BoxingFight Previews

Willie Shaw Looks To Shock The World On Saturday

San Francisco, Ca’s Willie Shaw knows he is going in against the house on Saturday night, at a fan-less arena in downtown Los Angeles, as he faces blue-chip prospect Omar Juarez of Brownsville, Texas, but that doesn’t phase him one bit.

The bout which will serve as Premier Boxing Champions first fight back on the FOX network, with their official return coming last week, when Angelo Leo defeated Tramaine Williams for the vacant WBO super bantamweight world title

Shaw, who you have seen throughout his career on this site, case and point our footage of him as an amateur five years ago in Salinas, California, will be looking to get the first major win of his career, after proving to be a solid draw in the Bay Area.

So for those who don’t know much about Shaw heading into the bout, what should they know? Willie Shaw is a big puncher, who at his best can knockout anyone, and at his worst, will look to land big punches, and get outworked from covering up and looking to land one game-changing shot.

Shaw, who trains full-time has taken his professional career very serious despite a close split decision loss to Danny Garcia sparring partner, Jose Marrufo, who withstood Shaw’s punches only and countered with a high work-rate that the judges rewarded. Weeks into the pandemic, Shaw was running in West Oakland, with a ski-mask and bandana to still get his roadwork in while the pandemic was in its infancy. Mitt sessions with his coaches at the SF institution of Kezar Stadium became a regular occurrence, as well as training virtually and recently in-person with Mike Neal Jr . of Real Neal Sports.

In short, the Bay Area has a lot of talent, but is void of chances. Just look at two of the most successful fighters from Northern California, Gabriel Flores Jr., and Devin Haney, who both moved to Las Vegas, Nevada over the past few years, after getting promotional agreements in place. The sad truth is, if you can not budget your career in the Bay Area, meaning brining in the sparring partners, etc, it is hard to get to the next level. That being said, Shaw is as focused and ready as anyone I have seen in my past 12-years of being around Bay Area boxing.

Shaw is trained by former Michael Spinks, opponent Oscar Rivadeneyra, who fought Spinks for the WBA and WBC world titles in 1983. Rivandeneyra was most notably super lightweight Jonathan Chicas’ head coach as well during his run with Paco Damian and Don Chargin, years ago, was the coach to Jairo Escobar, the long-time trainer of Shaw, who brought in his former coach to take the lead after the Marrufo loss. Prior to the shelter-in-place, Shaw trained out of Hit Fit SF, but after has trained anywhere he could, but mostly private gyms, at times in which no one would be allowed in, so Shaw could follow COVID-19 protocol and not contract the virus, and/or endanger anyone during fight week.

What also makes Shaw interesting is that he has a promoter behind as well. The upstart Ambition Empire founded by Arturo Zavala, who sees Shaw as a future world champion, and has backed locally in San Mateo, Ca. Ambition Empire’s belief is so strong in Shaw, they named a card “The Willie Shaw Show”, which is high-praise for a emerging fighter.

Yet, his opponent, is far from a push-over. Omar Juarez, who is a stablemate of Mario Barrios, is trained by his father Rudy Juarez as well as Rick Nunes, and advised by Bob Santos, a power-broker in the boxing industry, who got Robert Guerrero his fight against Floyd Mayweather.

Juarez has consistently fought on television, but has only fought one opponent with a winning record, that being Angel Hernandez in his last bout, an eight-round affair, in which he dropped Hernandez in the the seventh. Juarez is a 21-year-old, who is groomed to be a star, with a big following, and a lot of skill, and Shaw knows this.

The thing is Shaw wants to make a step-up, and look to make noise in the division.

“I am going to win this bout,” Shaw said when reached for comment. “It’s time to go out there and shock the world and let them know I mean business!”

The words were short, focused and to the point.

Shaw faces Omar Juarez, tomorrow, Saturday, August 8th, at 6 PM PST on FOX.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle