Omar Juarez is a young, fast-rising junior welterweight. He has his first 10-rounder on April 17 as he continues to grow as a boxer.
Omar Juarez is gaining a lot of boxing buzz as the 21-year-old from Brownsville, Texas, continues to rack up wins in the ring. His is an unlikely story that transpired due to Juarez’s strength of character and determination.
Juarez (10-0, 5 KOs) fights replacement opponent Elias Damian Araujo (21-2, 8 KOs) on Saturday, April 17, on the undercard of the Tony Harrison vs. Bryant Perrella fight card. Originally, he was supposed to fight Jessie Roman, but he pulled out with an injury days before the fight. It’s Juarez’s first 10-round fight and against an opponent that he has had little time to prep for.
That shouldn’t be a problem for Juarez. He’s used to dealing with obstacles.
Juarez started boxing when he was 8 years old. He followed his older brother Rudy into the ring. He didn’t find success right away. It was a slow process, and Juarez had to endure numerous losses before the tide shifted in his favor.
“I remember my first fight, the first punch anybody ever threw, I got hit, and I fell down,” Juarez recounted to FanSided. “I got up, and I don’t even know what was happening. Again, they gave me the eight-count and another punch is thrown, I fell down, and I remember it was one of the worst feelings ever. I was crying before, during, and after my fight. But I don’t know, something in me told me that the sport would get me somewhere and I love what it taught me. The discipline. The sacrifice that hard work always pays off. And it changed my life in a positive way.”
Juarez estimates that he only won around eight of his first 30 fights. His optimism carried him through the tough times in the ring, but he had moments where he considered quitting.
Omar Juarez exudes positivity as he works towards his boxing goals.
“Oh, absolutely,” said Juarez about thoughts of quitting. “All the time. I mean, it wasn’t so much that the sport was hard. It was just that the things I was missing. I wasn’t able to eat cake. I wasn’t able to go out with my friends. Every time I’ll get back from school, I would watch everyone play, and I had to get my stuff ready for training, stuff like that.”
As much as the sacrifices bothered him, a voice in Juarez’s head told him to keep going.
“It was just something inside me that that told me that it was gonna make me different, and that’s what I loved about boxing,” said Juarez. “It made me different.”
Juarez’s fortune inside the ring changed when his father stepped away from his truck driving job to train Juarez and his brothers more consistently. He started to travel with them regularly to tournaments. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Juarez wasn’t getting the work he needed in Brownsville, so he traveled to find it.
By the end of his amateur career, Juarez had somewhere in the range of 120 fights and won six national titles, according to his PBC biography. Juarez excelled in school throughout it all and graduated early due to the dual-credit courses he took in high school. Math was his favorite subject. He probably uses those skills today during his current studies.
“I’m currently doing a certification for nutrition with Precision Nutrition,” said Juarez. “I’m almost about done with it, man. But yeah, I’m getting certified to be a nutritionist.”
Juarez uses his knowledge as a budding nutritionist to better assist his conditioning and health. He currently cooks and preps all of his meals.
When not boxing, you can find Juarez occasionally speaking to large audiences. He’s quickly gaining a reputation as a top motivational speaker. Several motivational speakers inspired him as an adolescent, and he’s paying those lessons forward to others.
“Ever since I was smaller, you know, a lot of fighters like to listen to music to pump them up,” explained Juarez. “What I would do was I would listen to motivational speeches on YouTube by Eric Thomas, Cus D’Amato, Muhammad Ali’s sometimes. I listen to a lot of motivational speeches about life. About giving up. About not giving up. About what happens when you do give up, when you don’t give up, the hard steps in life.”
Motivational speeches generate a sense of self-affirmation, which is something that has obviously worked for Juarez. He hopes to inspire other people the way the voices he mentioned inspired him. Juarez has received numerous awards and commendations for his work as a motivational speaker and his charitable work.
A positive mindset and hard work have gotten Juarez to where he is today. He has more goals to conquer, but if Juarez can think it and speak it, he can make his dreams come true.
Watch Omar Juarez vs. Elias Damian Araujo on Saturday, April 17 on FOX. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET.