Junior welterweight brawlers Omar Figueroa and Antonio DeMarco were originally scheduled to fight Sept. 26 on heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder's undercard until Figueroa was forced to withdraw because of an elbow injury. Now they have a new date.
Figueroa and DeMarco, both former lightweight world titleholders, will meet Dec. 12 (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET) at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Premier Boxing Champions announced on Thursday.
"I'm excited to once again be fighting in my home state of Texas, in front of my fans who know what to expect from me," said Figueroa, 25, who is from Weslaco. "I'm going to fight smart, it's going to be exciting and I will slowly break down DeMarco and give the fans and myself a win.
"I can box straightforward and also trade fire with fire. As we say in Spanish, 'Si, se puede.' Yes, we can. I am ready to get in the ring, risk it all and be the man who wins. Don't miss it."
DeMarco (31-5-1, 23 KOs) will be the second former world titleholder in a row Figueroa (25-0-1, 18 KOs) will face. On May 9, he won a unanimous, 12-round decision against Scotland's Ricky Burns, a former junior lightweight and lightweight titleholder, in an exciting fight.
The 29-year-old DeMarco, a southpaw from Mexico, lost a near-shutout 10-round decision loss to former junior lightweight titlist Rances Barthelemy on June 21 and announced his retirement two days later. Just a few weeks later, DeMarco announced he was coming out of the brief retirement to fight Figueroa on Sept. 26.
"This will be a very tough fight and will most likely be a war because of our fighting styles," DeMarco said. "I will do everything I can to give a great show and a great fight. My objective is to win."
Also announced for the card were a pair of 10-round heavyweight fights: 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic Breazeale (16-0, 14 KOs) taking on Charles Martin (22-0-1, 20 KOs) and former two-time world title challenger Chris Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) facing Travis Kauffman (30-1, 22 KOs).
"Charles Martin has nowhere near the experience I have. It's like night and day," said Breazeale, 30, of Alhambra, California. "I do everything better than him and am in much better condition. I'm looking to end 2015 with a bang and get ready to kick off my 2016 campaign in style. I want to move toward challenging for a world title."
Said Martin, 29, of Carson, California: "I know Dominic very well and have a lot of respect for him, so I know it's going to be a tough fight. This fight is about two of the best young heavyweights in the world fighting each other. I won't let anything stand in my way of becoming heavyweight champion."
Arreola, 34, of Riverside, California, has far more experience than Kauffman, having lost world title fights to Vitali Klitschko and Bermane Stiverne as well as facing other top heavyweights. But he has looked very shaky in recent fights and is just 2-2-1 in his past five outings.
"I've known Kauffman for a long time, and very well, but once the bell rings, it's time to go to work," Arreola said. "I'm a beast when I'm in great shape, and that's what I will be for this fight. I haven't fought in San Antonio, but I look forward to fighting in front of the loyal Mexican-American boxing fans."
Kauffman, 30, of Reading, Pennsylvania, has won 12 fights in a row since suffering a fourth-round knockout loss to Tony Grano in 2009. Kauffman will be taking a huge step up in competition.
"This is a fight that I've been wanting," Kauffman said. "I know how tough Chris is and how great his desire to win is. This is my toughest test to date, but it is my time to shine. I believe that I will be a world champion and to do that I have to win this fight."