Weekend Boxing Roundup

By Tom Donelson
Updated: September 7, 2008

GlovesIOWA CITY, Ia. — Rocky Juarez challenged Jorge Barrios for the WBO Latino Championship but for Juarez, this was a crossroad fights. He’s one of those fighters who never seem to quite follow up on his past amateur experiences.

A former Olympic silver medalist, nothing but championship glories was predicted but unfortunately for Juarez. But; he fought in an era where superstar Hall of Fame fighters dominated the featherweights and junior lightweights. Names like Pacquiao, Morales, Barrera and Marquez stood atop and Juarez found himself as a very good fighter in an era of great fighters.

Jorge Barrios was one of those awkward tough fighters, who love to throw punches at his opponent and never seem bothered being hit back. As for Juarez, he was always a reluctant warrior.

His biggest weakness has been an unwilliness to throw punches and always appeared to look for the perfect time to throw his combination. Juarez was a technically sound fighter with nice defense for a slugger and short crisp punches, but he often hesitated to throw volume of punches and in many of his defeats, he was often outworked.

He often threw one or two punches less per round.

Barrios had a surprise, he turned into a boxer. For the first six rounds, he dominated as he jabbed, threw punches in bunches and moved out of the smaller Juarez’s range.

Barrios, normally a crude brawler, moved and forced Juarez to follow. For every punch that he threw, Barrios threw two or three back. Juarez’s punches were the crisper and more accurate, but Barrios had the volume of punches in his favor.

The only round that Juarez may have won was the one round that the referee deducted a point from Barrios for a low blow. Juarez’s biggest advantage was the hometown judges, who gave him an easy margin on the scorecard before the fight was stopped and the man in the ring, who consistently warned Barrios for low blows on punches that hit the belt line.

The good news for this fight was that Juarez won the fight with a 11th round TKO for the judges appeared to be watching a different fight as they were giving Juarez the fight in a fight that he was being outhustled.

In the 10th round, Juarez turned the tide with ferocious left hooks to the body. Barrios, showing exhaustion from the volume of punches thrown in the previous rounds, winced from Juarez’s body attacks.

Juarez followed his left jab with sharp accurate rights and left hooks to the body moving those hooks to the head. He came out for the 11th fearing that he needed to knock out his opponent.

Juarez started the 11th where he left the 10th, with vicious body shots which left Barrios for head shots. With a minute in the round, a Juarez right hand sent Barros down and busted his lips.

Blood spurted out of Barrios mouth and with the blood flowing freely, the judge brought in the ring physicians. The fight was stopped as Barrios lips were cut and blood was not just flowing out from his jaws but some dripped in his windpipe.

Barrios was drinking his own blood and another round, he could be literally drowning in his blood. Juarez dodged a bullet and kept his career on track for future big money fights and even title shots.

Manny Pacquiao and Juan Marquez have moved out of the division, Erik Morales has retired and Marco Antonio Barrera is not far behind. Juarez now has his opportunity for a very good fighter who’s no longer is competing with Hall of Fame fighter.

Juan “The Baby Bull” Diaz and Michael Katsidis were recovering from disappointing losses. The Baby Bull was worked over by Nate Campbell and Joel Casamayor stopped Katsidis.

Diaz was never a big puncher but he threw punches in volume and had deceptive solid defense. He was facing a heavy handed puncher in Katsidis but both men loved to fight off other fighter’s chest.

Both men showed themselves to be warriors as they did not recover from their lost by fighting tune ups but each other. Diaz began the fight by using his jab to move inside and when Katsidis tried to bully him, Diaz circled away from Katsidis.

Diaz’s style featured a nonstop barrage of punches and while his power did not compare to Katsidis, he was strong fighter who could take punches. From the opening bell, Diaz’s jab and body punches proved decisive as he won rounds after rounds against Katsidis.

Going in the final third of the fight, this action fight was essentially one-sided affair as Diaz out punched his Australian opponent. In the ninth round Katsidis went to the body of Diaz as to open up his defenses.

In the early rounds, Katsidis went head hunting but in the ninth, the body shots allowed Katsidis to nail with a seven punch combinations. In the 10th, Diaz returned to the pattern of the rest of the fights as his punch volume often overmatched Katsidis and from there, he out punched Katsidis.

Diaz won a split decision, but the score did not match what actually happened in the ring. What detracted from this card was some very bad judging. In the first fight, the referee affected the fight with two-point deduction for low blows that were debatable and the judges had the wrong fighter ahead.

Barrios lost because Juarez stopped him, but there was no doubt who was winning and who needed a knock out to win. Juarez’s corner knew the truth if the judges did not.

As for Diaz’s fight, the judges had the fight far closer that it should have been. Diaz connected on nearly two punches for Katsidis’ one punch. His punches were more accurate and while Katsidis is a hard puncher; he never hurt Diaz and his punches often sent Katsidis head back.

Katsidis’ face told the real story as his right eye was swollen shut and his left eye was cut. Diaz was nearly robbed of a decision that he won easily and Juarez spared the judges in his fight from embarrassment.

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