Omar Figueroa said he plans to be "100 times better" when he meets Ricky Burns in a clash of former 135-pound titleholders on May 9. The bout will be the 140-pound debut for Figueroa.
Despite the fact that his weight "topped out at 170 pounds" in the seven months since his last fight, Omar Figueroa (24-0-1, 18 KOs) said he will have no problem being in tip-top shape for Ricky Burns (37-4-1, 11 KOs).
"I've always been a big fighter, but I've always maintained my six-pack. I have to really be in the gym and dieting to stay close to the weight,” Figueroa said. "Right now, I'm at 160, and I have three months to lose that 20 pounds.
"This should be an easy camp when it comes to getting down to the weight. I think that I'm going to be 100 times stronger at 140, and that I'm going to be 100 times more complete in the ring as a whole, and just 100 times better."
Figueroa will fight Burns on CBS at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT in the network's second Premier Boxing Champions telecast.
"I'm glad that more people are going to be able to see me fight for free because, being from [Weslaco,] Texas, there are not a lot a lot of people who can afford all of that fancy stuff like network cable,” Figueroa said. “That's a luxury for them.
"That makes me feel great, because that lets me know that my fans, my friends and my family here in the valley are going to be able to watch me more conveniently. They'll be able to watch me from the comfort of their homes for free."
Figueroa, 25, was last in the ring in August, when he overcame a cut over his left eye to drop and stop Daniel Estrada in the ninth round. The win followed a split decision over Jerry Belmontes in April that was preceded by his title-winning unanimous decision over Nihito Arakawa, whom he floored twice in July 2013.
"I was waiting for my cut to heal so that I could get back into the ring, but I kept going back to the doctor and he kept telling me that it needed more time," said Figueroa, who vacated his 135-pound title in November in anticipation of moving up to 140.
"The doctor said that he normally takes about three and a half months for the cut to be OK, but it was just playing a bit of a waiting game because it took a little bit longer. So then once we got cleared by the doctor [in December], we knew where my career was headed and we could start training."
Burns, 31, had gone unbeaten in 22 fights (21-0-1) before losing back-to-back decisions, first to Terence Crawford in March and then to Dejan Zlaticanin in June.
Burns won his 140-pound debut in October, taking an eight-round decision against Alexandre Lepelley. Burns scored a first-round knockdown on the way to ending Lepelley’s 13-fight winning streak.
"Of course, I always want a knockout, so hopefully, that's going to happen for me,” Figueroa said. “But I do think that it's going to be an exciting fight and a fight that the fans would want to see.
"I just think that he has a very favorable style for me. So there are going to be fireworks in the ring, and I think that it will be entertaining for as long as it lasts."