By Matthew N. Becher
Premiere Boxing Champions will be headlining another afternoon of boxing on CBS, this week from the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. Four former world champions will be in the spotlight looking to put on a very entertaining show on daytime network television. The main event and co-feature will showcase two young and undefeated fighters in Omar Figueroa and Tomoki Kameda. While former world champs Ricky Burns and Austin Trout look to right the ship after losses and prove once again why they were at the top of their respective weight classes.
Austin Trout (28-2 15KO) v. Luis Galarza (20-3 14KO) Jr. Middleweight
Austin “No Doubt” Trout is only a few years removed from being the WBA Jr. Middleweight champion of the world. After winning his title in 2011 by traveling to Mexico and outpointing the local favorite Rigoberto Alvarez (Canelo Alvarez’s older brother) Trout defended his title four times, including a major upset of Miguel Cotto in 2012, before tasting his first defeat at the hands of Canelo Alvarez in 2013. Trout looks to turn his career back towards the title he lost with the help of his new trainer, Barry Hunter.
Standing in Trout’s way is Luis Galarza, a late addition to the card, after Australian Anthony Mundine pulled out of the fight earlier this week due to a busted ear drum. Galarza will be taking a large step up in opposition, from mainly fighting in smaller arenas in the southern U.S. and having not gone past the 8th round in over 10 years. The biggest name opponent on his resume was a fight against Kell Brook in 2011, which Galarza lost due to a 5th round knockout.
Trout vs. Mundine has been rescheduled for this July, but first Austin will need to get past Galarza.
Tomoki Kameda (31-0 19KO) v. Jamie McDonnell (25-2-1 12KO) WBO Bantamweight Title
Tomoki Kameda comes from a fighting family. He is the youngest brother of the “fighting Kameda’s”. They are the first three brothers to simultaneously hold world titles (a Guinness record).
Tomoki will be fighting in his 3rd consecutive fight stateside, this time for another world title. Kameda has been very impressive throughout his career thus far. At only 23 years old, he looks to have a long career ahead of him. And fans have been very attracted to his rock-em sock-em fighting style. Komeda likes to fight close and he doesn’t mind getting hit in his exchanges.
His opponent, Jamie McDonnell will be making his first trip fighting in the U.S. McDonnell has 28 career fights and has only once fought outside of his native United Kingdom, and that one time was in France. McDonnell will be stepping up in competition here, which means a good outing can get him bigger names in the bantamweight division. McDonnell has not lost a fight in over 7 years, and he will definitely have his hands full with this “fighting Kameda” on Saturday.
Omar Figueroa Jr. (24-0-1 18KO) v. Ricky Burns (37-4-1 11KO) Lightweight
Both Omar Figueroa and Ricky Burns are former world champions. One is an undefeated 25 year old who is still climbing the ladder and slowly building his resume towards the top of the division, while the other is coming off of some hard fought losses, has faced and beaten some of the best in the division and looks for one last big run towards a title that he previously lost.
Omar Figueroa is a fighter’s fighter. He may look like a baby faced teenager, but when Figueroa steps between the ropes he is as tough as they come. A stand and trade fighter, Figueroa will be fighting in his home town, looking to put on a good show for his fans. “I don’t fight for titles”, says Figueroa, “I fight to fight”. A mentality that was on full display in his Fight of the Year nominee against Nihito Arakawa only a couple years ago. Figueroa is an exciting young boxer to watch, with Burns being the biggest name opponent he will have faced so far.
Ricky Burns has been to the mountain top. The former WBO Super Featherweight champion won his title against Roman “Rocky” Martinez, defending his title 3 times. Then Burns moved up in weight and outpointed Michael Katsidis for the WBO Lightweight title. Burns held onto that belt until last year, when he lost it to 2014 fighter of the year Terrence Crawford.
Burns is 1-2-1 in his last four fights. He knows that this may be his last shot at with championship implications. He will be outside of his comfort zone, fighting for the first time in over 40 professional fights outside the United Kingdom. Figueroa see’s burns as the stepping stone he needs to win over fans on a nationally televised stage. Both men have a lot riding on this fight.
Premier Boxing Champions Live on CBS Saturday May 9th 4pmEST/1pmPT