Boxing: juan carlos burgos

Garcia wins, but doesn't entertain

January, 26, 2014
Mikey Garcia has been talked up by promoter Bob Arum as a pound-for-pound ace, someone who could help lead the sport when the Mayweathers and Pacquiaos exit stage left. He'll need to offer just a bit more entertainment value, though, than he showed on Saturday night against a foe, Juan Carlos Burgos, who looked to survive, and not thrive, to get to the next level of popularity.

Garcia (34-0; from California) retained his WBO super feather crown at the MSG Theater, via scores of 118-110, 118-110, 119-109, but the fans were sitting on their hands during a bout woefully short of action and buzz. He almost went down in the second and then almost put Burgos down in the third. But too often, he was one and done against an opponent who went into a shell, and moved out of range to avoid fire.

Garcia went 163-567 on the night, to 89-564 for Burgos. No, neither man was in gunslinger mode.

Garcia told the media he was pleased with his outing. He got the W, and noted that Burgos tasted his power and that made him hesitant. "In the early rounds, I was working on rhythm, timing and distance. I expected Burgos to go rounds and he did."

After, Burgos (30-2-2) said, "I feel good, we did a good job." He said he has to work harder in the future. "Luck was not with us tonight."

Luck, from my seat, didn't have much to do with it. Burgos didn't give off a vibe of wanting, of needing to win -- and that's too bad, as the fans deserved better, and, it could be argued, so did Garcia.

Garcia's MSG scrap a prep for Pacquiao?

January, 22, 2014
Mikey Garcia defends his 130-pound crown, the WBO version, on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, but in the future, perhaps the near future, he could be packing on the pounds and doing his work at a much higher weight class.

Garcia could well skip 135 and 140, and fight at 147 pounds if he is offered a Manny Pacquiao scratch ticket. The California-based boxer, who clashes with underdog Juan Carlos Burgos in NYC, has been mentioned as a possible foe for welter ace Pacquiao. The Congressman is fighting April 12, with many insiders saying that Timothy Bradley, in a rematch of their 2012 clash, will be the dance partner.

But after that, Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum has said, Garcia could well be in the mix for a waltz with Pacman.

Mikey's brother Robert, a former fighter who trains him along with dad Eduardo, told NY Fightblog during a Tuesday media workout in NYC that Mikey could gain the weight and stay fast. "His last fight at 126 pounds was a year ago," he said. "Since then, he's just gotten big! He couldn't make 126 against Juan Manuel Lopez [in June 2013], he came in at 128 1/2, everyone saw what he went through to make it. It's not easy for him to make 130. Our next move could be 135, even 140."

A buck thirty isn't a sexy weight class, with no standout names which draw money in the US, so a move up makes sense from that standpoint. Garcia, though, kept coming back to the Saturday task, smartly. "We gotta take it fight by fight," he said.

"As a fan, I would like to see Pacquaio versus Mayweather. That's a fight that everyone has wanted the last five, six, seven years, it never happened, maybe never will. For business, no I don't want them to fight, because I think Mayweather beats Pacquiao, and that makes a Pacquiao-Mikey Garcia fight less interesting. I want to be able to fight Pacquiao when he's on a winning streak. If Manny fights Timothy Bradley, who knows what could happen? Bradley is on a winning streak, he looked sensational in his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. If Manny does fight Bradley and loses, we might still get him, but there might not be the same interest."

Manny and Mikey have a history, Robert said, having sparred before Manny fought Erik Morales in November 2006. "They sparred six, eight rounds at a time, it was great. We're not saying Mikey did better or won those sparring matches, no, but neither did Pacquiao. I'm not saying Pacquiao put beatings on Mikey, either. That was sparring, though."

Marquez has given Manny fits, and Robert says that Mikey has a similar style, with an ability to be a savvy counterpuncher who exploits mistakes. "And Mikey has maybe more power than Marquez," he said. "He's already 40, Mikey is 26. I think we got a good shot. I'm not saying it's easy, but we got a good shot."

Another name that has popped up frequently for Garcia is Yuriorkis Gamboa, the Cuban defector who has been inactive in the ring.

"Gamboa, lately, hasn't really done much in boxing," Robert Garcia said. "He's fought twice in the last three years, and that tells you he's hurting for a big fight." Even with his inactivity, because of his skill set, Gamboa does conjure buzz, so if Mikey doesn't land Manny next, a clash against the 32-year-old Cuban would be a solid fallback plan, in my opinion. "But him coming out and saying what he's saying, it's actually pushing us away from the fight," the trainer said. "We might just skip him and go straight to 140."

Bob Arum takes subtle jab at Hopkins

January, 17, 2013
The principals who will tangle at the Madison Square Garden Theater on Saturday night, in a card promoted by Top Rank with K2, assembled at the Garden for a press conference on Thursday. Bob Arum, the candid dealmaker who lives in Vegas but retains that patented New Yorker style of saying what’s on his mind, kicked off the affair with a jab at Bernard Hopkins, who fights for rival promoter Golden Boy. Arum noted the youthful talent on display on stage, and compared that to Hopkins, the 48-year-old light heavyweight who gloves up in Brooklyn, against Tavoris Cloud, on March 9.

The promoter talked up his card, and said it is a stern contrast to some of the “drivel” showcased by HBO and Showtime; no, he didn’t care that HBO is showing the Mikey Garcia-Orlando Salido, Gennady Golovkin-Gabriel Rosado and Rocky Martinez-Juan Carlos Burgos title fights.

Speaking of speaking truth to power, and unleashing harsh truths, promoter Russell Peltz of Main Events, who handles Rosado, talked about his fighter’s attributes. He advised us all to not pay attention to the five losses on his record, and lamented how he reached out to a TV exec recently, and was told that a certain fighter with too many losses wasn’t welcome on the air. He noted that one of his favorites was middleweight Bennie Briscoe, who finished in 1982 with a 66-24-5 record. If you lose, but entertain, Peltz said, you should still be seen as a viable entity. Too many shows, he said, are “cowboys and indians” affairs, showcases, and that needs to change if the sport is to survive and thrive. I echo his sentiment; the best fighting the best, in pick 'em matches, is the best concept for the long-term growth of the sport.

Briscoe would have smiled at hearing Rosado talk about how he grabbed a chance to meet the hyped Golovkin, rather than get a crack at K9 Bundrage, who holds a belt at 154. “The greater the risk, the greater the glory,” Rosado said.

Mikey Garcia is an exceedingly humble gent outside the ring, and a solid tactician with a cerebral style inside. He said he thinks his fight with Salido “will leave a lasting impression” and promised to lift Salido’s featherweight crown. Salido, in his turn at the mic, said he expects the bout to be a fight of the year type fight.

Burgos played up the Mexican vs. Puerto Rican angle, saying, "I know I'm facing a Puerto Rican warrior. I want to be the first champion from Mexico in 2013." Foe Martinez kept it simple: "I prepared myself very well for this fight. I'm 100 percent ready for this fight."

There was a nice buzz in the room, and all seem to agree the card is solid kickoff to the new year. If you don't attend, HBO will show the bouts, starting at 9:45 PM.

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