Jorge Linares vs. Rocky Juarez Preview

Juan Manuel Marquez takes on Juan Diaz this Saturday, July 31, in a rematch of the 2009 Fight of the Year. The bout headlines an HBO pay-per-view event in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay. In the coming days, Inside Fights will preview the four fights being featured on the pay-per-view telecast. Next up, Jorge Linares and Rocky Juarez in a lightweight bout.

Jorge Linares vs. Rocky Juarez

Jorge Linares (28-1, 18 KOs) needs to make a good impression in his debut as a lightweight. His meteoric rise saw him capture world titles as both a featherweight and super featherweight. It all came crashing down, however, on October 10, 2009. Linares was handed his first loss in stunning fashion: 1st round TKO by Juan Carlos Salgado. It took only 73 seconds for the luster to fade away from the Golden Boy, but at only 24 years of age, there is plenty of time for Linares to restore his shine. That opportunity will come Saturday night against a man that has been beaten over the head with opportunity.

Rocky Juarez (28-6-1, 20 KOs) finished in second place at the 2000 Summer Olympics, earning a silver medal. Unfortunately for Juarez, he has finished in second place in most of his meaningful professional bouts. His best win was also his last, a 2008 TKO of Jorge Rodrigo Barrios. Juarez had been losing to world class opponents, but that’s no excuse for his last loss to Jason Litzau. Rocky Juarez is also making his debut at lightweight and perhaps looking for a fresh start, but he’s nothing more than a gatekeeper at this point. If Juarez wins, it likely means that Jorge Linares isn’t the fighter he was hyped up to be. That must sound familiar to Rocky Juarez.

Juarez is a bit of a slow starter that comes on late in his fights. That is not the strategy that Salgado used to beat Linares: swarming him from the opening bell, dropping him once, and earning the stoppage in less than two minutes. Juarez is durable but the two options in this fight are Juarez by KO or Linares by decision. I expect Linares to be supremely focused and rack up the early rounds, then avoid any late rallies from Juarez to coast into a comfortable 98-92 score.

Part 1: Daniel Jacobs vs. Dmitry Pirog

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