Rocky Juarez: a true fighter
On Monday night, Texan Rocky Juarez, 30-11-1 (21), battled Robinson Castellanos, 21-10 (13), in a WBC featherweight title eliminator at Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio, Texas, with Juarez’s WBC silver featherweight championship belt on the line. However, the real prize was a potential shot at world champion Jhonny Gonzalez.
However, it just wasn’t meant to be on this night for Juarez. But like the true pro he is, he has fought hard right until the final bell.
Juarez, 34, an Olympic silver medalist in 2000 and a former world title challenger, ended a near-two-year ring absence with a unanimous decision over Rene Alvarado in May. He was looking to keep that winning streak alive Monday night with another victory that could have led to his seventh – and undoubtedly last – world title shot.
While the fight was a good, back-and-forth effort from two experienced pros, it is clear that the end is probably here for Juarez. While there was no shame in Rocky’s game, as honest a fighter as there is, he simply couldn’t find a way to seize control against the hard-hitting Castellano.
Juarez said prior to the bout that if he lost, he would retire. We have heard that many times before from many other fighters and time will tell what Rocky truly decides to do.
The thought of starting over again in 10-round fights in hopes of working his way back to another chance at a title must be mentally, let alone physically, exhausting for Juarez.
While Rocky went a perfect 25-0 after turning pro in 2001, he is winless in 12 of his last 19 bouts and has now gone winless in eight of his last 10.
In a career that elicited 30 wins, with victories over some very accomplished professionals and former world champions and ring time with the likes of Chris John, Humberto Soto, Zahir Raheem, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and Guty Espadas Jr., there is much to be proud of.
Rocky is a tough, gritty, talented boxer-puncher but his best days are behind him. And he has a world-class chin that allows to him to see the final bell in every bout he fights.
He has had a great career and perhaps the only thing left do now is get hurt – and nobody wants to see that.
Looking back on his 14-year career, Juarez can hold his head high. He had a strong, very respectable professional career. And while some would say he lost in six trips to the plate in the big game, the reality is he was good enough to warrant six world title shots.
Many fighters – good fighters – battle their whole careers and don’t get a shot at a world title.
Rocky was good enough to earn six!
For Castellanos, it looks like a date with Jhonny Gonzalez may be on the docket.
For Juarez, it may be time to look at other options, venturing into the next chapter of his life.
And if he is indeed done with the fight game, he can take an honest look back on a great professional career that he should be more than proud of.
Viva Rocky Juarez; a true fighter.