Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rocky Juarez Hopes Fifth Title Shot is the Charm

Rocky Juarez has fought for a world title four times without winning. He gets a fifth chance next month in a rematch with Chris John.

Rocky Juarez will face off against WBA featherweight titlist Chris John on the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez undercard at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Sept. 19th. It will be Juarez' fifth try at winning a world title belt and it could be his last if he doesn't win – and Juarez realizes as much.

“This will be my fifth time at a world title,” says Juarez after taking a deep breath. “So far I'm 0-3-1, I know that and I know I'm 29 years old. I consider myself a veteran, but a young veteran when it comes to boxing. I've got to win the title this time, definitely. I don't know if there will be another chance.”

After winning a silver medal in the 2000 Olympics, Juarez turned pro in 2001 and has a record of 28-4-1, 20 KOs. He has had a successful career, but it's been the title fights that have managed to trip him up in one shape, form or fashion. He's lost decisions to Humberto Soto (for a WBC interim title), twice to Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and was held to a draw against Indonesia's John in February.

“I've been blessed, no doubt,” says Juarez. “I've been given these many opportunities and at this point I'm just looking forward to becoming a world champion.”

The rematch was to have taken place at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 27th, but John was diagnosed with a blood disorder just days before and the fight was pushed back nearly three months. The delay has allowed Juarez additional time to reflect and think about how close he came to finally winning a title and what he can do differently in the rematch.

In an entertaining fight, Juarez battled Chris John to a 12-round draw.

“Well, you know, I've learned a lot of things,” he said. “I've learned from the mistakes that I made in the first fight, but I also learned about the mistakes that Chris John made, too. Obviously I fell short because I didn't lose and I didn't win, but I want to win the world championship. At this point I'm just looking forward to getting in there with him again and fighting a lot harder and giving it a little more.”

Juarez is a fan of the sport and he's happy to be fighting on the “Numero Uno” pay-per-view undercard. Mayweather vs. Marquez promises to be one of the biggest events on the 2009 boxing calendar. When asked what he thought of the main event, he claimed it is a closer fight than many think and he has a unique perspective since he was in the ring for 12 rounds against Marquez.

“Here's th thing in that one: Marquez has been active, but Mayweather is the bigger guy. It's a tough fight to call and I don't like to say, to have to choose, but I'm definitely rooting for Marquez. He's a long time veteran who has earned this shot against Floyd and it's questionable as to whether Marquez is the best pound-for-pound fighter in all of boxing. So, I guess I'm going for Marquez.”

August 2009

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