SAN DIEGO, January 24, 2014 – Mikey Garcia’s wins continue to be bigger and more impressive fight by fight. Will he continue his rise Saturday night in New York City at The Theater at Madison Square Garden?
There isn’t any reason to think not, but as the cliché goes in all of sports, Garcia (33-0, 28 KOs) cannot afford to look past his opponent Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1-2, 20 KOs) of Mexico on Saturday night. The bout will be televised by HBO Boxing starting with the undercard fight of heavyweights Bryant Jennings vs. Artur Szpilka at 9:45 p.m. ET.
Garcia made a big impression at his last fight in November against Roman “Rocky” Martinez in Corpus Christi, Texas. Martinez shocked Garcia by putting him down on the canvas early in the second round, sitting Garcia straight down on the canvas. Garcia smiled as if to say, “you got me.” He got up, shook it off, and never looked back. From there he patiently took Martinez apart round by round, piece by piece, until he stopped Martinez in round 8.
Garcia’s patience is among his best weapons. He can back it up not only with strong power punches but defense and ring generalship of the Mayweather school. It’s why the flash knockdown by Martinez was such a shocker.
Garcia is patiently moving his way up the pound for pound list as he moves up in weight class. Saturday’s bout is at super featherweight; both fighters made weight Friday, with Garcia at 129.2 and Burgos at 129 even. This is Garcia’s second fight at super featherweight.
Since Garcia’s opponent Burgos could only manage a draw against Martinez, it doesn’t signal the best outcome for the Mexican fighter. But all fighters have a chance in the ring, and we will see if Burgos learned anything by comparing his effort to Garcia’s against Martinez.
But here’s the truth: Garcia is likely to mow down everyone worth taking on at 130 pounds. To get attention from a fan base beyond hard core fight freaks, he’ll need to move up in weight class like his predecessor Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao fought at super featherweight from 2006 through 2008, between age 27 and 29.
Garcia is only 26, a half-inch taller than Pacquiao. At the same rate he’ll move up where some big name competition and good money waits for him in the near future. No real need to rush it, and there’s no reason to think his smart family team of brother Robert Garcia and father Eduardo Garcia who train Mikey will advance him too far too fast.
Garcia can consider unifying the super featherweight belts, held by Japanese boxers Takashi Uchiyama (WBA) and Takashi Miura (WBC), perhaps Cuban Rances Barthelemy (IBF). The Uchiyama fight would be a barnburner to be sure. Then opponents like Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa will be feasible at 135 pounds. You can bet Gamboa will be ringside in New York Saturday.
On the undercard fans get the opposite end of the spectrum, heavyweights Bryant Jennings (17-0-0, 9 KOs) of Philadelphia and Artur Szpilka (16-0-0, 12 KOs) from Poland in a 10-round fight. They hit the scales at 225 pounds and 223.6 pounds respectively. Jennings fancies himself a contender in a crowded field of heavyweight prospects. It may or may not be true, but with the division wide open once the Klitschko brothers are out of the picture, it will only take a few exciting performances to become a top contender.
Szpilka has enjoyed a successful and crowd-pleasuing rivalry with Chicago boxer Mike Molla, knocking him out twice. Szpilka planned to be in New York on January 12, but was turned away due to visa problems and had to return to Poland. He got a waiver quickly to get to the U.S. a week ago.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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