Rocky Juarez not ready to be Written Off - Beats Jorge Rodrigo Barrios
By Vikram Birring at ringside for DoghouseBoxing (Sept 8, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
Rocky Juarez knew that this was his final chance for redemption at a career unfulfilled. If he did not defeat Jorge Rodrigo Barrios, his hometown fans would never forgive him. Worse, he would never forgive himself.

Years ago, when he and Juan Diaz were aligned with promoter Main Events, Juarez was in the main event and Diaz fought on the under card. Since then, Diaz won three lightweight championship belts, had a litany of successful defenses, while Juarez never quite fulfilled what at one time looked to be such a promising career.

Yet, despite four losses, Juarez got one final chance: a chance to star against durable former champion in his hometown.

For six rounds, it looked as if, that once again Juarez would fail to capture the moment, as he looked sluggish and was outhustled by the motivated “Hiena” of Argentina.

Then, slowly, Juarez began to pick up the pace. Juarez began to let his hands go, and caught Barrios with an assortment of counter punches in the seventh and eighth rounds.

In the closing seconds of the ninth, Barrios trapped Juarez in the corner and flailed away, stealing a round, an old Sugar Ray Leonard tactic.

Though he came out strong in the tenth, Barrios tired from throwing so many punches, and Juarez let loose with a variety of crunching punches, to the body and head. But then he fatigued as well, and Barrios finished the round strong. But that would be his final highlight.

Between rounds ten and eleven, a light went off in Rocky Juarez’s head. If he did not finish off a tired Barrios, he may not get the win on the scorecards. If he did not get the win, he would get written off yet again, and fade into boxing obscurity.

In the old days, Juarez would have given a game effort, shrugged his shoulders when he lost, and walked off with his head down.

But this time, Juarez saw the light. All of his past experiences, failures and shortcomings, all of the pain he bottled up for never reaching his goals, he let out on the skull of Jorge Barrios in the eleventh round. He pounded away, and finally, a thudding left hook followed by a sadistic right cross send Barrios down to the canvas. The thousands who came to support their man roared in delight, and Barrios somehow managed to rise to his feet.

But the referee noticed something was not right. Barrios was not just bleeding, but spewing blood. Juarez had so badly beaten Barrios that his lip was split open. Split as in a canyon. The ring doctor immediately halted the bout, and Rocky Juarez was lifted in the air by trainer Ronnie Shields.

Rocky Juarez finally managed to do what he never had before. He captured the moment, believed in himself, and achieved success on the highest level.

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