Al Haymon appears to have been the catalyst for Omar Figueroa’s decision to enter the competitive light welterweight division. Figueroa mentioned he had a meeting with his advisor a few weeks prior from the initial announcement of his upcoming bout with Ricky Burns. During their meeting, Figueroa told Haymon he used to fight at a higher weight class in his amateur days during his teen years. Figueroa explained,
“I was telling him [Al Haymon]… I fought at 141, and he freaked out. He said, ‘you fought at a higher weight when you were 17 years old? Oh, wow you definitely need to move up in weight. I didn’t know.’”
Everyone in Figueroa’s team is in agreement the decision to move into a higher weight class will benefit his boxing career. Figueroa explained he wasn’t struggling too much to make 135, but encountered a few difficulties and feels his physical abilities will be further enhanced at junior welterweight. He believes it’s time for a new chapter in his career after accomplishing his goals of winning a world title in the lightweight division, and being able to defend it at least once.
Ricky Burns will be the first test at the 140 pound division. If everything operates smoothly, Figueroa plans to campaign as a junior welterweight for quite some time despite the rumors of a possible transition to 147 in the immediate future. Figueroa acknowledged these reports and told ThaBoxingVoice he hasn’t even considered fighting in the welterweight decision. He explained these reports originated from a mix-up from his trainer Joel Diaz.
When Diaz saw Figueroa, he had a misperception that his fighter gained a significant amount of weight in between fights, which gave him the incentive to say they’ll move to 147 soon. Figueroa explained his weight was only 160 pounds at the time and appeared overweight due to a slight increase in his face cheeks. But as previously stated, Figueroa has no intentions of moving up to the welterweight division anytime soon.