Challenge Accepted: Selina Barrios vs Paty Juarez
By David A. Avila
A cool and calm Selina Barrios defends the NABF lightweight title against the confident Paty Juarez after challenges were issued and challenges accepted.
It’s unclear who challenged who first, but Barrios (4-0) meets Juarez (4-0) in a 10-round clash on Saturday Sept. 22, at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas. It is part of a fight card called Heavyweight Boxing Showdown. It won’t be televised.
San Antonio’s Barrios says it was Juarez who challenged first. Denver’s Juarez claims it was Barrios. No matter, both will fight each other in this era of women’s boxing that has seen many female boxers returning to the sport after years of inactivity.
Juarez, 37, lives in Colorado but is part of one of Mexico’s most illustrious boxing families the Juarez sisters Mariana “Barby” Juarez and Lourdes “Lulu” Juarez. Unlike her sisters, she did not begin her pro career until two years ago.
The middle sister of the fighting sister clan was born in Mexico City but now lives in another high altitude city of Denver. She has never fought 10 rounds before but there’s no time to waste.
“Well, let’s handle the distance work beginning in the first round and see how to work it after that,” said Juarez, whose longest fight was only six rounds last November against veteran Brittany Cruz. Juarez won by decision.
Going 10 rounds can be very trying the first time.
Barrios, 26, fought once before at 10 rounds when she won the NABF title last December against California’s Lisa Porter.
“Lisa Porter was my toughest fight because she had the background and experience and boxing skill as well,” said Barrios who along with Porter were breathing heavily at the end of the 10-round contest. “It wasn’t just a regular female not connecting. She is a good boxer and very good.”
Now, Barrios faces Juarez and any time anyone faces a Juarez sister expectations rise because of the myriad of accomplishments gathered by the sisterhood of pugilists. The eldest sister Mariana Juarez holds the WBC bantamweight world title and younger sister Lourdes Juarez is a highly ranked flyweight.
Paty Juarez is no less proud and willing to compete than her sisters and when a challenge arrived she accepted quickly.
“Well, they are the ones who looked for me first, but they wanted a fight without the title,” said Juarez. “My promoter said that if we were going to fight we were going to travel if we fought for each other. So here we are.”
Barrios recalls differently.
“Her camp called me out. My manager went to a fight where her sister was fighting and her manager was there. They said we want to fight Selina. We know we can fight her and beat her,” said Barrios. “It’s kind of hard for me to get fights. So when they told me I’m going to fight ‘La Barby’s’ sister I said that’s cool.”
Each fighter arrives with the same undefeated record after four professional engagements. Barrios has a talented brother Mario Barrios competing professionally and Juarez two top notch sisters.
Ten rounds of punching each other can take a serious toll.
“I am sure of myself and of what I have and I will try to win each and every round until the tenth round,” said Juarez with confidence.
Barrios equals in confidence.
“I’m ok with fighting one of the famous Juarez sisters. I’m not scared. If I could I’d fight her sister Mariana. But she is too small,” said Barrios whose last fight in July was a one-punch knockout win. “To be honest I do expect to fight a top notch fighter on Saturday.”
The fight is on.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are priced at $10 to $150 for V.I.P. seating. For purchasing tickets go to ticktreturn.com.
Whataburger Field is located at 734 E. Port Ave. Corpus Christi, Texas 78401