Lourdes “Pequeña Lulu” Juarez vs Leiryn “La China” Flores in Mexico City
By Felipe Leon
It must be difficult for the 32-year-old Lourdes “Pequeña Lulu” Juarez (26-2, 3KO) to visit the home of her older sister, the legendary Mariana “Barbie” Juarez. It would be assumed Mariana has predominately displayed in her home the number of world titles she has accumulated in a career that has spanned two decades. Lourdes, who has been a pro for six years is still in search of her first world title.
“It is nice to see all her titles assembled in one place,” Lourdes said exclusively to the Prizefighters.com. “I know how much hard work they have cost my sister to win every one of those belts. It excites and motivates me to keep working hard and above all to keep learning.”
She will get a step closer this Saturday night in her hometown of Mexico City when she faces the hard-hitting undefeated Venezuelan Leiryn “La China” Flores (15-0-1, 12KO) in the semi-main event of the fight card airing live in Mexico on Televisa. The night is presented by Promociones del Pueblo.
“I have forbidden myself to lose,” the younger Juarez stated recently. “First we need to win this fight so I can keep going up the ranks and to be able to keep asking for the world title opportunity.”
Juarez, mother of two young children, is currently ranked #1 at flyweight by the World Boxing Council with the veteran Ibeth Zamora as the reigning champion. Despite her impressive record, Flores is not ranked.
The ten-round scheduled bout marks the first time Flores, 28, fights out of her native Venezuela although she traveled outside of it as an amateur. She will be taking a huge step up in her competition since Juarez will be the first opponent she has faced with a winning record. Flores seems to have power with 80 percent of her fights ending in KO.
“That is why we must fight intelligently,” Juarez said of her opponent’s power. “We can’t lose our cool. We have to be ready for anything she can bring. Fight with our hands up and box her intelligently. We want to dominate the fight from the opening bell.”
Juarez has an impressive 26-fight win streak. She last tasted defeat five years ago. The first, a technical knockout loss to Jazmin Ortega in early 2014 and in her very next fight she lost to Brisa Hernandez via a split decision. Since then she has gone on a tear with impressive wins over the likes of Jackie Calvo twice, Noemi Bosques, Karina Fernandez, Anahi Torres, Diana Fernandez and Kandy Sandoval.
Juarez holds the WBC FECOMBOX flyweight title but what she really wants is a world title.
“We have talked about it with my promoter,” Juarez explained. “They said we are on our way to the opportunity. We shouldn’t lose. Each win gets us closer to the title shot. I would like to end the year with a title shot but my promoters are the ones that will make that decision. Nothing is set in stone but I do think there will be one more fight before the title shot.”
First Flores then La Roca
If all goes according to plan then Juarez will find herself across the ring from the accomplished “La Roca” Zamora.
At this point I am not challenging Zamora,” Juarez said of the current flyweight champion. “I can beat her. I have always admired her. She goes full bore. I need to face her to show I can do more and beat the best.”
As far as Flores, Juarez admitted she didn’t know much about the fighter from South America. “We are excited to face her. We don’t much about her but she has 13 knockouts. We are ready at 100%, we don’t know what she is bringing but we need to be intelligent and study her in the first round.”
“I know she is a good boxer,” Flores said when asked of her next opponent. “I am very happy for the opportunity and here we are. I am here to give it my all and to show my skills.”
Flores knows to win the fight against Juarez in Mexico she must impose her style and trust her punching power. “I need to fight my way, look to score power punches and pressure her, make her back up. I need to make it a brawl and not a technical fight. I need to look to score my best weapon, my right hand. She knows how to box very well, she moves around the ring very well. My strategy is to slow her down and score as many punches as I can while she is in front of me.
The Venezuelan made it known she has no problem traveling to Mexico and to face the popular and favorite Juarez since she knows a win might mean a title opportunity for her.
“The fight is practically in her house but that doesn’t worry me,” the Venezuelan stated. “I have fought outside my country plenty of times and came back with the win. I am well prepared and ready for war.”
Flores assured confidently she has the answer to solve the Juarez puzzle. “She isn’t invincible and I am going to show it. My biggest dream is to be a world champion and I am going to achieve it. Nothing or nobody is going to stop me.”