Lem Satterfield

Omar Figueroa elevated to full WBC champion

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Omar Figueroa has been elevated from interim status to the WBC's full titleholder.

The move comes in the wake of Adrien Broner's requested rematch with Marcos Maidana, who dropped Broner twice en route to December's  unanimous decision  victory for the WBA welterweight title.

"Adrian Broner has been a pride of the WBC being a former world youth champion, former USNBC champion and having conquered the WBC world lightweight championship," said WBC secretary general Maurico Sulaiman. "The WBC offered full support to Adrien Broner during his quest to campaign at the welterweight division.

"During this period of time when Adrian Broner competed in welterweight, the WBC ordered an interim championship and Omar Figueroa dramatically won the interim belt," Sulaiman added. "The WBC wishes to express to Adrien Broner its sincere wishes for success in his future, as he will continue competing in different weight divisions and he will always have the doors opened in the WBC. The WBC is proud to ratify Omar Figueroa as the undisputed WBC lightweight champion."

Broner (27-1, 22 knockouts) had earned title belts over three weight classes, taking the WBO's junior lightweight belt by third-round knockout over Vicente Martin Rodriguez in November 2011, and the WBC's 135-pound title following an eighth-round stoppage of Antonio DeMarco in November 2012.

In June of last year, Broner jumped two weight classes for his 147-pound debut with a split-decision victory that dethroned Paulie Malignaggi for the WBA's belt.

The WBC did not strip Broner of his lightweight belt while he fought Malignaggi and Maidana at 147 pounds, but will now do so since Broner chose a third straight welterweight bout against Maidana.

Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) has become the WBC's official 135-pound beltholder after having won the interim title in a bout against Japan's Nihito Arakawa, the latter of whom rose from the canvas twice during his unanimous decision loss to Figueroa in April.

Figueroa's first defense will come March 8 against Ricardo “Dinamita” Alvarez (23-2-3, 14 KOs), whose younger brother Canelo Alvarez will face fellow Mexican Alfredo Angulo in the headliner of a Showtime pay-per-view event.

Also on the Alvarez-Angulo card is WBC 122-pound beltholder Leo Santa Cruz in a defense against Cristian Mijares, with Jorge Linares being matched against Arakawa (24-3-1, 16 KOs) on Showtime Extreme prior to the pay per view.

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