Rocky Juarez gearing up for Jorge Barrios

By Brad Cooney


Rocky Juarez gearing up for Jorge Barrios

Super featherweight contender and former Olympic silver medalist Rocky Juarez sat down with Boxingtalk and discussed his next big challenge. Juarez will face the dangerous Jorge Barrios on May 31st, 2008, as part of the Shane Mosley vs Zab Judah card. This is a very important fight for Juarez as he is looking to come back from his 12 round UD loss to Juan Manuel Marquez back in November, 2007.

BT – What's up Rock, what's the latest with you?

RJ – What's going on Brad, doing just fine.

BT – Rock, last time we talked you were recovering from a back cut that you received during the Marquez fight. How's the eye now?

RJ – Well when I cut my eye, the ringside doctor did a bad job stitching it up. It's finally healing up well, and by the time my fight comes in May it will be fine. I also had eye surgery on my left orbit. My vision has improved a lot, it's the best it's been for 2 years.

BT – You are scheduled to fight Jorge Barrios in May, talk about that match up.

RJ – Well there certainly isn't anything bad to say about Jorge Barrios. He's a tough in your face, hard hitting fighter. I think when they made this match up with me and him, they knew that they would get two fighters that will go out there and leave there heart in the ring. It's a hell of a match up, I am excited about this fight. This is going to be a fight.

BT – What I find impressive is the fact that you just refuse to take easy fights.

RJ – When they offered me the purse for Barrios I initially turned it down. I felt that going up against a guy like him, I needed to be paid more. Money aside, I know where I stand in my career. I have to take another name fighters, and Barrios is not an easy opponent. This is a big fight for both of our careers, and I have to make a statement.

BT – Do you see this fight as a crossroads fight for you?

RJ – I don't look at it like that. I fight like every fight is a crossroads fight. I have been very fortunate to have gotten three title shots. I have fallen short all three times, and I am not getting any younger. If I have to take another tough fight like this one to get another title shot, then so be it.

BT – Put it into your words what a win over Barrios does for your career.

RJ – Well a win against Barrios depending on how I do it, will position me back for a world title. The fans want to see what Rocky Juarez is capable of doing, and proving it against a guy like Barrios would be very important. It's not an easy fight, and I know that going into this fight. I will have to be on top of my game.

BT – You have told me in the past that you felt as if you should have pulled the trigger more, and should have let your hands go more in previous fights. Going into this fight against Barrios, will you try to let your hands go more?

RJ – You know what? I think the surgery that I got on my vision will be huge. People don't realize how bad my vision was from back when I fought Barrera the second time. After the fight against Marquez, and getting that cut, my vision was just horrible. I even missed trying to grab the salt shaker at the dinner table. I had double vision, and it had an impact on my previous fights. Now with having this surgery, it's going to improve my performance in the ring from here on out.

BT – Can you tell a major difference in your sight in the gym?

RJ – Well I haven't sparred yet because of the stitches and the surgery on my left orbit. I can tell you now that when I am hitting the bag my over all balance has improved dramatically. It was so bad that I used to be on my heels, and I can't lie, but the vision problem had an effect on my previous performances. Now that I have the surgery done, I am a happier fighter.

BT – Have you started camp yet for Barrios?

RJ – Yes, I have already started. After having the surgery and the cut, plus the bad job the physician did on my eye it has been in and out of the gym for me. But now I have been in training for 3 weeks, so camp has basically started.

BT – Do you worry about the cut over your eye opening back up in future fights?

RJ – Oh no not at all. It's healed up real well, and like I tell everybody if, I get hit good on the eye, it's going to open up regardless. My vision has improved so much that I am looking forward to this fight, and my confidence is great.

BT – Let's take a look at the playing field. Robert Guerrero just dismantled Litzau, what are your thoughts on that fight?

RJ – We thought going back into camp after the Marquez fight that I was going to go down to 126lbs. But, I couldn't turn down this fight against Barrios. I was calling Guerrero out, but since Shelly Finkel is both of our managers, that fight will probably not happen.

BT – Did you see the trilogy fight between Vasquez and Marquez?

RJ – Oh yea, I chose Vasquez to win because he's the bigger opponent. He proved in the first fight that if it wasn't for his nose, he probably would have done the same thing as he did in the second fight. Going into the third fight I thought Vasquez would pick up where he left off, but Marquez fought a smart fight. At the end of the fight Vasquez did what he had to do. But that was a hell of a fight. I hope there will be a 4th fight between them guys. It's like Vasquez said, if the fans want to see it again, let's do it.

BT - What are your thoughts on Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao?

RJ – I will be at that fight. If Marquez stays out of harms away and fights smart he can win the fight. He has to stay out of harms way in the early rounds, that would be the key. I am not going to lie, at the end of the day I see Pacquiao winning though. I fought Marquez, and even with my vision, and the cut on my eye, he didn't really show me a lot. I have been hit harder, he was hittable, and I saw his punches coming.

BT – Do you have any closing thoughts for your fans?

RJ – Thanks to all of my fans for sticking by me. Things are really coming along for me having my vision fixed. I am going to show my fans what I should have shown them in the past. Stay tuned to Rocky Juarez vs Jorge Barrios. Keep me in your hearts.


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