Mexico’s J.C. Burgos Meets Puerto Rico’s Roman Martinez

Mexico’s J.C. Burgos Meets Puerto Rico’s Roman Martinez – Burgos should get an extra dose of motivation thinking about his cousin, who won a title but then was hurt badly in a subsequent fight. (Chris Farina-Top Rank)

A few years back Juan Carlos Burgos received word about his cousin Victor Burgos, who was in critical condition after injuries suffered during a world title fight defense.

The younger Burgos, nicknamed “Mini Burgos,” vowed to carry on the family name and bulldog determination exemplified by his fallen cousin.

The Tijuana-based Burgos (30-1, 20 Kos) anxiously awaits his challenge against WBO junior lightweight titlist Roman “Rocky” Martinez (26-1-1, 16 Kos) of Puerto Rico. Their confrontation takes place tonight in Madison Square Garden’s Theater. Mexico and Puerto Rico always put their best foot forward. HBO will televise.

Juan Carlos Burgos was 19 years old when his older cousin Victor Burgos battled to near death against Aussie Vic Darchinyan in March 2007 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. He was relieved when the cousin survived and recuperated enough to leave the hospital.

They are very close and Victor Burgos still tells “Mini Burgos” of his past battles in the ring, including a victorious battle in Puerto Rico against then champion Alex “Nene” Sanchez for the IBF junior flyweight world title.

“It was inspiring for me to hear my uncle tell me the story of his first world title victory and how it was nearly 10 years to the date of my fight. He battled it out against Puerto Rican Alex “Nene” Sanchez back in 2003. He finally got that belt after many fights in which he was not that lucky. Now I just want to keep the tradition and make my family proud,” said Juan Carlos Burgos.

Martinez is a battler too. The physically strong Puerto Rican fighter is a human battering ram who refuses to take a step backward. Mexican fighters are not a mystery to the junior lightweight, whose only loss came to Scotland’s talented Ricky Burns in 2010, in that fighter’s country. This title defense takes place in Puerto Rico’s second home New York City.

“He’s a good fighter and I expect this to be a tough challenge,” said Martinez, 29, who turns 30 on Jan. 31.

Mexico’s Burgos has the same sentiments and has already experienced disappointment once before in the nation of Japan when he lost to Hozumi Hasegawa for the vacant WBC featherweight world title.

“I have grown mentally and physically and I am prepared for a fight like this and I know it will be exciting,” Burgos said.

Puerto Rico versus Mexico is always a good bet for excitement.