Watch: Felix Verdejo's Knockout Punch

It was a quick and painless outing for Felix Verdejo this past Saturday night, as he improved to 10-0 (7 KOs) with a first-round knockout of Lauro Alcantar:

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One on One: Mikey Garcia | Robert Garcia | Bryant Jennings | Juan Carlos Burgos | Artur Szpilka


More: Fight Overview | Mikey Garcia's Greatest Hits | Garcia's Path | Final Presser

CompuBox: Garcia vs. Burgos | Bryant Jennings vs. Artur Szpilka


Garcia Stalks, Walks Down Burgos

by Kieran Mulvaney

Photo: Ed Mulholland

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Three times Juan Carlos Burgos has fought for a world title. Three times he has fallen short. But while he felt aggrieved at the result the last time he fought at the Theater at Madison Square Garden -- when he left the ring twelve months ago with a draw against Rocky Martinez that he and many ringside observers felt should have been a win -- he can have no complaints about the way things ended in the same venue on Saturday night. Despite showing some promise in the early rounds, Burgos was unable to cope with the relentlessness of Mikey Garcia, who won a wide unanimous decision to retain his super featherweight belt.

There is a theory among anthropologists that our earliest ancestors overcame their prey animals by walking them down, by keeping at them without letup for hours and hours and days and days, until they were simply too exhausted to resist. This, in boxing terms, is the essence of Mikey Garcia. He is rarely explosive and isn't one to come charging out of the blocks looking to knock his opponent into next week. He is instead a Terminator, his eyes always fixed on his foe, his feet never out of position, walking forward, probing for weaknesses and gradually breaking his adversary down.

Even when that foe scores some early success -- as Burgos did on Saturday night, landing a big left hook in the second round that buckled Garcia and almost put him down -- Garcia is unperturbed. Instead, he files it away in his mental rolodex, makes sure not to make the same mistake again, and resumes his pursuit.

That is how it unfolded against Burgos. It wasn't always exciting, it wasn't spectacular, but it was ruthlessly effective: Garcia spent a couple of rounds figuring out his foe and deciding how to negate his reach advantage, and once he had done so, he zeroed in and gradually increased the pressure.

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Watch: Undercard Highlights - Bryant Jennings vs. Artur Szpilka

Watch highlights from Saturday's heavyweight fight between Bryant Jennings and Artur Szpilka:

More: Jennings Stops Szpilka in 10 


Undercard Report: Jennings Stops Szpilka in 10

By Kieran Mulvaney


Bryant Jennings, Artur Szpilka - Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland

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Shortly before the co-main event, the Theater at Madison Square Garden turned into a sea of red, as what seemed to be a sizeable percentage of New York's Polish community loudly voiced its enthusiasm for heavyweight Artur Szpilka. But no amount of vocal support was enough to prevent Szpilka from losing his unbeaten record via 10th round stoppage to undefeated Philadelphian Bryant Jennings. 

The first four rounds were largely even but surprisingly uneventful, both men moving and feinting and attempting to set up shots, but Jennings blocking much of Szpilka's offense with his gloves, and Szpilka showing some deft head movement to slip many of Jennings' blows.

As the bout progressed, however, the American's superior technique and conditioning began to come into play. A left hand to the solar plexus caused Szpilka to wince and drop to his knees, and although he beat the count and staged a determined fightback in the eighth, as he grew weary, his head became a sitting target which Jennings hit with increasing rapidity.

Even so, the bout seemed likely to last the distance until a short Jennings left hook snapped Szpilka's head around and the Polish fighter slumped into the ropes. Referee Mike Ortega correctly ruled a knockdown, but although Szpilka rose to his feet before the end of the count, he looked completely spent. Ortega allowed the bout to continue, but not for long; Szpilka was slumped over and taking further punishment to the head and body when Barry Jordan, the medical director for the New York State Athletic Commission, walked along the apron to signal his desire for an end to the punishment. Ortega stepped in and halted the contest with 40 seconds remaining.

Szpilka fell to 16-1, and Jennings registered his 10th knockout in 18 career victories without a loss.

Watch: Mikey Garcia and Juan Carlos Burgos Weigh-In

Mikey Garcia and Juan Carlos Burgos meet face-to-face one final time before taking it to the ring tonight at 9:45pm ET/PT on HBO:


One on One: Mikey Garcia | Robert Garcia | Bryant Jennings | Juan Carlos Burgos | Artur Szpilka
 

More: Fight Overview | Mikey Garcia's Greatest Hits | Garcia's Path | Final Presser

CompuBox: Garcia vs. Burgos | Bryant Jennings vs. Artur Szpilka


Watch: One-on-One with Artur Szpilka

HBO Boxing's Kieran Mulvaney goes one-on-one with Artur Szpilka, as he prepares to take on Bryant Jennings in Saturday's undercard on HBO at 9:45pm ET/PT:

One on One: Mikey Garcia | Robert Garcia | Bryant Jennings | Juan Carlos Burgos | Artur Szpilka

More: Fight Overview | Mikey Garcia's Greatest Hits | Garcia's Path | Final Presser

CompuBox: Garcia vs. Burgos | Bryant Jennings vs. Artur Szpilka


Watch: One-on-One with Bryant Jennings

HBO Boxing's Kieran Mulvaney catches up with Bryant Jennings ahead of his undercard bout vs. Artur Szpilka, this Saturday at 9:45pm ET/PT on HBO:

One on One: Mikey Garcia | Robert Garcia | Bryant Jennings | Juan Carlos Burgos | Artur Szpilka

More: Fight Overview | Mikey Garcia's Greatest Hits | Garcia's Path | Final Presser

CompuBox: Garcia vs. Burgos | Bryant Jennings vs. Artur Szpilka


Watch: One-on-One with Juan Carlos Burgos

HBO Boxing's Kieran Mulvaney chats with Juan Carlos Burgos ahead of his fight vs. Mikey Garcia this Saturday at 9:45pm ET/PT on HBO:

One on One: Mikey Garcia | Robert Garcia | Bryant Jennings | Juan Carlos Burgos | Artur Szpilka

More: Fight Overview | Mikey Garcia's Greatest Hits | Garcia's Path | Final Presser

CompuBox: Garcia vs. Burgos | Bryant Jennings vs. Artur Szpilka