Omar Juarez continues to shine in primetime.
The unbeaten junior welterweight proved his worth in uncharted territory, scoring a 10-round unanimous decision over Argentina’s Elias Araujo, Judges Rudy Barragan (99-91), Alejandro Rochin (99-91) and Zachary Young (98-92) all had Juarez comfortably winning Saturday evening at Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
Juarez was fighting for the fourth time since the pandemic, all coming on a Fox Sports platform. Saturday’s bout—which aired live in primetime on Fox—saw the 21-year-old from Brownsville, Texas wisely fight with caution in the opening round, measuring up Araujo who entered the fight as a late substitute for Jessie Roman.
The tactic proved wise, presenting Araujo with a false sense of confidence as he continued to come forward in round two. Juarez easily adjusted, landing a fight-best 23 power punches in the frame. Araujo was there to be hit, defense not of much interest to the 33-year-old who was fighting outside of his native Argentina for just the second time in his career.
Juarez continued to pick off an on-rushing Araujo in round three, setting traps and connecting with right hands and left hooks. Araujo charged in, head down and hands lowered in hopes of walking down his younger foe though to no avail.
Araujo sensed his only shot at an upset was to remain on the inside in hopes of landing a big shot. Juarez never allowed that to happen, offering subtle shoulder rolls when his tight defense wasn’t enough to pick off Araujo’s power shots.
It worked to a point, as Juarez’s offense slowed in round five. Araujo connected with a left hook, with Juarez showing a sturdy chin while also countering with a left of his own. Araujo forced Juarez on the defensive for much of the round, winging power shots from wide angles.
Juarez continued to fight with cautious aggression as the bout entered the second half. The unbeaten Texan let loose with his right uppercut, splitting the guard of Araujo. The full arsenal was provided in rounds seven and eight, with Araujo far more will than skill and Juarez just too much of the latter as the durable Argentine slugger was getting caught with a variety of power shots.
Even with a sizable lead, Juarez continued to mix boxing and banging in the 10th and final round. Araujo was forced to go on the chase as Juarez boxed from the outside, before planting his feet and rattling off a rapid-fire combination. Juarez stood his ground in the closing seconds, ripping five consecutive left hooks to Araujo’s midsection.
Juarez improves to 11-0 (5KOs) with the win, his growth well on display in his first career 10-round fight.
Araujo falls to 21-3 (8KOs) with the loss, now 0-2 on U.S. soil.
The bout served as the chief support of a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox tripleheader, topped by a junior middleweight bout between former WBC titlist Tony Harrison (28-3, 21KOs) and Bryant Perrella (17-3, 14KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox