<
>

Figueroa needs to figure out what weight he should fight

Omar Figueroa, right, won a unanimous decision against Antonio DeMarco last Saturday. Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions.

Omar Figueroa, who outpointed fellow former lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco on Saturday night in San Antonio, weighed 151 pounds for what had been announced as a junior welterweight fight. Figueroa was about 10 pounds over the contract limit but said he still wanted to fight at 140 pounds.

"I want to fight in the 140-pound weight class," he said after the fight. "Some things happened that were out of our control and we just wanted to put on a show for the fans. My body is getting bigger, but I want to do some things at 140 pounds before I move up. We're doing our best, we're learning how to do things right. We're in the learning process."

More realistically, Figueroa (26-0-1, 18 KOs), 26, of Weslaco, Texas, is probably done at 140. He also failed to make that weight for his May victory against former lightweight and junior lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns.

At whatever weight Figueroa next fights, at least he came out of the 12-round battle against DeMarco with his chronically injured hands in good shape.

"My hands feel really good. They look like hands, which is nice," Figueroa said. "My face looks like a face, just a beat up face."

Figueroa went to the hospital after the very tough fight as a precaution but was OK and released.

"These are the kind of fights I love to be in," he said. "A little rougher than I would have liked and my face shows it. It was a good fight. I wish I had done better but I always do the best I can.

"My determination is what helped me win this fight. I'm not going to lose a fight. I don't have that in me. I've had every injury. I could have a missing arm, but I'm still going to find a way to win the fight. It was all heart and guts out there. That's what I rely on when all else fails. We do our best to come out with the victory."

Although the fight with DeMarco was a solid action fight from start to finish, there was little buzz to the match and it was the least viewed of the Premier Boxing Champions card on NBC in prime time. The telecast averaged 1.8 million viewers, fewest of the five prime-time cards on NBC, each of which drew fewer viewers than the previous.

The debut NBC prime-time card averaged 3.374 million viewers. The next averaged 2.882 million, then 2.327 million, 2.179 million and finally 1.8 million on Saturday. The five afternoon PBC on NBC cards were steadier in viewership, averaging 1 million, 1.2 million, 1 million, 1.1 million and 1.1 million.