24.10.03 – Three of boxing’s most highly regarded young stars – featherweight Rocky Juarez, junior welterweight Francisco “Panchito” Bojado and lightweight Juan Diaz – will appear in separate bouts on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday, Nov. 22, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Juarez, 23, the 2000 Olympic Games Silver Medalist, will fight for his first title when he takes on World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 4/World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 10 featherweight contender, Hector Velazquez, in a 12-rounder for the WBC Continental Americas featherweight crown. Bojado, 20, will attempt to avenge his only pro defeat when he faces Juan Carlos Rubio in a 12-round bout for the WBC Continental Americas junior welterweight title. Diaz, who turned 20 on Sept. 17, will square off against Joel Perez in a 10-round lightweight match. SHOWTIME will televise the Main Events, Inc.-promoted fight card from Reliant Park in Houston.
Juarez (18-0, 14 KOs), of the north side of Houston, has won five consecutive bouts by knockout, and nine out of his past 10 inside of the distance. In his last start, the youngster regarded by many as the top boxer from the 2000 class scored a dramatic first-round knockout against David Murillo in Temecula, Calif. Juarez did not take long to get comfortable against his opponent, unleashing a monstrous left hook to the head of Murillo that sent him crashing to the canvas. Referee Pat Russell started the count, but decided instead to call a halt to the action and bring in the ringside doctor to aid Murillo. During an outstanding amateur career, Juarez compiled a 145-17 record. A controversial decision in the championship bout cost the U.S. Olympian a gold medal and ended his 68-fight winning streak.
Velazquez (37-9-1, 27 KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico has won four consecutive bouts, and seven of his past eight. His most noteworthy victory during the winning streak was a 10-round split decision over former World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight champion Guty Espadas June 25, 2002, in Baraboo, Wis. In his last outing on Sept. 12, 2003, Velazquez recorded a majority decision over Armando Cordova in an eight-round bout scored 77-75 twice and 76-76 from Las Vegas. Velazquez turned pro at age 18 on Dec. 16, 1993, and won a four-round decision over Jose Guardado in Ensenada, Mexico.
Bojado (13-1, 11 KOs), of Los Angeles by way of Guadalajara, Mexico, will make his 11th SHOWTIME appearance, including highlights, in 15 pro bouts. A talented, offensive-minded up-and-comer, Bojado has won four consecutive contests since losing a shocking 10-round unanimous decision to Rubio on SHOWTIME Feb. 16, 2002. The judges scored the bout 96-94 twice and 98-92. Bojado captured the WBC junior welterweight youth crown, on Oct. 13, 2001, with a second-round knockout over Eleazar Contreras on SHOWTIME. The youngest member of the 2000 Mexican Olympic team compiled an outstanding 168-15 amateur record with 85 knockouts.
Rubio (29-6-2, 10 KOs), of Lakeside, Calif. by way of Colima, Mexico, has won four consecutive outings, including two straight since defeating Bojado in what Ring Magazine dubbed the “2002 Upset of the Year.” A former California state junior welterweight and International Boxing Association (IBA) Americas welterweight champion, Rubio is coming off of a 10-round unanimous decision over Jose Cruz on Aug.8, 2003, from Pico Rivera, Calif.
Diaz (22-0, 10 KOs), of Houston, won a crowd-pleasing, 10-round unanimous decision over Francisco Lorenzo in the SHOWTIME co-feature on July 19, 2003. The youngest boxer (17 years old) to ever fight on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, Diaz outpointed the game Lorenzo by the scores 98-91 twice and 96-93. Diaz turned pro at age 16 on June 23, 2000, and scored a first-round TKO over Rafael Ortiz. Too young to box professionally in the U.S., the crowd-pleasing teenager fought his initial three bouts in Mexico. Diaz will make his seventh SHOWTIME appearance.
Perez (34-6-2, 19 KOs), of Houston, fought in more than 200 bouts as an amateur, and capped his career by winning the 1991 Texas State Golden Gloves Championship. After turning pro at age 20 on Aug. 10, 1992, Perez won his initial 23 starts. In his 24th outing, Perez suffered his first defeat by dropping a close 12-round decision to Jesse James Leija (32-3-2 going in) for the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) lightweight title on March 22, 1997, in Corpus Christi, Texas. In Perez’ most recent start, undefeated junior welterweight Miguel Cotto defeated the Texas native via fourth-round knockout on April 19, 2003, in Fresno, Calif.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside, with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast is Jay Larkin, with David Dinkins Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.
For information on upcoming SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecasts, including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http:www.sho.com/boxing