Brownsville native Omar Juarez had a six-month layoff between his last fight and the one prior because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it only took one month for him to get his latest opportunity.
The 21-year-old Juarez will be fighting 25-year-old Dakota Linger from West Virginia in a Premier Boxing Championship super lightweight prospect eight-round bout Sunday in Los Angeles. The fight between the undefeated Juarez (8-0, 4 KO) and Linger (12-3-2, 8 KO) will be aired on Fox at 7 p.m.
“It’s a blessing, it really is. I’m really excited and really happy,” Juarez said. “I’m trying to get as many fights in this year as I can during these hard times, and we’re just going to take it one fight at a time. It’s a big process, but I’m really glad to be back.”
On Aug. 8, Juarez returned to the ring after a long stretch of training and waiting due to the coronavirus pandemic and earned a unanimous decision victory over Willie Shaw. It’s a quick turnaround to get back in the ring Sunday, but Juarez feels ready for the challenge.
He spent time in Las Vegas at the end of August to do some sparring in preparation for this fight. Juarez sparred with WBA world champion Gervonta Davis and others at the Mayweather Boxing Gym, and even received some compliments for his efforts from Floyd Mayweather. Juarez then returned to finish training camp in San Antonio with his trainer, Rick Nunez, before heading to Los Angeles.
“We’ve been active, we’ve been training. I only took two days off, so I’ve been ready,” Juarez said. “We were actually in Vegas, we were sparring there, when we got the news that I would be fighting Sept. 6. It was a very good experience to get me ready. I feel like we’re exactly where we left off, if not in better shape.”
Juarez has been watching tape of Linger to get ready for Sunday’s fight and feels prepared for anything his opponent will bring to the table. He has been training hard to reach his goal of becoming “the first world champion from Brownsville, Texas” and said he’s grateful for the support he’ll have from his community when he gets back in the ring.
“He is a shorter fighter, so he is going to be putting a lot of pressure and he’s an aggressive fighter,” Juarez said. “But I feel like my ring IQ and my experience is really going to play a good role in this fight. I’m going to utilize my jab a lot, and work the body and break him down.
“I just want to thank all my supporters, my sponsors, my trainers and my dad for everything, and my family. Especially the city of Brownsville for always showing me love,” Juarez said.