Zahir Raheem Predicts Knockout Over Juarez This Saturday

While Juarez Chooses To Talk With His Fists!
13.07.04 - By Carlos Kalinchuk: This Saturday undefeated 1996 U.S. Olympian Zahir Raheem (25-0, 15 KOís) will step into the unfriendly confines of the Houston Reliant Arena to fight undefeated 2000 U.S. Silver Medalist and Houstonian Rocky Juarez (20-0, 14 KOís) in a 12 round eliminator bout for the IBFís #1 ranking. The winner of the bout will become the mandatory challenger for very tough IBF Champion Juan Manuel Marquez.

Thus far, Raheem is better known for his accomplishments in the second round of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, where he lost to eventual Silver Medalist Arnaldo Mesa of Cuba. But one canít ignore his professional accomplishments either as heís stopped nine of his last 11 opponents, five within the first three rounds.

One thing is certain: confidence will not be a problem for Raheem.

ďI donít take anything away from Rocky, but clearly, honestly, I believe I will beat him. I donít think itís going the distance. I will beat him decisively. Heís a good fighter, but Iím better.Ē

Strong words. But what about Rockyís style?

ďHe [Juarez] can only fight standing still. Flat-footed. His style comes a dime a dozen. Itís very common.Ē

Although he admits heís ďa little more excitedĒ, he hasnít trained any differently for this crossroads bout:

ďI train hard for all my fights. Twelve rounds isnít going to be a problem because Iíve been 12 rounds. Iím up for this fight. Iíve got it Ďlocked-and-loadedíĒ.

While Raheem has shown extreme confidence and as some would say, nervous energy leading up to the fight, Juarez has remained relaxed and poised like the calm before the storm.

Rockyís response?

ďHe [Raheem] feels similarly to the way I feel. Iím used to fighting opponents with his style from my amateur days. Iíve always been able to figure out their styles more easily than other styles.Ē

Rockyís Prediction?

ďI donít make predictions. Iíll just say that I feel very confident that good things will come to me on July 17 and that Iíll come out on top.Ē

Tickets are still available for this Saturdayís bout and they can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at Additionally, tickets are very affordably priced at $150, $50, and $25 so if you have a chance to go to these fights, donít miss out!

Carlos ďStiff-jabĒ Kalinchuk
Contributing Writer & Photographer

Article posted on 13.07.2004

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