This one just got a lot more interesting.
Juan Manuel Marquez won't be facing Jorge Barrios on September 15th, in what was to be his first defense of the 130-pound title he won from Marco Antonio Barrera in March. Doctors found damage to Barrios' retinas in a routine pre-fight exam, and the Argentinian challenger underwent immediate surgery. He is likely to fight again, but not before December. In all candor, it's good luck for Barrios. A fight with Marquez could have ended his career and seriously damaged his quality of life.
In steps Rocky Juarez, who twice challenged Barrera in 2006 for the 130-pound title, and was scheduled to take on featherweight champion Robert Guerrero on the undercard. The Juarez team is, as you would expect, very excited about this opportunity.
"The main thing is that this is a much higher profile fight," said Juarez's manager, Shelly Finkel. "I also told him, but not to take it into consideration, that if we didn't fight Marquez, the whole card might fall apart. He's got another opportunity here for a major fight like he had against Barrera. Now, Rocky just has to take advantage of it."
Finkel believes Juarez has a legitimate shot. And so do I.
Juarez is an exciting fighter, a good puncher, and a fairly skilled boxer. He gave Barrera all he could handle in their first bout, and in the second, he was just out-boxed by a more focused Marco, who was this time prepared for him. Marquez is in the position Barrera was the first time around -- not expecting to fight Rocky Juarez.
Marquez-Juarez makes this show more attractive, and I already thought HBO had done a great job compiling an undercard beneath a shaky main event. The Forbes-Bojado and Ouma-Mora fights remain, and Golden Boy is actively searching for a replacement to face Guerrero.
In sadder news, WBA super middleweight champ Anthony Mundine's career is in jeopardy due to an infection in his left eye. Doctors in Australia are not optimistic about their chances to give Mundine full vision in the eye.