Live Saturday night from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (HBO PPV), the exemplary Marco Antonio Barrera gets it on a second time with Houston, Texas’ younger, fresher, less beaten up Rocky Juarez. Although MAB took their first 12-rounder by disputed decision, if it had gone 15 Juarez would have won, simply because Barrera had run out of gas. Now Rocky has a chance to avenge to that loss against one of Mexico’s all-time greatest fighters. This how The Sweet Science writers see Barrera-Juarez II.
I thought Barrera looked way too fallible in their first match. Maybe it's the straight ahead style of Juarez and Pacquiao, but to me, Barrera hasn't looked sharp in a while, not since he beat up old Kevin Kelley three years ago. Juarez should be better this time around, so Juarez by clear-cut decision.
Is this Marco Antonio Barrera's swansong? Could be. The classy Mexican started his pro career in 1989, and won his first world title in 1994. He didn't necessarily look old in the Juarez original, but you got the feeling that, five years ago, he would have shut the Houstonian out. Once Juarez figured out that aggression would slow Barrera down, he waded right in with little regard for what Barrera fired back. He was bigger and stronger than Barrera, who started his career as a flyweight. This time around, expect Juarez to start much faster, banging away at Barrera's body. Look for Barrera to box and move, shooting the jab and looking great over the first five or six rounds. But, around the seventh, Barrera's legs will start to look their age in light of the body work and pressure that Juarez is applying. By the championship rounds, Barrera will be busted up and bruised and on his last legs. He will fight back with his usual gusto, but simply won't have the punching power or energy to deter the younger, fresher Juarez. End of an era. Juarez by unanimous decision.
Marco Antonio Barrera has been boxing professionally since he was 15 years old. At 32, and with 67 fights under his belt, he knows his craft. Barrera can box as well as punch, and he uses this versatility to keep his opponents off balance. In his May fight against Rocky Juarez, Barrera spent too much time mixing it up with his stronger opponent, and barely eked out a split decision. In the rematch, Barrera will box more and fight less, using his experience to blunt the youth and power of Juarez. Barrera by decision.
Barrera will be more cautious than the first time around. If he tries to bang with Juarez, then Barrera will be in deep trouble. Barrera will out think Rocky Juarez in a very good scrap and take a close unanimous decision win.
Barrera dug deep and pulled out a slim victory the first time. There's still plenty left to dig. He'll need to go to a higher level against young, confident stud, but he's Barrera, one of the greats. Barrera on points in another thriller on what looks like a terrific card.
Juarez is still younger and faster than Barrera and this time he will get the decision on the judges’ cards. Barrera has trouble with fighters who can get off and land before him and then use movement to get out of harm’s way. Juarez fits that bill to a T and should be able to use his hand speed to beat MAB to the punch and use movement to avoid the return fire. Barrera is still as good as they come and uses ring smarts to stay in the game at its highest level. Look for Juarez to land first, get inside and double up the left hook as the judges award him this time for landing the cleaner, harder punches.
If Barrera looks like the old man that stumbled down the stretch in their first fight, we can expect this to be a repeat of what happened when he was bludgeoned by Manny Pacquiao. Boxing, especially in the lighter divisions, is a young man's game. Juarez, the 2000 Olympic silver medalist, is younger, fresher, and has the confidence that he can hang with a ring legend for 12 rounds. Look for Juarez to win a unanimous decision, although the scores will be much closer than they should be.
Juarez gave Barrera a beating once already and I don't see what Barrera will be able to do differently to offset his power. Juarez has got Barrera's number and will make it look easier this time. Juarez TKO's Barrera in 9.
Although I thought he won, Barrera looked very vulnerable in the first fight with Juarez. Juarez is much younger and has room for improvement, while Barrera might be a little too old to do anything different. In a battle of wills, Juarez will prevail this time around. Juarez TKO 9.
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line – the bane of Marco Antonio Barrera’s career. Junior Jones, Eric Morales and Manny Pacquiao, all straight punchers, threaded the needle. Rocky Juarez is not; he’s a hooker – a pressure fighter, not a sharpshooter. But he was busy enough – did enough damage (though he didn’t get the nod last time) to make this rematch a must-see. MAB’s more versatile, mixes it to the head and body better and throws in clusters. Rocky loads up, is relentless and keeps battering with the hook. This is Juarez’s litmus test: Does he graduate to TV’s short list, or go back to the treadmill? Barrera’s ripe. Time and wear ‘n’ tear has to have taken a toll. Juarez is bound to bring-it even more. But, it’s still the same scenario: Juarez is a hooker, and straight punchers beat MAB. I think Barrera has enough in the tank and ring savvy to win a bruising split decision.
Should be another close fight. I like the fact that the rematch is being held only four months after the first fight. A longer layoff could have hurt Barrera because mentally and physically the training grind often adversely affects older fighters, and Barrera is 32 years and 62 fights old. Barrera by decision.
Opinions vary on who won the first match between Marco Antonio Barrera and Rocky Juarez, and both fighters enter their rematch with something to prove. As promoter Oscar De La Hoya said, "Marco wants to prove that the first win was no fluke and Rocky wants that title belt around his waist. This is a war in the making." In this bout, both will get their wish and we will have a thrilling trilogy in the making. Juarez by decision.
Yet another top, tough to call matchup in a year that's seen many such affairs. If Barrera box box boxes he should still have enough left to pull out another close fight. Still, the screaming Mexican Independence Day crowd will get everybody psyched, and Juarez could very well become the latest legend killer in boxing's youth movement. Another literal coin toss, this one came up cabezas, for Barrera.