Three of boxing's most highly regarded young boxers - Rocky Juarez, Francisco "Panchito" Bojado and Juan Diaz - hope to continue their winning ways when they will be featured in separate 10-round bouts on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday, Feb. 1, at 10 PM ET/PT. Juarez (14-0, 10 KOs), 22, the 2000 Olympic Silver Medallist, will face former USBA 122-pound champion Jason "Schoolboy" Pires (20-2, 9 KOs). Bojado (10-1, 9 KOs), 19, who scored early-round knockouts in his first nine bouts, will seek his second consecutive victory since his only loss when he meets Frankie Santos (15-1-2, 7 KOs). The youngest boxer to ever appear on SHOWTIME, Diaz (19-0, 9 KOs), 19, will be opposed by John "Macho Midget" Bailey (21-9-2, 13 KOs). SHOWTIME will televise the Main Events, Inc.-promoted fight card from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
"I am really looking forward to fighting again on SHOWTIME. This is going to be an exciting fight. I have seen a few rounds of Pires on tape and I know he is a good fighter with a lot of heart and that he was an alternate on the 1996 U.S. Olympic team. He also has good speed and is very tall, but I am accustomed to fighting taller guys. So there is no way I take him lightly. I usually do not watch a lot of tape on any of my opponents, but only because things can change once a fight starts and I like to keep it spontaneous and fight on instinct. Sometimes, you can practice too many things. My training has been really good. Like always, I made some subtle changes to how I go about preparing for an opponent.
FRANCISCO "PANCHITO" BOJADO
"I am anxious and ready to get back in the ring again. This is my second camp with my trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr. The first one, we both we're sort of feeling out each other and what we were about, but this one, I feel like I really learned more and was able to pick up on more things he was trying to teach me. I know Santos is coming to win, but I would not want it any other way. People seem to make more out of my one loss than I do. Of course, it was a setback and I did not like it, but I learned from it and know I have to move on. The key thing for me is, I know that one day I am going to get to the top. It might be fast or it might be slow, but I know I am going to get there. I was fortunate during my winning streak to be able to make a name for myself and that in itself helped me fulfill a lot of my dreams. I am still young. I have a lot of good days ahead of me.''
"I feel that I am in the best shape of my life and that they are definitely making a big mistake by fighting me. I have a very sick little boy back home and he is always with me, but the time is coming for me to fight and that is what I am concentrating on right now. I am not impressed with Bojado. He is strong, but not much more. I plan to fight from the opening bell and see what happens. I am treating this like the biggest fight of my career. A win will do wonders for me and it will help me take the next step of my career. I know it may not be easy to win a decision so all I can hope for is for the judges to give the right guy the decision. I am ready to go and thankful for this opportunity.''
"This guy has a lot of experience - he has fought Ricky Hatton - and I know he has guts. This will not be as easy fight. So I know I will have to stick to my game plan. I continue to learn and gain experience each time out. I like the way my career is going. In my last fight, I was in the main event. That is quite an honor, and something that I will always regard as special. I did not go to the Olympics and never fought in any open amateur tournaments, so I never fought older guys until I turned pro. The maturity I feel I have now as opposed to when I first started is like night in day. I still know that I have a lot to learn, but that is why I keep working as hard as I do.''