Omar Juarez never sought to use the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to look any less than his absolute best once he’s back in the ring. In fact, every effort has been made to turn a negative into a positive.
“If anything changed for me these past few months, it’s just figuring out what I really and what I can do without,” Juarez told BoxingScene.com.
The 21-year old junior welterweight prospect gets to prove it in front of a nationwide audience, as he faces Vallejo, California’s Willie Shaw (12-1, 8KOs) live on Fox in primetime Saturday evening (8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT) from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. The bout opens a televised tripleheader, topped by Minneapolis’ Jamal James (26-1, 12KOs) and Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme (25-3-1, 16KOs) in a 12-round welterweight contest with an interim title at stake.
For Juarez (7-0, 4KOs), it will be his first fight since February, where he scored an eight-round decision over Martin Angel Martinez on an FS1 telecast from Biloxi, Mississippi. Saturday’s outing will be his first on Fox’s flagship network, which he deems appropriate since he is guaranteeing the best available version of himself for home viewers to bear witness.
Part of the motivation is ensuring that he avoids a clash of styles that leads to a stinker.
“We’ve done our homework on this guy,” insists Juarez. “He’s a very smart fighter and has sneaky power. He’s a counterpuncher and likes to use the ring a lot. Of course, everyone is limited with resources due to all that’s going on. But with the two sparring partners we were able to get, we made sure they were the correct ones.”
The other part, of course, is making sure those watching him for the first time are left demanding more to come.
“We are more than ready for Saturday night,” promises Juarez. My life revolves around boxing, and I feel as excited for this fight as when I was boxing as an eight-year old. This is what I do best and I’m ready to show all the hard work we put in for this fight. Being on Fox is an incredible honor. Those who haven’t yet seen me, don’t worry; I still feel like I haven’t displayed 100% of full skills, so those watching will be the first to see it.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox