Interview by Byron Spurlock
Featherweight contender Rocky Juarez (28-4, 20 Kos) will get another shot at world title Saturday night when he takes on Chris John for his WBA featherweight title on HBO Championship Boxing in Houston, Texas at the Toyota Center. Juarez will be fighting in hometown while John will be making his US debut. Fightnews was able to catch up with Juarez early in the week.
How have you been feeling leading up to the fight?
I’ve never felt better; things have been going good in training camp. Basically, what can I say, camp is almost over, I feel that we are ready for this weekend’s fight with Chris John. Everything has been going good, we don’t have any injuries, I have no complaints, just ready to fight.
With a fighter that not a lot of people have seen much of, how are you preparing for this fight?
Well the only thing that I can do is go what I see on film from his previous fights. I think he has to do the same thing since he probably hasn’t seen me fight live as well. But once you step into that ring everything changes, you just have to adapt to what is happening right then and there in front of you as a fighter. You just have to hope that all the work that you have done in the gym preparing yourself for a particular fighter is going to pay off for you.
Come February 28th, this Saturday it’s going to come down to who wants the fight more and who can adapt to who’s style.
This is a fight that is in your backyard, how are you taking this title shot different from the others that you have had?
I take every title shot serious and I think that this fight is in my hometown in front of friends and family and I think no better place to win a world title. This fight to me is everything, I have prepared myself mentally and physically, 150%, I’m just ready to go out there and win it. Fighting Chris John in my hometown, he probably feels that the pressure is on me to win this fight. In fact we both have pressure for this fight, for he knows what he is putting on the line for this fight with this being his first fight in the US and with him wanting to be the best in the division he knows that he needs to come to the States and fight some of the best fighters in the division. So I’ve looked forward to this title shot for a long time, so we both have pressure.
How have you faced some of the distractions going into this fight being that it’s in your hometown?
I think fighters face distraction where ever they go to train and fight, it’s about discipline for a fighter; I’ve always been discipline for I know what’s at stake this fight, that why I’m taking this fight very seriously. I’m not taking this fight lightly; I feel that I’ve done everything I can do to be prepared for this fight.
Not looking beyond this fight too much, but what are we in store for in the rest of 2009 from Rocky Juarez?
I can’t look past this fight, as a fighter yes you want to look down the road to see what you might do but you just can’t for that’s when things don’t go your way and you slip up in a fight. Of course I see myself as winning a world title and I see it being very hard for anyone to take that away from me once I win it.
I’ve worked very hard and I consider myself a young veteran, and it’s taken my quite some time to get to this spot where I’m in position to win a world title, so I think that once I win a world title it’s going to make me appreciate having it for how long it’s taken me to win it that I will be a better person.
Do you look back at your career to date at all?
Well I look back at times and I’ve been in this game for about 7 years now and I feel that I’ve gained a lot of experience along the way. I’ve never been beaten up and I feel that at my age I’m still able to compete and a young age. I want to show the world what I have and what I have to offer.
How do you see the fight with Chris John playing out?
Well, if you see a knockout from me early you should be surprised, I think the fans that have seen me fight know that I like to break my opponents down and once that happens, a knockout from me can happen at any time. I can finish the fight in the mid rounds or late rounds. I think people are going to see a workman like Rocky Juarez fight this Saturday on HBO; so with that I think you are going to see an action packed fight were both fighters are leaving everything in the ring.