Saul Juarez Punches His Way To Long Awaited Title Shot

By Jake Donovan

Saul 'Baby' Juarez lands his first career title fight following a 10-round win over former strawweight titlist Oswaldo Novoa in their third fight Sautrday evening in Metepec, Mexico.

Scores for their Televisa-televised World Boxing Council (WBC) title eliminator were 99-90, 98-91 and 97-92 in favor of Juarez, who will now move on to face unbeaten strawweight champ Wanheng Menayothin.

The hope was for the 25-year old contender to achieve such status in their rematch last December. A cut produced from a headbutt put an end to that hope, just 0:42 into the night.

The familiar rivals couldn't avoid clashing heads in their third meet, but this time around coming later in the night and at a point when the damage was already done on the scorecards.

Whether or not Novoa has improved since their Nov. '11 bout - which came on the undercard of Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez' stoppage win over Kermit Cintron - is open for debate. The 34-year old from Guadalajara has considerably upgraded his resume, however, in claiming a strawweight title win over Chao Zhong Xiong in Feb. '14.

Just one successful defense followed before conceding his crown in a knockout loss to Menayothin in Nov. '14 on the road in Thailand. The setback kicked off a stretch of four consecutive winless performances heading into Saturday's showdown with Juarez.

How that became grounds to land a final elimination bout is a quesion best directed towards the WBC, but Juarez isn't arguing with the decision that led to sanctioning the fight. The 25-year old from Mexico City entered their December rematch on the heels of a pair of upset wins over former 108 lb. champ Adrian Hernandez, both of which took place at flyweight.

Each of his last two fights with Novoa have come at strawweight. While nothing of substance was able to take place in just 0:42 of ring time last December, Juarez was able to prove his worth on Saturday evening.

The fight was competitive in spots, but where Juarez did enough in every round to build a massive lead on the scorecards. Because the fight took place in Mexico, WBC's open scoring policy was in effect, revealing Juarez up 40-36 on all three scorecards through four rounds.

Novoa picked up the pace in round five, realizing he was way down and in need of a dramatic turnaround. It didn't at all slow down Juarez, was steady and effective in his attack and reaching the point of no return as he was well up on all three cards (80-73, 79-73 and 78-74) after eight rounds.

The lone setback for Juarez came in round nine, when he was deducted one point for a clash of heads which left a cut over Novoa's left eye. He made up for it in the 10th and final round, nearly knocking out the fading former champ but instead settling for a landslide victory.

Juarez is unbeaten in four starts following a hard fought loss to Milan Melindo on the road in Manila, Philippines. His latest victory moves his record to 23-4-1 (12KOs), as he now awaits the biggest fight of his six year career.

Novoa is now 0-2-1 versus his countryman and winless in his last five starts, as his record falls to 14-7-1 (9KOs).

Negotiations between Menayothin and Juarez will begin immediately after the WBC orders the forthcoming title fight.

A mandatory defense of the WBC strawweight title has not been made since Menayothin - as the unbeaten #1 contender - was granted a shot versus Novoa some 16 months ago. The unbeaten Thai has since made four voluntary title defenses along with a non-title win mixed in over that stretch.

Jake Donovan is the managing editor of Twitter: JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by nycsmooth on 03-21-2016

Saw this on televisa '& Baby won easily w/ smart movement , quick combos...ezy win...but THE bout was the main 1 w/Ibeth Zamora destroying Mari Ando...terrific body shots from the chance who should go 2 112 & take Chavez's belt...saw…

Comment by TheMexHurricane on 03-20-2016

Great article! Boxingscene has some very good writers.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Carl Frampton Getting Annoyed By Trash Talk of Luke Jackson Kamil Delighted After Winning The Right To Remain in Scotland Jermaine Franklin Decisions Craig Lewis at Motor City Casino Bellew: I Prefer Usyk-Gassiev Winner - But Fury Easier, Pays More Joshua: Wilder is Definitely Going To Happen - Confident I'll Win! Zeuge's Coach, Braehmer, Went Bonkers After Upset Loss Shakhram Giyasov Picks Up Stoppage Win in First Round Usyk, Gassiev Could Be One Step Away Before Heavyweight Leap Nacho: Canelo Needs The "Perfect Fight" To Beat Golovkin Subriel Matias vs. Breidis Prescott Set For August 18 Photos: Andrade, Vargas, Hooker, Roman Join Hearn, DAZN Photos: Anthony Joshua, Jarrell Miller - Confrontation in NYC Jarrell Miller-Artur Szpilka in Play For October 6 in Chicago Photos: Anthony Joshua, Alexander Povetkin - Go Face To Face Cindy Serrano Confident That She Will Shock Katie Taylor Chocolatito Solves Visa Issue, Hopes For September Return Joshua Warns Miller: Anyone is Welcome To Come Get The Smoke! Hearn: Greatest Thing To Happen To U.S. Boxing in a Long Time! Anthony Joshua, Jarrell Miller Erupt in Heated Confrontation Ryan Burnett, Mikhail Aloyan Confirmed For WBSS Season 2 DAZN Fighter Signings, Event Dates, Service Price Revealed Parker's Trainer: We Want 'Fair Referee' For Dillian Whyte Fight Usyk: On Saturday, People Will See Everything From Me Whyte-Parker: Joe Joyce Rules Himself Out, Reveals Trainer Split Pacquiao Coach Would Love Amir Khan Showdown at Wembley Hurd's Coach: Charlo Panics in Tough Spots - We'll Exploit That! Pacquiao: I Don't Know Yet About Fighting Keith Thurman Frank Warren: Fury Has The Tools To Beat Them All Comfortably Trainer: Pacquiao Proved Doubters Wrong, There are Many Haters Charlie Flynn Believes it is Time To Talk Usyk vs. Gassiev - Full World Boxing Super Series Card Price: Joshua Did Not Knock Takam Out Cold - Povetkin Did Hearn: The Offer To Deontay Wilder Will NOT Be Improving! Ken Shiro Looks Forward To a Long Reign as Champion Dooley Noted: The Diminishing of Yorkies, Undercards, PPVs Bivol Prepares For Chilemba, Admits He Has One Eye on Kovalev Pacquiao: I'm Addicted To Boxing - I Want To Defend My Belt! Berchelt vs. Roman in Talks For October Date on HBO Lomachenko's Manager Gives Update on Rehabilitation, Return Hearn: Wilder Has To Ask - 'Do I Really Believe I Can Beat Joshua?'

Latest Active Forum Threads