I swear, I'm not looking past Juan Carlos Burgos to a Pacquiao bout, Mikey Garcia insisted at a press conference held Thursday in Manhattan to hype his Saturday clash at the MSG Theater...and I believe him.
Mikey, sporting a 33-0 record, told me he respects the 30-1-2 Burgos, expects a better brand of boxer than the one who has handed back to back draws, and said he can see a distance fight.
One insider I talked to said he thinks Mikey will stop Burgos (pictured in Chris Farina snap) towards the later rounds, but you have to at least ponder if maybe, just maybe, this occasion could be ripe for one of those upsets which can occur when plans are made to far in advance. I'm guessing no, but will be in attendance and covering to make sure....
The scrap will run on HBO, and be joined by a heavyweight elimination bout, between Bryant Jennings, newly signed to Gary Shaw, and Artur Szpilka, who wants to become the first Pole to hold a heavyweight title. He said he'd KO Jennings, while Jennings said, in effect, skills pay the bills, and he will win, and soon hold a title. That was the extent of the trash talk, really, as Burgos simply said he isn't showing up just to fight, that he has trained harder than ever before and will beat Mikey.
Garcia, joined by brother-trainer Robert, and manager Cameron Dunkin, was his typical unassuming self. He admitted that there's been talk of bigger bouts in the near future, and would like a crack against Manny, but made sure to reiterate his eyes are fully focused on the Mexican.
Promoter Bob Arum was in a genial mood, cracking that he'd be talking in his "native China," a reference to the time he's spent in Macau, building out the Top Rank brand. I asked how the negotiations between Pacman and Tim Bradley are progressing, and he said the deal is almost done. "It could be announced today, or tomorrow," he told me.
During the presser, he said just 50 tix are left in the Theater, which holds around 4,700 folks. Many of those will be present to root on Long Islander Sean Monaghan, the lunchpail light heavy who craves a crack at Andre Ward and will likely wear down Matt Vanda on Saturday.
Burgos' promoter, Arthur Pelullo, said that he'd be meeting with the HBO crew, which includes Peter Nelson, who makes the matches for the cabler, and was present at the BB King's presser. Top of the list will be a date and foe for his Siberian star, Ruslan Provodnikov. You must head over to BoxingChannel.TV to see an interview with Pelullo, for more specifics, but suffice to say he'd very much like for Provodnikov to get a crack at the counterpunching ace Juan Manuel Marquez.
Also, over on TBC, you'll see an entertaining interview with Arum, who talks about his dreams for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, with all proceeds going to charity. Here is a video take on the presser.
NEW YORK (January 23, 2014) -- Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world champion and 2013 Fighter of the Year nominee MIKEY GARCIA (33-0, 28 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., and two-time world title challenger and current No. 1 contender JUAN CARLOS BURGOS (30-1-2, 20 KOs), of Tijuana, México, will meet for the last time without their gloves at their Official Weigh-In, Tomorrow! Friday, January 24, in the Lobby of The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Fighters will report at 1:00 P.M., with the fighters stepping on the scale at 3:00 P.M. ET. Media should enter though the glass doors of The Garden at 33rd St. & 8th Ave. It will be streamed live via www.toprank.tv.
Garcia and Burgos are in the final days of training before their world title fight collision at The Mecca of Boxing.
The Garcia - Burgos world junior lightweight title fight takes place on Saturday, January 25 and will be televised live from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, on HBO Boxing After Dark®, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. The telecast will open with a 10-round battle between undefeated heavyweight contenders Bryant Jennings and Artur Szpilka. The Garcia - Burgos world championship event will be promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Banner Promotions, Thompson Boxing Promotions, Gary Shaw Productions, Warriors Boxing Promotions, Madison Square Garden and Tecate. Remaining tickets, priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.thegarden.com.