Figueroa will battle Lipinets after Broner withdraws from fight

Former world champions Omar “Panterita” Figueroa Jr. and Sergey Lipinets will battle in a 12-round WBC Super Lightweight title eliminator headlining live on SHOWTIME this Saturday, August 20 from Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. in a Premier Boxing Champions Event.

Four-division world champion Adrien Broner pulled out of the previously scheduled match against Figueroa, citing personal issues in advance of the fight.

“Man, I’m going [through] a lot at this moment in my life, but I ain’t gonna give up. I set some more goals and I finish what I started but sorry to say this, but I’m not fighting August 20,” Broner said in an Instagram post. “Sorry to all my fans but Mental Health is real and I’m not about to play inside the ring … So, I have to step back and overcome this obstacle before I go put my life on the line inside the square circle again. I know I’m far from being finished with the sport SEE Y’ALL SOON.’’

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also feature top 140-pounders Alberto Puello and Batyr Akhmedov squaring off for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight World Championship in the co-main event and WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Roger Gutierrez defending his title against unbeaten Hector Garcia. In the telecast opener, Brandun Lee, one of the sport’s most exciting prospects and biggest punchers, will take on Will Madera in a 10-round super lightweight bout opening a loaded four-fight telecast that begins live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The 32-year-old Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KOs) is from a fighting family along with his younger brother Brandon, a former super bantamweight world champion. Figueroa won the WBC Lightweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Nihito Arakawa in a 2013 “Fight of the Year” and successfully defended the title two times before moving up to super lightweight in 2015. Figueroa has also fought at welterweight, earning action-packed victories over Robert Guerrero, John Molina Jr., and Antonio DeMarco. He’ll move back down to super lightweight on August 20 after back-to-back defeats against Yordenis Ugas and Abel Ramos. His match against Lipinets is a classic crossroads fight.

“This is going to be a great fight against Lipinets and I hope he’s ready for what I’m bringing,” said Figueroa. “I’ve made changes in my life and I’m excited to see the kind of fighter that I am now. I’m going to show what I can do now that I have a clear head and a clear path ahead of me. With the opponent change I’m even more ready to take all the frustrations and anger that have built up in camp and bring it into the ring on Saturday and come out victorious.”

Lipinets (16-2-1, 12 KOs) has been in training and was already scheduled to appear on the August 20 card before being elevated as a replacement for Broner in the main event. Born in Martuk, Kazakhstan and now living in Woodland Hills, Calif., Lipinets is no stranger to the main stage, having tangled with champions including Lamont Peterson and Mikey Garcia. The 33-year-old defeated Akhiro Kondo for the IBF super lightweight title in 2017 and lost the title to Garcia by unanimous decision in 2018. He is coming off a loss to Jaron Ennis in a welterweight title in April 2021.

“We’ve actually been in camp for almost three months getting ready for whoever they put in front of me,” said Lipinets. “We’ve been training with no particular opponent in mind. There have been a few different guys that have said they wanted to fight me. So, we’ve been sparring with and preparing for all types of styles. And now we get this great news that I get to fight Figueroa this Saturday. I can’t wait to show everyone that I’m still a force to be reckoned with at 140 pounds.”

Additionally, SHOWTIME SPORTS will offer live streaming coverage of unbeaten Cuban heavyweight standout Lenier Peró battling Joel Caudle in an eight-round bout and undefeated middleweight Fiodor Czerkaszyn taking on Gilbert Venegas Jr. in an eight-round duel via the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page prior to the start of the televised quadrupleheader. The streaming show begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and will be called by SHOBOX® analyst and MORNING KOMBAT host Brian Campbell alongside former unified welterweight world champion Keith “One Time” Thurman joining as guest analyst.

Figueroa: ‘Honestly, there was a time when I was a little bit jealous of (Adrien)Broner’

Former World Champion Omar Figueroa Jr. held a San Antonio media workout on Tuesday as he nears his super lightweight battle against four-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner Saturday, August 20 live on SHOWTIME from Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast will feature top 140-pounders Alberto Puello and Batyr Akhmedov squaring off for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight World Championship in the co-main event and WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Roger Gutierrez defends his title against unbeaten Hector Garcia in the telecast opener.

Figueroa Jr. was joined on Tuesday by his brother, former super bantamweight world champion and current featherweight contender Brandon Figueroa and his father and trainer Omar Figueroa Sr. at the media workout.

Here is what Figueroa had to say:

OMAR FIGUEROA JR.

“We grew up kind of poor coming from the Valley. San Antonio was the biggest city that we could get to and enjoy. For us, this was like the maximum. So being able to camp here being so close to home has been a game changer. Obviously, I have my family here as well. I won’t say everything in this camp has gone perfect, because perfection is so hard to acquire, but everything has gone pretty close to perfect. We’re excited.

“I’m just worried about this fight. I’m not looking at anything else. I don’t know how I’m going to feel, physically and mentally. So much has changed in the past year. I’ve gone through so much since I was diagnosed regarding my mental health. It’s been tough. I’ve been doing this for 27 years now. So, I’m really looking forward to this fight.

“The biggest thing for me the past few years has been my mental health diagnosis. After my last fight, I knew there was something wrong. We did everything we needed to do in camp, we prepared right to make sure we were 100%. Everything went wrong in that fight. I started questioning myself and wondering why the heck everything went so badly. I spoke to my doctor and then I was diagnosed with all these mental health issues and that’s when I realized maybe the problem was me all along. I’ve been working on myself so much. I’m just grateful to SHOWTIME and my team and we’re excited to show how far we’ve come.

“Growing up in the Mexican culture, it’s a lot of ‘It’s all in your head. It doesn’t really exist.’ So, I had to look into it alone. I didn’t have the support of my family when it came to that. Even now, they still kind of struggle to see that. I feel it’s very taboo to a lot of people. Thankfully, I’m in a position where, having the platform I have, I’m able to shed some light on it and show that we’re all just human. Us boxers may look like we’re invincible, getting punched and cut and fighting through it, but we’re human at the end of the day. I finally took a break and looked inward and started taking care of myself, accepting the fact that I’m human, that I hurt, that I can get anxiety and that I can get depressed.

“This camp has shed some light on being vulnerable and how much it helps to allow myself to be human. Now, I talk to my family differently. If I’m having a tough day before I get here to the gym, I’ll talk to my mom or my sister. Or when I’m feeling low, we’ll just embrace. I tell them how much I love them, how much I appreciate them for being here for me. Honestly, being human is one of the best things I decided to do.

“Honestly, there was a time when I was a little bit jealous of Broner. He had such an amazing career and, like me, things got to us. As we all know, things haven’t gone the smoothest for us. So, I’m getting the word out about mental health, doing more to bring it to the mainstream and I’m glad my opponent is Adrien Broner because he’s a great advocate for that too. I feel he can make a huge difference if he sheds a little bit of light on it. Other than that, this is a great opportunity and I know it’s going to be a hell of a fight.

“I don’t watch his stuff online and see what he’s doing. Even if he does start trash talking, it’s all part of the show. He’s been through his share of struggles and I can say I honestly respect Adrien Broner.

“I’m not sure what kind of dance partner I’ll see. This is going to be a great fight for the fans of the sport.”

Photo: Francisco Perez/Premier Boxing Champions

Broner: ‘I’m a four-division world champion, so the expectations for myself are always high’

On Tuesday, four-division world champion Adrien Broner(34-4-1, 24 KOs) was scheduled to do a virtual press conference to preview his upcoming fight against Omar Figueroa Jr.(28-2-1, 19 KOs), but Broner was not happy about doing the press conference virtually and stormed off.

Figueroa and his father/trainer, Omar Figueroa Sr., and Broner’s trainer Mike Stafford stayed on and discussed the fight.

Broner would eventually apologize for his actions via social media and a new date for the virtual press conference was scheduled.

On Thursday, Broner previewed his super lightweight showdown with Figueroa on August 20 at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature top 140-pounders Alberto Puello and Batyr Akhmedov squaring off for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight World Championship in the co-main event and WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Roger Gutierrez defending his title against unbeaten Hector Garcia in the telecast opener.

This is Broner’s first fight since February 2021 when he defeated Jovanie Santiago by a controversial unanimous decision.

At this point, Broner is just excited to get back in the ring.

“I’m real excited to be back in the ring,” Broner said. “It’s been a long camp, and I’m ready to fight. It feels great to be back. I’ve been training so hard, and somebody’s got to pay for it.

“The goal right now is to beat Omar Figueroa Jr. Then I’m going to the drawing board from there. There are a lot of big fights that I can make. First, I have to be successful on August 20.”

Over the years, Broner has had his issues outside of the ring and is 1-2-1 in his last four fights, but according to him, the expectations are still high.

“Nothing in boxing is easy,” he said. “Mentally, it’s always tough, but I’m getting through it every day and working my ass off.

“I’m a four-division world champion, so the expectations for myself are always high. I know that when I go into the ring, people expect great things out of me. I’m used to it and just focused on getting the victory.”

At 32, the clock is ticking on Broner’s career; this is a must-win situation for him. If Broner can’t beat Figueroa, he’s just an opponent going forward. It’s that simple.

Broner: ‘I’m going in there to try to stop (Omar)Figueroa’

Four-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner, one of the sport’s most notable attractions and biggest personalities, will make his long-awaited return against all-action former world champion Omar “Panterita” Figueroa in a 12-round super lightweight showdown headlining action live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, August 20 from Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature top 140-pounders Alberto Puello and Batyr Akhmedov squaring off for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight World Championship in the co-main event. Plus, WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Roger Gutierrez defends his title against unbeaten Hector Garcia in the telecast opener.

The two former champions present an intriguing contrast of styles as the flashy, technical skills of Broner match up against the bruising, volume attack of Figueroa. Both fighters have reached incredible highs and delivered memorable moments throughout their careers and will look to go through one another to return to championship contention.

Cincinnati’s Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs), is one of the most popular and colorful personalities in the sport and quickly rose to prominence by combining supreme boxing with a brash outspoken personality. By the age of 26, he had captured world titles at 130, 135, 140 and 147 pounds, becoming one of only eight active fighters to win a world championship in four divisions. Broner has faced several multi-division world champions such as Manny Pacquiao, Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, Mikey Garcia and Jessie Vargas. He most recently won a unanimous decision over Jovanie Santiago in February 2021 and now returns to the super lightweight division where he dominated Khabib Allakhverdiev to win a 140-pound title in 2015.

“I’m going in there to try to stop Figueroa,” said Broner. “I’m going to take the fight to him and go ahead and get him out of there. What I expect from him is the same gruesome Figueroa that we always see. He’ll try to make it a rough fight. Every fighter is different, but I don’t think he’ll be hard to hit. So, I’ll see ya’ll on August 20.’’

The 32-year-old Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KOs) is from a fighting family along with his younger brother Brandon, a former super bantamweight world champion. Figueroa won the WBC Lightweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Nihito Arakawa in a 2013 “Fight of the Year” and successfully defended the title two times before moving up to super lightweight in 2015. Figueroa has also fought at welterweight, earning action-packed victories over Robert Guerrero, John Molina Jr., and Antonio DeMarco. He’ll move back down to super lightweight on August 20 after back-to-back defeats against Yordenis Ugas and Abel Ramos.

“I’m excited to move on to the next phase of my life and career, especially now that my mental health is at the forefront of everything I do,” said Figueroa. “Having a clear mind has been the best thing to happen to me. Now I’m able to focus 100% on my boxing career and I can’t wait to be back in the ring on August 20.”

A native of San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic, Puello (20-0, 10 KOs) now fights out of Las Vegas under the guidance of renowned coach Ismael Salas. The 27-year-old leapt up the rankings in July 2019, handing Jonathan Alonso his first career defeat with a unanimous decision victory that earned him an interim title. Puello was successful in his U.S. debut in December 2021, as he scored a unanimous decision victory over Veshawn Owens in Owen’s hometown.

“I’m very committed to winning this fight for my team and my country,” said Puello. “I am more than prepared to make the most of this opportunity. My only focus is on earning this victory, becoming world champion and taking on all the challenges that come my way after that.”

Born in Uzbekistan and now fighting out of Los Angeles, Akhmedov (9-1, 8 KOs) represented Turkey at the 2016 Olympic games. The 31-year-old turned pro in 2017 and won his first seven pro fights, with six coming by knockout. His lone blemish came in an action-packed title fight against Mario Barrios in September 2019, where he was able to survive two knockdowns to make it a close fight, before eventually losing by decision. Akhmedov has rebounded to win back-to-back fights, including a stoppage of the typically durable former world champion Argenis Mendez in June 2021.

“I’m excited that I’m finally getting my shot at the world title again,” said Akhmedov. “I have worked very hard to reach my goal of becoming world champion. This time, I’m going to do everything possible to make sure that I take full advantage of this opportunity.”

The 27-year-old Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KOs) captured his world title with a unanimous decision victory over Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado in January 2021, in a fight that saw him drop his opponent three times. Gutierrez followed up that performance by defending his world championship and defeating Alvarado a second time in August 2021, again earning a unanimous decision. Fighting out of his native Maracaibo, Venezuela, Gutierrez is unbeaten in his last seven outings, including four knockouts.

“I am excited to return to the ring and defend my title for the second time,” said Gutierrez. “This is going to be a difficult fight, but I am confident in my abilities and my preparation, and I know I will be victorious. I am ready to show the world again that I am the best in this division.”

Tall and rangy with good power in his left hand and a dedicated body attack, the 30-year-old Garcia (15-0, 10 KOs) scored one of the biggest upsets of the year in February, when he stepped in as a late replacement for Gutierrez to defeat then-unbeaten Chris Colbert on SHOWTIME in Las Vegas. The 5-9 Garcia represented his native San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic, in the 2016 Olympics before turning pro in December that year. Along with his countryman Puello, Garcia is also trained by the highly respected Ismael Salas in Las Vegas.

“This is a very important fight for me because I have worked for so long to win a world title,” said Garcia. “This fight is for all of the people in the Dominican Republic. I can’t wait to display my skills for them once again on SHOWTIME. It’s also a very special night because me and my friend Alberto Puello will both be fighting for world titles, the first time two Dominicans will do so on the same night. We grew up together and had the same amateur coaches and now we have a chance to make history together.

Blair Cobbs: ‘I want to challenge either Adrien Broner or Conor Benn for my next fight’

Undefeated welterweight, Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (14-0-1, 9 KOs), wants to give the fans a big fight and is targeting Adrien Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) and Conor Benn (19-0, 12 KO) as fighters he wishes to face next. 

“It is time that I give the fans what they want, a great show, and I want to challenge either Adrien Broner or Conor Benn for my next fight,” said Cobbs, who is ready to face all of the biggest stars in the division. “I know I will stop Broner and I will beat Benn easily, the big question is will either of them fight me.”

“Blair is a fan-favorite and we would love to make a fight with another fighter that gets his fans excited and Broner, as well as Benn, fit that bill,” said Cobbs’ manager, Greg Hannley, CEO of Prince Ranch Boxing. “He is ready for any level of competition, and we are willing to put Blair in with anyone at any time.”

Cobbs last fought decorated amateur Brad Solomon, whom he stopped in the fifth round in a performance that had fight fans in El Paso, Texas on their feet. Cobbs now wants to take the division by storm.

“I want to show the fans my true skills, and to do that I need an opponent to bring it out of me,” said Cobbs. “I think both of these fights make sense and are realistic, and I have no issue signing a contract to fight, in fact, it is very easy. I beat Ferdinand Kerobyan in his backyard, I can do that again to another fighter as well, or we can fight in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or honestly anywhere – I just like to fight.”

Photo: Rodney Pinz / Prince Ranch Boxing

Broner on win over Santiago: ‘I felt like I beat him with the jab, honestly’

Adrien Broner(34-4, 24 KOs) looked rusty at times on Saturday night, which is expected when you consider he has not fought in over two years, but fortunately for him, he was able to escape with a unanimous decision victory over Jovanie Santiago(14-1-1, 10 KOs) from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn(Showtime).

Broner started slow and ended reasonably strong, but, according to ShoStats, he was out-landed(207-98) by Santiago. Despite that, all three judges saw the fight for Broner (116-111, 117-110, and 115-112).

While he was not impressive, and some believed he may have lost, including Showtime’s Steve Farhood, Broner got his first victory in over four years. According to the former four-division world champion, he did enough to get the win over Santiago.

“I want to go home and really look at my fight,” he said. “I haven’t fought in two years. But I felt good; I felt like I won the fight. I felt like I beat him with the jab, honestly. But it felt good to get my hand raised, though.”

Broner, 31, who has had his share of legal issues over the years, hopes to be very active in 2021. According to him, being busy keeps him out of trouble.

“I want to say to Al Haymon and Stephen Espinoza: ‘Hey, keep me in the ring,'” Broner said. “If I was fighting on the regular, maybe buddy wouldn’t have lasted. But just keep me in the ring. Maybe we’ll stop fighting cases, and maybe we’ll stop getting in trouble.”

Even though the fight with Santiago was at 147 pounds, after it was supposed to be at 140, Broner expects to make noise and get belts at the junior welterweight division.

“There is a lot of work out there at 140,” he said. “Right now, we’re going to the drawing board with Al Haymon and see what’s best for me. But I’m definitely going back to the gym, and I’m looking forward to getting one of those titles this year—at 140.”

What’s next for Broner? He is a draw, and boxing fans flock to see him, so there are quality fights that can be made for him at 140, including fights against Regis Prograis and WBA regular champion Mario Barrios. However, it might be in Broner’s best interest to get another C-level fighter and then go after a more prominent name. 

A win is a win for Broner, but going forward, he will have to throw more punches and be more active in the ring if he wants to have success and get belts in 2021.

Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME

Broner, Santiago make weight for fight on Saturday night

Adrien Broner(33-4-1, 24 KOs) will make his much-anticipated return on Saturday against Jovanie Santiago(14-0-1, 10 KOs) in a 12-round fight at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn(SHOWTIME 9 p.m. ET).

The fight was initially supposed to be fought at 140 pounds, but the fighters agreed to fight at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.

On Friday at the weigh-in, Broner came in at 146 pounds, while Santiago was 145 ¼ pounds.

Former heavyweight world title challenger Dominic Breazeale and highly touted contender Otto Wallin will square off in the 12-round co-feature of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast and former world champion Robert Easter Jr. and contender Ryan Martin who will meet in a 12-round super lightweight bout to open the telecast.

Below are the official weights, judges and referees for Broner-Santiago, Breazeale-Wallin and Easter Jr.-Martin:

Welterweight Bout – 12 Rounds

Adrien Broner – 146 lbs.

Jovanie Santiago – 145 ¼ lbs.

Referee: Arthur Mercante; Judges: Tom Carusone (Conn.), Glenn Feldman (Conn.), Peter Hary (Conn.)

Heavyweight Bout – 12 Rounds

Dominic Breazeale – 261 ¼ lbs.

Otto Wallin – 240 ½ lbs.

Referee: Johnny Callas; Judges: Tony Paolillo (N.Y.), Waleska Roldan (N.Y.), Tom Schreck (N.Y.)

 Super Lightweight Bout – 12 Rounds

Robert Easter Jr. – 139 ¾ lbs.

Ryan Martin – 139 ½ lbs.

Referee: Harvey Dock; Judges: Tom Carusone (Conn.), Frank Lombardi (Conn.), John McKaie (N.Y.)

Photo: Amanda Westscott/Showtime

Broner: ‘I’m coming to sweep it all up; WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF’

Adrien Broner is back, and hopefully, for him, he’s better than ever. Broner(33-4-1, 24 KOs) will return on Saturday night against Jovanie Santiago(14-0-1, 10 KOs) in a 12-round fight at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn(SHOWTIME 9 p.m. ET). The fight was initially supposed to be fought at 140 pounds, but the fighters agreed to fight at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.

 The last time we saw Broner was over two years ago when he lost to Manny Pacquiao. After a series of legal issues, Broner is finally back in the ring. Despite the setbacks, the 31-year-old Broner, a four-division world champion, expects to be at the top of the sport again.

“I feel like I’m going to be a world champion again, again, again and again,” Broner said at the final press conference on Thursday. “Until I’m really done with boxing. Yes, I took two years off from boxing, retired, and let my body heal and rest. I just feel like I’ve got what it takes to win more championships in different weight classes, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

According to Broner, he has stopped partying and drinking and has lost around 35 pounds during training camp for this fight. 

“I went through a lot of things, honestly,” he said. “One day, I just woke and said, ‘I’m done.’ In order to change, you’ve got to make change, or you’ll steady get caught up doing the same thing. I cut a lot of stuff, I stopped doing a lot of stuff, and I got myself together. It was a long road to get to where I’m at today, and now I’m here.”

Broner had a message for all the world champions out there.

“Listen, if you got a belt, just hold on to it,” he said. “I’m coming to sweep it all up; WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF. I’m coming to get them all.”

This is Broner’s last stand. The time is now for him to change things around. He owes people a lot of money right now, so it’s imperative that he wins on Saturday night, so he can be in  position to get a bigger fight, which means bigger money. 

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

 

Broner-Santiago, Breazeale-Wallin set for February 20 in Connecticut

 Former four-division world champion and must-see attraction Adrien “The Problem” Broner will end his two-year hiatus from boxing when he faces Jovanie Santiago in a 12-round super lightweight bout Saturday, February 20 live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast also pits former heavyweight world title challenger Dominic Breazeale against highly touted contender Otto Wallin in the 12-round co-feature. The telecast opener features former world champion Robert Easter Jr. facing off against contender Ryan Martin in a 12-round super lightweight bout. The event is promoted by TGB Promotions. Breazeale vs. Wallin is promoted in association with Salita Promotions.

Cincinnati’s Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs), is one of the most popular and colorful personalities in the sport. He quickly rose to prominence by combining supreme boxing with a brash outspoken personality. By the age of 26, he had captured world titles at 130, 135, 140 and 147 pounds, becoming one of only eight active fighters to win a world championship in four divisions. Broner has faced several multi-division world champions such as Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, Mikey Garcia, Jessie Vargas and Manny Pacquiao. Broner returns to the super lightweight division where he dominated Khabib Allakhverdiev to win a 140-pound title in 2015.

“I can’t wait to get back into the ring. It’s been a while. This will give me a chance to display my talents and show everybody what they’ve been missing,’’ Broner said. “I’ve been training and working very hard and everybody will see all of that hard work come together on February 20 on SHOWTIME.’’

Hailing from Dorado, Puerto Rico, the undefeated Santiago (14-0-1, 10 KOs) will make his stateside debut against Broner just two months removed from a dominating first-round knockout victory over then-unbeaten Juan Zegarra in the Dominican Republic. In 2017, Santiago defeated former super lightweight world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley via unanimous decision, marking the only time he has allowed his opponent to go the distance since 2015. Known for his come-forward style, Santiago has campaigned at 140 pounds for the majority of his career and ascended to 14th in the WBA’s super lightweight rankings.

Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) has an impressive knockout ratio and numerous memorable knockout victories, including stoppages of Amir Mansour, Carlos Negron, and then-unbeaten Izuagbe Ugonoh. The 35-year-old has come up short in two heavyweight title opportunities against Deontay Wilder and current unified world champion Anthony Joshua. Born in Glendale, Calif., and now living in Eastvale, Calif., Breazeale was an outstanding high school football player who played quarterback at Northern Colorado University before taking up boxing. The 6-foot-7 heavyweight was also a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic® boxing team.

“Camp has been great. I’m working with my new trainer, Abel Sanchez, up in Big Bear,” Breazeale said. “Otto Wallin is going against a big guy who can punch and throws punches in bunches, so he’s going to be in trouble. I’m going to bring the pressure from the opening bell until the moment he hits the canvas.”

Wallin (21-1, 14 KOs) makes his second appearance on SHOWTIME within the Mohegan Sun “Fight Sphere” after defeating Travis Kauffman via fifth-round TKO in August. Before that, he nearly upset Tyson Fury in September 2019, when he opened up a gruesome cut over Fury’s right eye with a legal punch that almost halted the fight. While the 30-year-old lost to the lineal heavyweight world champion via unanimous decision, he proved his mettle as a potential heavyweight champion. Representing his native Sundsvall, Sweden, Wallin trains in New York with former champion Joey Gamache.

“Training has been going very well. I’m in a good place,” said Wallin. “Breazeale is a tough customer that’s always in firefights and is entertaining to watch. I believe it’s going to be a good fight. I’m pretty sure that he’s going to try and come out and go after me, so I don’t think I’ll have to look for him. I’m in great shape. I believe I’ll be able to break him down and take him out.”

A former IBF lightweight world champion, Easter (22-1-1, 14 KOs) won the vacant belt with a split decision victory over future world champion Richard Commey in 2016. The 30-year-old from Toledo, Ohio, successfully defended the title three times before losing it to four-division world champion Mikey Garcia in a 2018 unification clash on SHOWTIME. Following a split-draw against Rances Barthelemy in April 2019, Easter made his super lightweight debut on SHOWTIME in October 2019 with a unanimous decision victory over Adrian Granados.

Haney is interested in fighting the big names at 140, Ryan Garcia

Devin Haney says he would love to renew his rivalry with amateur foe Ryan Garcia in the paid ranks, as Haney joins Matchroom Boxing’s new podcast, ‘The Lockdown Tapes’.

Haney is itching to get back into the ring and resume his reign as WBC Lightweight champion having been made champion in recess after suffering the shoulder injury in his first defense against Alfredo Santiago in Los Angeles in November that forced him to have surgery.

The 21 year old talent will be knocking on promoter Eddie Hearn’s door to headline once again when boxing returns from the hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic and build up to the massive clashes he’s been craving.

One of those clashes would be with Garcia, whom he went toe-to-toe with following Garcia’s one-punch KO win in the first round of his clash with Francisco Fonseca in Anaheim in February. Haney also had a friendly but feisty exchange with former two-weight World champion and Golden Boy Promotions partner Bernard Hopkins backstage over the potential battle, and Haney told Chris Lloyd in the second episode of ‘The Lockdown Tapes’ that a future showdown with Garcia is inevitable.

“We boxed a lot in the amateurs, so we have a lot of history,” said Haney. Ryan and I have always been advanced for our ages since we were young. He’s always been my rival, it’s always been him and me going at it, I think I was nine in our first fight and he was my second to last amateur fight.

“Ryan’s good and he’s improved in the pros, training with Eddy Reynoso and the Canelo team. He’s getting better with every fight and his talent speaks for itself.

“I have a lot of respect for Bernard and he was just doing his job. When I get a little rowdy with him, I’m just messing because I know what they have set for Ryan and I don’t think they have any intentions of fighting me, at least Golden Boy don’t right now, but Ryan would fight me.

“I want to make the biggest fights happen, and if it’s up at 140l pound, I’ll gladly go up and take it. A fight with Mikey Garcia, Adrien Briner, those are the big fights there, but lightweight is where I am campaigning and I’m looking to win more and more World titles.”

Along with his thoughts on Garcia, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez, Haney gives updates on his rehab, a tribute to Roger Mayweather, how long he wants to be in the sport for and advice to fans on staying fit and healthy during the lockdown.

Listen to complete interview with Haney:

THE LOCKDOWN TAPES WITH DEVIN HANEY IS ALSO ON MATCHROOM BOXING’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL NOW!