Jorge Barrios-Rocky Juarez - Who Wins?

by James Slater: An excellent pairing of world class super-featherweights takes pace on the under-card of September 6th's Juan Diaz-Michael Katsidis lightweight clash in Houston, Texas. A former world champion meets a four-time world title challenger, as Argentina's Jorge Rodrigo Barrios meets Texas' Rocky Juarez over twelve scheduled rounds..

Both fine and very much proven fighters, these two may well give us a very good fight. 32-year-old Barrios, 47-3-1(34) is a man who has featured in a number of thrilling bouts. Who can forget his epic battle with the then unbeaten Acelino Freitas back in August of 2003? Splitting four knockdowns between them, Freitas and Barrios waged non-stop war over an immensely watch-able 11 rounds and 50 seconds. Finally taking his man out in the twelfth and last round, Brazil's "Popo" won in an incredible fight. He may have come up short, but Barrios displayed amazing heart and guts. "La Hiena" also showed what a very dangerous and aggressive-minded fighter he is.

Moving on from that classic, Barrios won seven straight and picked up the WBO 130-pound belt with a 4th round TKO over the previously unbeaten Mike Anchondo. Two quick KO retentions later, Barrios met Joan Guzman in Las Vegas. The man from Argentina tried, but was just unable to make it his kind of fight. Out-pointed and at times out-classed by Guzman, Barrios' belt was gone via a split decision that surprised many in its closeness. Despite this setback, Barrios was far from done, however - as his useful 3rd round TKO over Thai fighter Decho Bankluaygym (who goes in with Bobby Pacquiao on August 2nd) showed. Now the 32-year-old danger man goes in with the skilful Juarez.

Rocky is probably best known for his two distance fights with the great Marco Antonio Barrera. Losing fight one courtesy of a desperately close split verdict (one that was originally, erroneously announced as a draw), Juarez was granted an immediate return. This time the man from Texas was soundly out-pointed. Still, despite coming up short in all four of his world title shots - Juarez also losing decisions to Humberto Soto (pre-Barrera) and Juan Manuel Marquez( in his last fight) - the 28-year-old has never been stopped in compiling his 27-4(19) record. Will this change when he squares up with "La Hiena?"

Barrios, though he won his last fight, has been out of action since April of 2007. Juarez, beaten comfortably by Marquez last November, may be the sharper of the two super-feathers as a result of his rival's absence. However, with ten months out himself come fight time, Juarez may be affected by some ring-rust also. This is a tough one to pick. Barrios hits harder, but Juarez is the better boxer. Who do you like - the boxer or the puncher?

In a fight that sees the two classic styles opposing one another, I go for Rocky Juarez to box his way to a close points win. One can never, ever rule out Jorge Rodrigo Barrios, though!

Article posted on 23.07.2008

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