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Adrien Broner withdraws from Omar Figueroa fight, citing mental health issues

(Photo by Amanda Westcott/Showtime)
15
Aug

Adrien Broner will no longer be appearing in the main event of this Saturday’s boxing card on Showtime after pulling out of his 12-round bout with Omar Figueroa Jr. due to mental health issues.

The former four-division titleholder made the announcement Monday morning on his Instagram account, saying that he wasn’t mentally locked in to enter the ring as planned at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

“Man I’m going thru a lot at this moment in my life but I ain’t [gonna] give up,” wrote the Cincinnati native Broner (34-4-1, 24 knockouts). “I set more goals and I ain’t stopping until I finish what I started but sorry to say this but I’m not fighting [on August 20].”

The rest of the card will proceed as planned, with the former WBC lightweight titleholder Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KOs) remaining on the card against former IBF junior welterweight titleholder Sergey Lipinets (16-2-1, 12 KOs). The four-fight telecast will also feature Brandun Lee against Will Madera, plus Alberto Puello against Batyr Akhmedov and Roger Gutierrez against Hector Garcia.



Figueroa chimed in on Instagram, saying that a back-up plan was in place because his team expected Broner to withdraw from the fight.

“What really [pisses] me off is that now this ‘mf’ wants to use mental health as a ‘FKN’ excuse,” said Figueroa, who is seeking to end a two-fight losing streak. The 32-year-old from Weslaco, Tex. called on Broner to show proof that he has sought help from a mental health professional.

“Not saying you don’t suffer from mental health issues as we can all tell you do, just don’t use it as an excuse now after you’ve been undisciplined and not taking this fight/training camp seriously.”

Broner, 33, hasn’t fought since February of 2021, when he defeated Jovanie Santiago by unanimous decision.

Broner’s recent struggles were beginning to manifest publicly last month, when Broner walked out of a virtual press conference to announce the fight, attacking Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza and Premier Boxing Champions head Al Haymon for not doing the press conference in-person. Broner later apologized and made himself available for a virtual Q&A session with the media.

Broner is the latest boxer to speak publicly about mental health struggles, following other notable fighters like Ryan Garcia and Tyson Fury.

“Sorry to all my fans but #MentalHealth is real and I’m not about to play inside the ring. I’ve watched a lot of people die playing with they boxing career and that is something I won’t do. Just pray for me,” wrote Broner.

“I love the sport of boxing [too] much to not give my all and I feel like I came up short before because my mind wasn’t 100% there and I be [damned] if I make that mistake again. I need to make some changes for the better instead of worrying about other people feelings and pleasing them when in all reality I have nothing to prove to nobody.”

Broner stated that he felt he was a future Hall of Famer, adding “I know I’m far from being finished with the sport.”

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