Garcia-Burgos Preview

By Robert Ecksel on January 24, 2014
Garcia-Burgos Preview
Garcia may have the makings of a future pay-per-view attraction, but he’s not there yet.

Saturday night at the Madison Square Garden Theater, WBO super featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (33-0, 28 KOs), from Oxnard, California, defends his title against former WBO Latino super featherweight champion Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1-2, 20 KOs, from Tijuana, Mexico.

Top Rank and HBO are doing everything possible to make Garcia a bankable star. He’s a wonderful boxer, a darn good fighter, and has a lineage of which he can be proud. He’s also undefeated, which means the world nowadays, even though he quit against Orlando Salido after having his nose broken by a headbutt.

It’s a promoter’s job to promote. It’s TV’s job to create stars. So Top Rank and HBO can’t be faulted for doing what they’re supposed to do. Garcia is humble and by all accounts a solid citizen. He’s disciplined and fights frequently. He may have the makings of a future pay-per-view attraction, but he’s not there yet, despite the hubbub preceding this bout.

Garcia is getting the red carpet treatment. He has been paraded before the media. He has been paraded before the New York Knicks. He has been mentioned as a possible opponent for Yuriorkis Gamboa, whose stock has dropped precipitously, and even Manny Pacquiao, whose list of opponents grows smaller by the day, as evidenced by his likely rematch with Timothy Bradley.

Burgos has heard the talk but isn’t convinced.

“I know they are talking about him (Pacquiao), but it is not a reality,” he said. “I think Garcia is a good fighter and he has all the qualities to become a great fighter. But he is not there yet. Pacquiao? Gamboa? He is not there yet. He has a long way to go. Garcia first has to beat me before he can think about guys like Pacquiao and Gamboa. I respect and admire Garcia as a fighter, but he has to try to get by me first before he can think about fighting those other guys.”

Garcia has also heard the talk and is taking it no more seriously than Burgos.

“We don’t pay attention to that. That’s just back-and-forth talk here and there. That talk about Gamboa and Pacquiao doesn’t affect me. Right now I am concentrating on Burgos. That’s who we have to beat and that is our focus.”

In his last fight against Roman Martinez, Garcia was dropped in the second round, the first time he’d been down in his career. Much was made of it at the time, and rightfully so, since it was the first chink to appear in his armor, aside from losing his WBO featherweight title on the scale in June.

“Anyone can drop an opponent with a good punch,” said Garcia. “In that fight he caught me, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Burgos feels that because Martinez dropped me he could drop me too.”

“In the Martinez fight,” Burgos countered, “where he got knocked down, we saw some things we can exploit. He got knocked down by a shot that was not solid. I have power, more power than Martinez, and I am going to use that to my advantage. Martinez showed us something when he knocked Garcia down. I have the power to take him down too. I am not going to go for a knockout, but the knockout may come.”

By the same token, the knockout may not come.

“I know he will be difficult,” Garcia said. “He has had great accomplishments in the boxing ring. After his last fight (a controversial draw against Yakubu Amidu) a lot of people thought he should have been the champion. It’s going to be a good fight.”

If everything goes according to plan and Garcia retains his title, he’ll move up to 135 lbs. before moving to the magical 140.

“We will have to look at the options after this fight. Right now I feel really good at 130. I could probably come down to 126. Hopefully everything turns out well and we can move forward with our plans. I would like to unify the titles before moving up but if there is something better at 135 then I will go there. I think there are better things at a higher weight class. Then I can unify the titles there or move up to 140 if the right fight is there.”

Mikey Garcia vs. Juan Carlos Burgos will be broadcast live Saturday night on HBO Boxing After Dark at 9:45 PM ET/PT.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Koolz 03:33pm, 01/24/2014

    I don’t think this fight will be that easy for Garcia.  I think Burgos may even knock him down in this fight.
    I do see Garcia winning by KO though.

  2. Clarence George 02:45pm, 01/24/2014

    I can’t warm up to Garcia.  I was at the Garden the night he beat Orlando Salido for the WBO featherweight championship.  He won a title not despite, but because of, an injury.  That sticks in my craw.

    Not a fight that interests me a whole lot, but that doesn’t stop me from having a prediction:  Garcia by 11th-round TKO.

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