Saul Juarez confident of winning title despite setting
On Tuesday, Saul “Baby” Juarez will challenge Wanheng Menayothin for the WBC strawweight title in Chonburi, Thailand.
Juarez (23-4-1, 12 knockouts) is confident in his ability to win his first world title, though he is wary of fighting in the titleholder’s home country.
“Basically, the only thing that concerns me is a local decision by the judges. Everything else doesn’t worry me,” Juarez told RingTV.com through his promoter, Oswaldo Kulche of Promociones Del Pueblo. “I trust all the preparation that we did.
“(Menayothin) is a strong fighter, but I trained very hard to bring back the WBC title back to Mexico.”
Likewise, the 25-year-old Juarez will be the toughest test in a while for Menayothin (42-0, 17 KOs), who took the belt from Oswaldo Novoa in November 2014 but has faced novices and journeymen since then. Juarez is rated at No. 10 by THE RING, while Menayothin is rated No. 1.
Juarez, who trained at altitude for 12 weeks, has been accompanied to Thailand by his father, who will work his corner along with boxer Yessica González – with whom he sparred in the build-up.
They flew from Mexico last Monday afternoon, via Amsterdam, which was a 10 hour, 35 minute flight, followed by another 11 hours to Bangkok. They then had an two hour drive from the Thai capital to Chonburi.
The last of Juarez’s four pro loses came 20 months ago in his only fight outside Mexico, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Milan Melindo in the Philippines up at junior flyweight.
“The fight with Melindo was a great fight,” he said. “and it helped me to get more experience, now I am more mature and with more preparation [ready] to wear the WBC belt.”
Since then Juarez has scored three wins and a technical draw to position himself as the WBC No. 1 at 105 pounds.
Kulche, who has worked with many world champions over the years including Marco Antonio Rubio, Jhonny Gonzalez and Julio Ceja, is full of belief that his fighter can return home with the title, though admits he did seek unsuccessfully to gain home advantage.
“We trust Saul, and we trust the training that he did,” said the promoter. “It really doesn’t matter if the fight is in Thailand or in Mexico.
“I tried to bring the fight to Mexico, but we couldn’t; now we are mentally prepared to win and bring back the title to Mexico.”
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright.