Ricardo "Rocky" Juarez (born april 15, 1980)
is an American professional boxer. He is a former WBC Silver featherweight
champion and a multiple time world title challenger.
Juarez had a lustrous amateur career with a 145-17 record, which
included a 68 fight winning streak, a Featherweight Olympic silver
medal and a Junior Olympic World and National gold medal, In 1999
he won the world title at the 1999 world amateur Boxing Championships
in his home town. During the 2000 Olympics Gold medal round, Juarez
loss controversially against Bekzat Sattarkhanov who was warned several
times for holding and not penalized. Juarez accepted the silver medal.
Juarez turned pro on January 25, 2001 with a unanimous decision
agasinst Pascali Adorno. A highly touted prospect, Juarez rose up
the ranks with wins against Hector Velazquez, and Joe Morales. Juarez's
10th round knockout of Antonio Diaz was named Ring Magazine Knockout
of the Year for 2003. His first challenge came from 1996 Olympian
Zahir Raheem on July 17, 2004, in which he won by controversial decision,
possibly due to the fight taking place at Juarez's hometown in Houston,
Texas. Juarez's first career loss came to Humberto Soto, who was a
late sub replacement to In Jin Chi, Soto outboxed Juarez in the whole
fight to win the Interim version of the WBC featherweight title. Juarez
bounced back with back-to-back wins against Reynaldo Hurtado and Backlin
Medrano and earned a shot against Mexican legend, Marco Antonio Barrera
for his WBC Super featherweight title.
Juarez fought Barrera
on May 20, 2006 in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Barrera used his jab to win the early rounds, but it was obvious from
the start that Juarez wasn't backing down hurting Barrera's nose in
the process. During the second half of the fight Juarez took control
by rocking Barrera and making him spit out his mouthpiece several
times. In a very close fight, the bout was announced originally as
a draw, but later it was revealed that two of the judges scorecards
had an error, as Barrera was granted the win by split decision. Despite
losing, Juarez gained notoriety by standing toe to toe with one of
the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world. Although not required
by contract, Barrera and Juarez met in a rematch on September 16,
this time Barrera winning comfortably on points through aunanimous
decision (117-111, 115-113, 115-113).
As a replacement for Jorge
Rodrigo Barrios, Rocky Juarez stepped in and fought Juan Manuel Marquez
for the WBC Super Featherweight title on November 3, 2007. He lost
to Marquez on a unanimous decision. Juarez fought most of the fight
with a bad cut above his left eye due to an accidental headbutt in
the first round.
On September 6, 2008, Rocky Juarez, (27-4, 19
KO's) won by TKO at 2:55 in the 11th round of the 12 rounder over
former WBO Junior Lightweight Champion Jorge Rodrigo Barrios, (47-3-1,
In his fourth attempt at a title, Juarez fought Chris
John to a controversial draw on February 28, 2009 in his hometown
of Houston. Most ringside observers thought John won. The two were
supposed to fight a rematch on June 27 of that year but John withrew
from the fight due to problems with his blood tests. The rematch finally
took place on September 19 and the fight was won by John.
Juarez fought Jason Litzau on April 3, 2010, losing by a controversial
technical decision when the fight was halted in the seventh round
due to a cut on Litzau's cheek which referee Jay Nady ruled was caused
by an accidental head butt. The judges scored it 68-65 and 67-66 twice,
in favour of the winner, Jason Litzau.