RGV Boxing Notes: Juarez preparing for second pro fight

The ultimate goal has always been clear.

Light welterweight Omar “El Relampago” Juarez wants to be Brownsville’s first world champion in boxing.

The journey toward reaching that goal has barely begun.

Juarez’s second pro fight is scheduled for Saturday on a televised Premier Boxing Champions show in Minneapolis. The four-round bout is to be broadcast on Fox Sports 1, just like his pro debut was televised last Sept. 30 from Ontario, Calif. That’s when “Relampago” defeated Matt Gavers on a four-round unanimous decision.

This time, Juarez’s scheduled opponent is Ricky Gutierrez (0-1) of Colby, Kan.

Originally, Juarez was scheduled to make his pro debut at 141 pounds Aug. 24, 2018, in Minneapolis, but, amazingly, his opponent came in 13 pounds underweight at 128 pounds, and the fight was called off by the Minnesota State Boxing Commission. “Relampago” wound up making his pro debut one month later in California.

“I feel such a relief (to have my pro debut over),” Juarez said at the time. “The experience (of fighting on national TV) was surreal.

“God blessed me with the win,” added Juarez, a 2016 Hanna graduate who currently attends college and gives motivational talks at local schools. “Now I’m ready to go forward.”

Juarez is viewed as a highly regarded prospect in the pro ranks and has set his sights on a world championship, which would be Brownsville’s first.

“It feels amazing (to win on live TV),” he said, “It’s exactly what I wanted to do, which is to rep Brownsville. I’m grateful for all the support.”

The main event of Saturday’s PBC show features Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 knockouts) vs. Avni Yildirim (21-1, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBC world super middleweight title.

Juarez is expected to leave for Minneapolis on Wednesday.

STILL A SUCCESS

Despite not having Brownsville’s Johnny “Blaze” Tapia fighting in the main event, Friday’s “Browntown Beatdown” boxing show at Amigoland Convention Center still attracted a pretty good crowd.

Tapia pulled out of the event at last Thursday’s weigh-in at Luke Fruia Motors, saying a suitable opponent had not been provided for him.

The revised card presented by S-U-NIK Promotions saw McAllen welterweight Enrique “El Tornado” Alvarez (8-0, five KOs) capture a victory by four-round decision in the main event and Weslaco heavyweight Eric “Drummer Boy” Molina (27-5, 19 KOs) pound out a six-round win by decision in the co-main event.

There was some lingering controversy regarding Tapia’s pullout.

Longtime Rio Grande Valley boxing figure Julio Marines of Weslaco, who served as matchmaker for the show, said he wanted to clarify the situation.

“There are two sides to every story,” Marines said. “We did everything we could to find an opponent for Johnny. Leading up to the weigh-in, we had proposed more than 20 fighters as potential opponents, and none of them were accepted by Johnny or his father (Juan Tapia Jr., who is also his manager).

“Yes, it wasn’t at the original contracted weight of 126 pounds,” Marines added. “But Johnny wasn’t going to make that weight, either. I feel the promoter and I did everything possible to arrange a fight.”

PANTERITA TRIUMPHS

Coming off a period between fights of 18 months, Weslaco welterweight Omar “Panterita” Figueroa Jr. remained unbeaten with Saturday’s 10-round unanimous decision (99-91, 98-92, 97-93) in Los Angeles against John Molina Jr. (30-8, 24 KOs) of Covina, Calif.

Figueroa improved to 28-0-1 with 19 KOs. He is the former WBC world lightweight champion.

Before Saturday, “Panterita’s” most recent fight was a third-round technical knockout win against Robert Guerrero (34-6-1, 19 KOs) on July 15, 2017, in New York.