsided defeat to Mikey Garcia in July, and now, he’ll have to deal with a far different style than what was originally proposed. Figueroa is a pressure fighter, while Vargas is a boxer.

And it’s Vargas who is the more accomplished of the two, currently THE RING’s No. 8 welterweight.

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger