An ongoing question regarding the rising boxing career of WBC lightweight champion Omar "Panterita" Figueroa Jr. is whether he will ever fight again in the Rio Grande Valley.
Figueroa (23-0-1, 17 knockouts) and his father, Omar Figueroa Sr., who is the Weslaco fighter's manager, say it's possible "Panterita's" next bout could take place in the Valley or San Antonio.
The Figueroas say their next fight should happen in late July or early August as "Panterita" has been ordered by the WBC to make a mandatory title defense against No. 1 challenger Daniel Estrada (32-2-1. 24 KOs) of Mexico City.
If the fight were to happen in the Valley, it would certainly need to be at a spacious facility with ample seating. Hidalgo's State Farm Arena with its 6,000-plus seating capacity would seem to be the Valley's most appropriate indoor venue. Weslaco's Bobby Lackey Stadium with a seating capacity of 15,000 would be a possible outdoor site.
""I have to train, I have to diet and I have to prepare the same way no matter where my fight is going to be," "Panterita" said. "Of course, I would prefer it to be in the Valley or San Antonio or someplace close. Obviously, I want what's best for my fans, my friends and my family. (By having it in the Valley or San Antonio) everyone would be able to go. By having it in the town where I grew up (at Weslaco) would be ideal.
""It would be amazing for me to make a title defense at Bobby Lackey Stadium," he added. "To have Showtime there (to televise the bout) would be something else."
Added Figueroa Sr., "It would be a great opportunity to have some other Valley fighters on the card (if it took place in the Valley)."
""Panterita" said he plans to remain in the Valley to train for his next fight and not go to California to train for six weeks to two months prior to the bout as he has done in the recent past.
He is coming off a 12-round split decision victory over Corpus Christi's Jerry Belmontes on April 26 in Carson, Calif.
There was some talk after the fight from the Belmontes camp that he should seek a rematch with "Panterita," a rival from the two fighters' amateur days. However, "Panterita" said a rematch is very unlikely to happen.
""First of all, I don't think Golden Boy would go for that," "Panterita" said of a rematch with Belmontes (19-4, five KOs). "I don't know if anyone would really like to see a repeat of that fight, I know I wouldn't. I'd have nothing to gain (by giving him a rematch)."
The "Best of the Best" mixed martial arts show presented by Hero FC is scheduled June 14 at Commemorative Air Force Museum in Brownsville. The show will feature Deejay Fuentes going against Jose Ceja. For more information, call (210) 912-0041, go by Brownsville Tourism Office at 650 Ruben Torres Blvd., where tickets are being sold or go to jcfightpromotions.com.
Valley favorite Homero "El Oso" Fonseca (10-7-3, three KOs) of Driscoll defends his USA Texas heavyweight championship June 20 in Robstown. For ticket information, call (361) 387-9000.
Edinburg lightweight Frank Treviño (12-0) goes against Joe Ellenberger (14-1) on June 28 at UFC Fight Night 44 at San Antonio's AT&T Center. For ticket information, call (800) 745-3000.
Weslaco middleweight Robert "La Amenaza" Garcia (35-3, 23 KOs) is scheduled to fight on ESPN2 in Chicago on July 25. Garcia's last two fights have been victories in the main events of bouts that aired on ESPN2.
Nord Promotions is scheduled to present a boxing show Aug. 2 at Pharr Events Center with Harlingen middleweight Juan "El Gallo Negro" De La Rosa (21-3-1, 16 KOs) in the main event. Edinburg lightweight Luis Castro (3-1, three KOs) also is set to fight on the card. For ticket information, call (956) 475-3434 or 1-800-745-3000.
The next STFC cage fights at McAllen Convention Center are scheduled Sept. 5. For more information, call (956) 681-3800.