Omar Juarez looks forward to hearing a round of cheers in the crowd for the first time since the pandemic.

Given the deafening silence that has come with four straight fights behind closed doors, the unbeaten junior welterweight will even settle for a chorus of boos.

“Just hearing and seeing fans in attendance once again is going to be a treat,” Juarez told ahead of Sunday’s Fox-televised clash with Philippines’ All River (21-5, 18KOs). “Look, my team did an amazing job of keeping me active during the pandemic. I fought four times when a lot of other fighters were struggling to get in the ring even once.

“After the last one, though, I knew I was ready for the next one to come with an audience.”

Juarez’s clash with Rivera takes place as part of a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox tripleheader, airing live Sunday evening from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The fight marks the fifth straight appearance on a Fox platform, all of which have come since last August and presented behind closed doors due to heightened social distancing restrictions.

In that time, the 22-year-old Juarez (11-0, 5KOs)—also a charitable leader and community activist in his native Brownsville, Texas hometown—has advanced from a still-developing newcome to a ten-round fighter and rising prospect still in his third year as a pro.

“I trust the process, and fully trust my team, [manager] Bob Santos and everyone at PBC,” notes Juarez. “I felt I was ready for 10-round fights for a while, but was fine with proving myself in eight-round fights.

“When that first fight (since the pandemic) was switched from eight rounds to six, the time went by so fast in that fight. That was my toughest adjustment during this time, fighting with no crowd and only having six rounds instead of eight. The next two were scheduled for eight and then my last one a ten-rounder. I’m glad that the latest stage in my development comes with fans in attendance as well as the Fox viewers watching at home like they have been.”

Among the bouts over that period was a first-round knockout of Raul Chirino last December 26 in Los Angeles. The bout served in supporting capacity to WBA interim super middleweight titlist David Morrell (4-0, 3KOs), a Cuban southpaw based out of Minneapollis who also headlines Sunday’s show as he faces unbeaten Mario Cazares (12-0, 5KOs). Juarez proved his superiority on the post-Christmas Fox card, since returning with a 10-round unanimous decision win this past April 17.

Sunday night marks the first fight outside of Los Angeles for Juarez since the pandemic, and just his second fight overall at The Armory, a favorite PBC location. The lone other occasion came in his second pro bout, when a 20-year-old Juarez scored a second-round stoppage in the opening bout of an eleven-fight show at the fan friendly venue, which hosts its first boxing card since August 2019.

“I expect the fans to be wild and supportive,” Juarez predicts. “They always turn out and really know their boxing.

“With things getting back to normal, I look forward to taking care of business (on Sunday) and hopefully bringing a show to my hometown. But I know it will feel good to be back in this environment once I make my way to the ring.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox