Omar Figueroa Jr. has made some changes in his training for Saturday’s WBC lightweight title defense against Daniel Estrada at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Figueroa (23-0-1, 17 knockouts), 24, is now training with his father, Omar Figueroa Sr., instead of Joel Diaz, and has moved his camp back to his hometown of Weslaco, Texas.
Figueroa Jr. said he made the alterations in order to be closer to his family, in general, and his nearly year-old daughter, Sofia Magdalena Figueroa in particular.
“It’s just because of my daughter. I see her every day now,” said Figueroa Jr., who will face Estrada in support of IBF welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter’s defense against Kell Brook. “It was very hard for me to leave and not be able to see her. That’s a big part of why I had to get my act in line.”
Figueroa is coming off a split decision win over Jerry Belmontes in an April defense of the belt he won after flooring Nihito Arakawa twice during a unanimous decision victory in July of last year.
“Definitely, the April fight wasn’t a hard fight,” said Figueroa, who has gone 13-0 with nine knockouts since a split draw with Arturo Quintero in Nov. 2010. “It wasn’t as physical as I’m used to fighting. The biggest thing was keeping my weight where it needs to be heading into this fight.”
The 29-year-old Estrada (32-2-1, 24 KOs) has won nine consecutive fights, five by knockout. Estrada was last in action for December’s third round stoppage of Hugo Armenta, and last suffered defeat by split decision to Reyes Sanchez in Sept. 2010.
Against Estrada, Figueroa’s family will continue to be the major motivational factor.
“My family is most important and the kind of lifestyle that I’m able to offer my whole family means a lot to me. I want to look out for my parents and my brothers too,” said Figueroa.
“I want to be able to give them the lifestyle that they’ve always wanted. I’m prioritizing things like my daughter’s college fund too.”
According to WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, former two-division titleholder Jorge Linares is the mandatory challenger to the winner between Figueroa and Estrada, should Linares get beyond Saturday’s bout against Ira Terry that will also be contested on the Porter-Brook card.
Notes: Quotes from a release