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:
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:
HBO Boxing's Kieran Mulvaney goes one on one with Mikey Garcia and Robert Garcia ahead of Saturday's 9:45pm ET/PT fight against Juan Carlos Burgos:
HBO Boxing's Kieran Mulvaney checks in from the final press conference between Mikey Garcia and Juan Carlos Burgos, as the two prepare to face off at Madison Square Garden this Saturday at 9:45pm on HBO:
The following originally aired on HBO ahead of Mikey Garcia's Nov. 9, 2013 bout against Rocky Martinez.
Garcia returns to action this Saturday when he takes on Juan Carlos Burgos at 9:45pm ET/PT on HBO:
For Mikey Garcia, 2013 was a roller-coaster filled with achievement and disappointment. On the positive side he won belts at 126 and 130 against respected titleholders Orlando Salido and Roman Martinez and stretched his perfect record to 33-0 (28 KO) while on the minus column he lost his featherweight belt on the scales after weighing two pounds. But even that negative preamble produced a positive result as he impressively blew out Juan Manuel Lopez in four rounds.
As for Juan Carlos Burgos, 2013 was deeply disappointing in that he earned back-to-back draws in fights many observers thought he should have won. The first outing was the most painful, for despite out-working and out-landing Roman Martinez by a wide margin he walked out of the ring without the WBO 130-pound belt. His next fight six months later against Yakubu Amidu was much closer numerically but the final result was just as stinging.
On Saturday, Burgos will get a second chance to gain the belt he felt he should have won last January while Garcia will begin a new reign at a more comfortable weight class. Statistical factors that may shape the outcome include:
A "Roman" Holiday: One of their three common opponents was Roman Martinez and both fared excellently from a statistical standpoint.
The slow-starting Garcia again had problems getting his engine started as he threw just 21 punches in round one and averaged only 32.8 in the first five. But, as is his wont, Garcia suddenly surged beginning in round six by landing 25 of 67 overall and 18 of 35 power shots to spark a fight-changing surge. From that point forward Garcia prevailed 52-8 overall and 38-4 power and connected on 51%, 58% and 75% of his power shots to Martinez's 27%, 27% and 0%. In all Garcia led 113-45 overall, 53-20 jabs and 60-25 power as dominated in terms of precision (38%-14% overall, 31%-10% jabs, 47%-21% power).
Burgos out-landed Martinez in all phases (286-193 overall, 52-29 in jabs and 234-164 in power shots) and was far more precise (36%-23% overall, 17%-12% jabs, 46%-28% power) but somehow Martinez escaped with his title intact. Maybe it was because he threw more punches (827-805 overall, 576-507 power) or perhaps the Puerto Rican contingent in New York's Madison Square Garden Theater generated enough noise to swing a round or two Martinez's way. What most saw was an injustice.
Opposites Attract: If Garcia has one glaring weakness it is his tendency to start slowly. Meanwhile, Burgos is a punching machine that revs up early and remains in high gear throughout.
Garcia's style mirrors his deliberate and thoughtful personality. He strikes only after gathering exhaustive information on his opponents' habits in the early rounds. As a result, he tends to lose early rounds but he more than makes up for it later on.
That tendency nearly cost Garcia dearly against Martinez as he suffered a second round knockdown and his weight-depleted engine never really got started against Lopez as he threw 36, 41, 46 and 30 punches in each of the four rounds. No matter: Garcia still impressed as he scored knockdowns in rounds two and four, the last of which was produced by a spectacular hook.
Other slow starts were seen versus Orlando Salido (42, 53, 38, 41 and 34 punches in the first five), against Bernabe Concepcion (29 of 142 overall and 7 of 28 power in the first three rounds), Juan Carlos Martinez (39.6 punches per round and being out-landed 50-44 overall and 37-28 power in the first three rounds). But in each of those fights he managed to bail himself out with incredible surges that his opponents couldn't shake. The last three rounds in the Salido fight saw Garcia go 24 of 59, 22 of 62 and 25 of 54 overall while against Concepcion Garcia averaged 71 punches per round from round four onward, outlanding him 83-26 overall and 49-16 power before scoring the seventh round TKO. In round four against Martinez, Garcia went 32 of 69 overall (46%) and 26 of 42 power (62%) in just 160 seconds to register the stoppage. Garcia averaged 38 punches thrown per round over first five rounds vs. Roman Martinez and Salido- then averaged 59 thrown per round the rest of each fight.
Conversely, Burgos is a punching machine that starts fast and stays there. Against Martinez, Burgos threw 69 punches in round one and never dipped below 54 (round two). In the final four rounds Burgos went 24 of 62, 31 of 78, 25 of 65 and 44 of 93 while Martinez landed 16, 11, 9 and 22 respectively. Against Amidu, Burgos averaged 100.5 punches per round -- far above the 57.7 junior lightweight norm -- and achieved perfect balance by throwing 603 jabs and 603 power shots. In that bout Burgos threw 78 in round one (which, along with round nine, was his low output) and in the last four rounds he fired 140, 85, 113 and 137. When he fought Burgos, he threw 63, 74 and 68 and landed 41%, 47% and 57% overall and 46%, 55% and 66% power in registering the third-round stoppage. Win or lose, Burgos will always give hard, consistent effort.
Prediction: Garcia has his hands full here, for Burgos appears to have the perfect style to exploit his one great weakness. However, a deeper look into the numbers reveals the one asset Garcia can use to swing the fight -- accuracy. As previously mentioned, Garcia is an extremely precise puncher once he gets going and for all his volume Burgos is not a consistently great defender and Garcia is. Burgos' last four opponents landed 38% of their power shots, while Garcia's last four opponents landed just 16% of their total punches and just seven punches per round.
Burgos may well win the first three or four rounds but the real test will come when Mikey begins his surge. If Burgos doesn't crumble -- and he's a genuinely tough guy -- he has a real chance to spring the upset. But the most likely result is that Garcia's rally will once again swing the bout violently his way. Garcia by hard-fought 11th round TKO.
By Kieran Mulvaney
Photo: Ed Mulholland
Originally posted on November 7, 2013. Mikey Garcia faces off against Juan Carlos Burgos this Saturday at 9:45pm ET/PT on HBO.
There is no shortage of observers who think that Mikey Garcia is a pound-for-pound star in the making, and given his pedigree, perhaps that isn't surprising. His father and trainer, Eduardo, has been the chief second for such noted fighters as former junior middleweight champ Fernando Vargas; and his older brother Roberto, himself a former junior lightweight titlist, is the reigning Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year for his work with, among others, Brandon Rios and Nonito Donaire.
But, says Garcia, despite almost literally having boxing in his blood, he wasn't at all sure during his younger years that it was the career for him.
"I would go to the gym just to hang out and watch my brothers train, or even spend time at training camps with Fernando or Robert in the summertime, but never trained to compete or anything like that," he told HBO.com recently. In fact, his first amateur bout happened almost by accident, when he was 14 years old and cheering on a nephew, who was boxing in a tournament.
"One of the kids from his club didn't have an opponent, so they signed me up," he recalls. "They made it an exhibition, because I didn't have a license, and we borrowed some shorts and a cup, borrowed a mouth piece even. We borrowed everything. So I went in the ring, we made it a three-round exhibition, and I kinda liked it. I liked the competition."
Even then, and even after he turned professional in 2006, he kept his options open. At one point, pugilism seemed a less likely profession than law enforcement, as evidenced by his graduating from the Ventura County Police and Sheriff's Reserve Academy in 2010. But, having ultimately committed to the sweet science, he has flourished -- aided, he says, by having been around boxing for so long.
"Being that I grew up around boxing -- and not just any boxing, but a really good boxing family with really good credentials -- it helps me understand the sport, understand the business, understand the politics, understand the media," he explains. "It's not something new to me, because I've already seen it with fighters like Fernando and Robert, and Robert's fighters. I've been around the big stages before and around the cameras and everything, so it's not that new to me. And I've learned about boxing since around age eight. I didn't plan to be a boxer but I've always seen it, always been around it. And all that other stuff, like the media attention, doesn't conflict with anything; it doesn't mess up the way I fight. Everything else is normal with me; I just go in the ring and do my job."
It's a job at which he is proving particularly well suited, with 32 wins from 32 outings, one world title in his collection and the prospect of adding another one on Saturday. And while donning a police uniform still remains a possibility in the future, for now he is firmly ensconced in the family business.
"I still think I could go back and do something in law enforcement, even if I'm not out on the street, doing something in the department," he says. "But right now, my main focus is boxing. I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to do five, 10 years from now, but right now I'm just focused on boxing."
Take a look at the best moments of undefeated rising superstar Mikey Garcia.
Garcia vs. Burgos happens Saturday, Jan. 25 at 9:45pm ET/PT on HBO.
By Tim Smith
Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland
There is an empty feeling that comes with not getting what you feel you have rightly earned. Juan Carlos Burgos knows that feeling all too well.
When Burgos fought Roman "Rocky'' Martinez for the junior lightweight championship at Madison Square Garden last January the match ended in a controversial draw. Burgos was fighting on the undercard of the main event involving Mikey Garcia and Orlando Salido, who were battling for the featherweight championship.
Garcia defeated Salido for the featherweight title and launched himself on a path toward stardom. After moving up in weight, Garcia did something that Burgos couldn't. He relieved Martinez of the junior lightweight title with an eighth round knockout.
A year later, Garcia and Burgos are back at the place where their paths diverged. The two will meet in a 12-round match for Garcia's 130-pound belt in the main event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 25, airing 9:45 ET/PT on HBO's Boxing After Dark. Bryant Jennings, a Philadelphia heavyweight contender with a record of 17-0 with 9 KOs, will take on Artur Szpilka of Krakow, Poland (16-0, 12 KOs) in a 10-round match as the evening's co-feature.