Exclusive Inteview: Rocky Juarez

By Brad Cooney


Exclusive Inteview: Rocky Juarez

Rocky Juarez squared off against the legendary Marco Antonio Barrera back in May, and from all indications he will get his rematch this September. Juarez impressed the boxing world, and gained much respect from the Mexican fans, and American fans with his impressive performance against the future Hall of Famer, Barrera. Juarez sits down with Boxingtalk and talks about this rematch, and gives us a full assessment of his performance in his last effort against Barrera. Boxingtalk welcomes Rocky Juarez!


BT - Rocky talk about this rematch, has Shelly Finkel approached you yet concerning the September date with Marco Antonio Barrera ?

RJ - He hasn't yet, nothing has been signed, but there has been good word from Shelly that this rematch looks really good.

BT - The date has been pushed back to September, correct ?

RJ - Yes, they moved the date to September 16th.

BT - Rocky in your first fight against Barrera, were you happy with your performance ?

RJ - I gave myself a B -  I looked at the video, and there were things that I saw that I could have done differently. Barrera is a great champion, and I think I fought a smart fight. I think I could have taken a few more risks though.

BT - Do you believe you were less willing to take risks because of who you were fighting ?

RJ - Well the experience that Barrera brought into the ring made me cautious. I knew what I was fighting for, but I think I should have taken just a few more risks during that fight.

BT - Is it safe to say that when the rematch takes place, that we will see a more aggressive Rocky Juarez in the ring ?

RJ - Well I would have to adjust and adapt to his game, to what he brings to the table. If he backs up like he did in the first fight, I will deal with that. If he comes forward and wants to trade, then I go that way. I will be ready for which ever game he brings to the table.

BT - Rocky, what was going through your mind before the bell for round one rang. As you looked across the ring, and looked at Barrera, what was it that you were thinking ?

RJ - I think I was thinking about the prize that I was fighting for, becoming a world champion. I knew I was capable of giving any fighter a good fight, so I never doubted myself, so it was what I was fighting for, and how much I wanted it.

BT - This fight will be fight of the year candidate, do you feel you have earned even more respect from the boxing fans ?

RJ - I believe so, yes. When I was undefeated and lost to Soto, I just gave it up to him, he was the better fighter that day. I just decided to move on, and stay busy in the gym, and to get better. I think I earned respect after my performance against Barrera, but when I fought Soto, he hit even harder than Barrera. I caught Soto with 5 times more solids shot than I did Barrera, and I don't think Barrera would have been able to take those shots.

BT - Do you think that's a testament to Barrera's defense though?

RJ - It's hard to catch anybody that is moving back from you. I think that's why I didn't hit him with as many shots, I should have taken more risks though. I think Barrera knew that he shouldn't stay in there and trade with me though, so he used his jab, and he used it well.

BT - Did Barrera bring anything into this fight that took you off guard ?

RJ - No, but being a short fighter, his jab is very good. His jab was consistent, and very fast, and he timed it very well. We knew going into the fight that his jab was very effective.

BT - What did Barrera say to you after the fight ?

RJ - I told him thank you for the opportunity, and he told me that I was great. We never did any dis-respecting to each other, both camps kept it clean.

BT - The fight was scored a draw initially, then it was reversed to give Barrera the decision. What was going through your mind when all of this happened ?

RJ - You know I think when they announced it a draw, I was ok with that even though I think I won the fight. Being in California, and DelaHoya being the promoter, and with this fight being in his back-yard, and I still get a draw, to me means I won the fight. When they changed it to a split decision, I didn't really have much reaction, but in my heart I believe I won.

BT - What were some of the reactions that you got from the fans after the fight Rocky ?

RJ - When I came into the arena, I came in with the Rocky song, and people were yelling that I sucked, and that I was going to get knocked out. I just brushed all of that off, but after the fight not one fan had anything bad to say. The fans said that I won the fight, and gave one hell of a fight. To gain fans that didn't believe in me before the fight is a big win for me. Mexican's who didn't even speak English came up to me and told me that I won that fight. My brother in law put $200.00 dollars on me, and the guy he bet was from Mexico City, within the 10th round that guy was already giving my brother in law the money (laughs) My brother in law had to give it back to him after the decision was announced.

BT - Now that you fought Barrera one time, do you feel more confident coming into the second fight, and do you think you will take more risks?

RJ - One thing, people may think that I will be over-aggressive. I won't be as cautious, but I won't be stupid either. I will adapt to his game-plan, if he wants to trade, or box, I can. I think the only reason he is giving me this rematch is because he thinks he lost the fight. I think as a fighter winning the way he won, is worse than losing the way I lost. I am sure when he went back home, he had some of his fans that may have said that I did beat the crap out of him. I think he will give me this rematch, because when he goes back home, they may look at him like he won the fight, but that he got a gift win. No fighter likes to deal with that, so he will want to prove to his fans that it was a fluke night. I think he will give me another shot, and we will settle it.

BT - Rocky it's a big money fight the second time around too.

RJ - Yes, we will both make more money out of a second fight. People want to see this rematch, and the more I watch the fight on video, the more I realize how exciting of a fight it was. My father told me that it may be fight of the year, but I didn't believe him, but the more I watch it the more he may be right.

BT - Rock you have to look at it more in a fans perspective, rather than a fighters perspective.

RJ - Yes exactly right.

BT - If the rematch is September that's only few months off, so when would camp start ?

RJ - Well I took a few weeks off from my last fight, and went right back in the gym. I am not training full throttle, but I am in shape. We are already back in the gym, and staying sharp. We were thinking this fight would be November, but now it looks like September, so we are ready.

BT - What about a venue Rocky, do you believe you earned at least a neutral venue ?

RJ - Yes, I think El Paso, or possibly in Ft Worth for both a Barrera, and Juarez crowd. I wouldn't rule out Las Vegas as well.

BT - Talk to your fans Rocky.

RJ - To all my fans around the world, I want to say thank you, and God Bless. I hope you will see me fight Barrera very soon, and I ask for your support. I wish all my fans the best!


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