Broner withdraws from fight citing mental health

Boxing

Adrien Broner withdrew from his junior welterweight fight Saturday vs. Omar Figueroa because of the need to address his mental health, he announced on Instagram.

Sergey Lipinets will replace Broner in the PBC on Showtime main event in Hollywood, Florida, sources told ESPN.

This is the second time a fight between Broner and Figueroa was canceled. The former champions were set to square off in April 2018 before Figueroa withdrew with a shoulder injury.

“Sorry to all my fans but mental health is real and I’m not about to play inside the ring,” wrote Broner, who has losses against Manny Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia in recent years. “I’ve watched a lot of people die playing with [their] boxing career and that is something I won’t do.

“Just pray for me. I love the sport of boxing to much to not give my all and I feel like I came up short before because my mind wasn’t 100% there and I be dam if I make that mistake again.”

Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) has scored only one victory in his past four fights, a controversial decision over Jovanie Santiago last February. The 33-year-old from Cincinnati has competed just three times in the past four years. Figueroa, too, hasn’t been highly active, with three fights during that span as well.

“Not saying you don’t suffer from mental health issues because as we can all tell you do, just don’t use it as an excuse now after you’ve been disciplined and not taking this fight/training camp seriously,” Omar Figueroa, the older brother of former 122-pound champion Brandon Figueroa, wrote on social media.

“You don’t get to undermine mine and countless others’ journey and struggles [with] mental health because of your undisciplined/childish dumb ass.”

Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KOs) will now look to end a two-fight skid against Lipinets, arguably a tougher opponent than Broner. Figueroa, a 32-year-old Texan, was outpointed by Yordenis Ugas in 2019 before he was stopped in Round 6 by Abel Ramos last year.

Lipinets (16-2-1, 12 KOs) is also winless in his past two bouts, fighting to a draw with Custio Clayton in 2020 before suffering a sixth-round KO vs. Jaron Ennis last year.

The Saturday undercard features two title fights. Alberto Puello fights Batyr Akhmedov for the WBA’s vacant junior welterweight title, and Roger Gutierrez takes on Hector Garcia in a WBA junior lightweight title bout.

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