Juarez, Bojado and Diaz conference call
14.11.03 - Juarez, Bojado and Diaz participated in a conference call to discuss their upcoming fights on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday, Nov. 22, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Juarez, 23, the 2000 Olympic Games Silver Medalist, will fight for his first title when he takes on WBO No. 4/WBC No. 10 featherweight contender, Hector Velazquez, in a 12-rounder for the WBC Continental Americas featherweight crown. Bojado, 20, will attempt to avenge his only pro defeat when he faces Juan Carlos Rubio in a 12-round bout for the WBC Continental Americas junior welterweight title. Diaz, who turned 20 on Sept. 17, will square off against Joel Perez in a 10-round lightweight match. SHOWTIME will televise the Main Events, Inc.-promoted fight card from Reliant Park in Houston.
Article posted on 14.11.2003
Question: Rocky, how is training going?
Juarez: Training has been going great. I really do not know much about Velazquez. I have studied a little portion of a tape they sent me. My training has been going great, my weight has been good and Ray has been working with me on certain combinations.
Question: Francisco, how did the California fires affect your training in Big Bear?Bojado: I do not think the fire had an affect on me. We decided to go down the mountain the day before everyone was evacuated. We were training in Los Angeles for a week and then decided to go back up to Big Bear when they put out the fire. I just kept training the whole time and my mind is ready to go. I have been training for this fight for a while and I am excited to get back in the ring.
Question: Juan, how is training going?
Diaz: Things are going good. I have been training hard like always. I have been getting my mind set for Perez. I know he is a tough opponent and I know it will be a great match on Nov. 22.
Question: Francisco, what are you doing differently to prepare for your rematch with Rubio?
Bojado: The biggest mistake I made in the first fight was that I was too anxious. I went in there and tried to take him out with one punch, and I ended up punching myself out. This time, it is a whole different game plan, a whole different training camp with different people. With Floyd Mayweather, we have been training in different combinations and trying to go over the things I did wrong in the first fight. I am excited and ready to go.
Question: What changes did you make since the fight with Rubio?
Bojado: I was not training with my usual people before the first fight. That had a lot to do with it. There were a lot of things involved. I have a new team, and I have fought four fights with my new team and I feel good. I am in good shape to go the distance.
Question: How much do you think being a young fighter had to do with the loss?
Bojado: I am a young fighter. I turned pro when I was 17. The good thing is that I have time on my side. You never stop learning in this business. It has been almost a year with the new team, and I have learned a lot from that fight in and out of the ring. I am ready to go. Every other fight I lost as an amateur, that person never beat me twice. Nobody is going to beat me twice.
Question: Rocky, which fights do you the most good, the ones you win easily, or the fights in which you have to work hard?
Juarez: I prefer the fights that are easy, but I learned a lot from the (Antonio) Diaz fight. It was a physical fight, but if people watch the tape, he never really hurt me. I walked away with a pretty clean face. He hardly ever hit me in my face. It was just an awkward, physical fight. There was a lot of inside fighting. Diaz had a lot of experience behind him, but I was never behind in the fight. Going into the last round, I still had the power to knock him out. I was never really looking for the knockout. I was just trying to set him up. I finally landed a good punch, a punch I had been practicing in the gym for that fight. I finally threw it and it landed.
Question: Juan, do you feel your hard fights are taking a toll on you?
Diaz: It is not a big deal to me. As an amateur, I was used to fighting everyday. It prepared me for being a professional boxer. If this is what it takes for me to become a world champion and learn, I am going to do it. If my fights go the distance, it does not bother me. I am thankful that I started young. I have a fight, and I am ready to go again a week later.
Question: Was it a big adjustment to move up to 10 rounds?
Diaz: My stamina has never been a problem for me because I always train hard and do what I am supposed to do. The only thing that was a little bit scary was going eight or 10 rounds with grown men. Stamina was never an issue.
Question: Rocky, why do you think you have struggled in your last two fights in your hometown?
Juarez: I fight often in Houston, so I do not know to be honest with you. I fought here (in Houston) as an amateur and it never bothered me. Once you step in the ring, I concentrate on my opponent. I do not try and concentrate on making my fans happy. I like to think about my opponent and getting the job done. With the Diaz fight, I felt that was a good tough fight. I never fell behind and I finished dramatically. I really do not know why my last two fights in Houston have been difficult.
Question: Is there anything dramatically different we can expect in this fight?
Juarez: I know Velazquez has a lot of experience behind him, but I feel confident after my last fight. My confidence level has really risen since my last fight. If you asked me before that fight if I thought I could beat someone like Barrera, I would have said not right now. If you ask me now, I would say yes. I just feel my confidence level is much better. Mentally and physically I feel I can beat anyone out there right now.
Question: What did you get out of the Diaz fight?
Juarez: I think what I got from that fight is that I should have let go more. In the last two rounds, I began to let go with hard punches. Once I began to let go, I began to land and hurt Diaz. Finally, in the last round, I landed. I just need to throw. When I throw, I land. I need to stop being too cautious. I always thought I had power, but in my last fights, I see it has improved. I just have to keep letting my hands go and use a lot of hand movement.
Question: Francisco, does it motivate you for this fight knowing you were at your worst and Rubio barely beat you in the first fight?
Bojado: That was not my motivation. That first fight was one of my worst days, and he still could not beat me the way he wanted to. Now, I am in the best shape I have ever been in and that is only going to get better with time. I am anxious and ready to go.
Question: Juan, which do you think will come first, a bachelor's degree or world title?
Diaz: I am hoping for the world title, but you never know.
Question: Where are you in school right now?
Diaz: I am a sophomore at the University of Houston. I think I am going to study law, but I am not sure what kind of law. I am taking three classes right now and my grade point average is 3.2.
Question: What is a typical day for you?
Diaz: I wake up Monday morning about 6:30 in the morning. I meet with the strength coach at 7 a.m. and work out for 30-40 minutes. Then, I will go home before going to the boxing gym from 11 a.m.â€“2 p.m. After leaving the gym, I get to school at 2:30. After classes, I go home and do homework.
Question: Rocky, you mentioned you are a more confident fighter now. Where does that confidence come from?
Juarez: I think it is a confidence that just happens from fighting. I guess you begin to see the talent inside and it makes you more confident. When I turned pro, I did not know if I was going to do well. As I had more fights, my confidence level increased. I just feel I am at my best right now. My training is better. I like training and look forward to going to the gym. At one time, I felt tired, but, right now, I look forward to working out. Right now, I just feel I am destined to be a world champion and that has boosted my confidence.
Question: Is it accurate to say you have matured as a boxer and truly feel like a professional now?
Juarez: I think that is accurate. I feel I have gotten better and improved with each fight. My power has improved. Everything with training is still the same. I have just been improving in every department.
Question: Do you find yourself doing things more instinctively in the ring?
Juarez: Yes, I do things more instinctively. I work on a punch during sparring. One thing we are doing now is sparring a lot of amateurs. Right now, I am sparring 12 rounds and switch off during that time between amateurs and professionals. I feel that amateur fighters are sometimes harder than the professional fighters. They are a lot faster. They keep me moving and throwing.
Question: How close do you think you are to a title fight?
Juarez: I think I will be ready to fight for a word title in the coming year. Right now, I am on my 18th fight, and have always said I would be ready for a world title sometime around my 20th fight. I think after 23 or 24 fights, I will be ready for a title shot.
Question: What do you think you need to work on before getting a title shot?
Juarez: This will be my first 12-round fight, so this will be a learning experience. I hope it does not go 12 rounds, but if it does, I am ready. I am in the best shape of my career. I feel strong. My weight is down and I am ready.
Question: What goes on in your mind that makes you hold back in a fight?
Juarez: I like to see everything. I do not just throw punches. Every punch I throw has to land. That might be what hurts me in the ring. Sometimes I might need to throw to make my opponent commit and counter off his punch. I did not want to get head-butted in the Diaz fight, so I was trying to avoid getting hit with an awkward punch. .
Question: What do you expect from Velazquez?
Juarez: From the little I have seen of him, Velazquez is a calm fighter. He holds back. He has a good right hand. He is a little taller than me, like every other fighter. I am quicker. I feel my jab will be a key in this fight. He likes to throw one-two combinations. I am prepared for whatever he does.
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