Garcia, Burgos, Jennings, Szpilka, the Final Presser
Jerry Glick reporting: It had to be. Highly regarded Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia and his equally respected challenger, Juan Carlos Burgos, 30-1-2 (20 KOs), have pretty much taken similar paths to this fight. Most glaring is that each beat Rocky Martinez; yes I know that Burgos settled for a draw, but fact is he deserved the win over Martinez, the judges just didn’t watch carefully enough that night.
Eleven months later Garcia, 33-0 (28 KOs), finished the job halting Martinez in eight rounds. Now they meet each other on a loaded Top Rank show in New York’s Theater at Madison Square Garden this Saturday night, January 25. Two of the best junior-lightweights in the world trying to eliminate the other in a fight for Garcia’s WBO 130 pound belt.
Burgos said that he trained six months and that everything was excellent. As for his opponent, “He’s a little shorter than I am, he’s a counterpuncher, great boxer, and his style and mine together will make a great fight.”
At a final press conference hosted by Top Rank’s head man Bob Arum at famous BB Kings in Times Square, NYC, many of the undercard and all of the leading battlers talked to the gathered media.
Two exciting, unbeaten heavyweights will face off in the co-feature. Popular ranking contender Bryant Jennings meets rugged Polish brawler Artur Szpilka, 16-0 (12 KOs). Going to the next level is the carrot that awaits the winner.
Jennings, 17-0 (9 KOs), has reason to believe he will win, “I’m the better mover, the better boxer, my punch output is higher,” he explained. “He may have some power, but I have power too. That’s my surprise, because I think he’s under estimating my power.”
Szpilka appears to agree with Jennings, to a point, “”He’s a good boxer,” said the Polish heavyweight. “He’s lacking experience, so our chances are 50/50.”
He fought Mike Mollo, a brawler not considered to be in Jennings’ class and hit the deck twice, “Mollo is a fighter, a warrior,” said Szpilka. “I will knock Jennings out. You will see; everyone will see.” He said that he will be champion and that Jennings is just the next level.
Long Beach lightheavyweight contender, the undefeated and very popular Seanie Monaghan, takes on late sub, Matt Vanda, 45-15 (25 KOs), in a ten rounder.
His trainer and biggest cheering section, Joe Higgins said, “He’s remarkable; when you go through it all and he’s tired he still plugs through.” Higgins said that he sees Seanie as being ready for the next level and this fight will get him there. “Seanie’s number six in the IBF. He improves every time. It’s his work ethic that gets him there.”
Monaghan, 19-0 (12 KOs), trains hard and runs even in single digit temperatures. “Training is excellent,” said the Long Beach, NY favorite. “Even in the cold, it contributes to my nastiness. All my suffering I put on someone else.
He is familiar with opponent Matt Vanda, “I saw him fight Chavez, I saw him in with Duddy, he’s a handful for anybody. He’s got 60 fights and you don’t see many guys out there with as many fights. I’m looking for a good tough fight, but I’m also looking to keep on rolling.”
Promoter Bob Arum while introducing Mikey Garcia explained that he is not the type of fighter to engage in trash talk, “Do you mean is he a trash talker, no he is a gentleman he’s not a trash talker, he’s a cop. The people are ready for a great athlete, a great performer who saves his animosity for the ring.”
“He doesn’t flaunt and throw around dollars bills or flush them down the toilet,” said Arum. “He’s a true American who is really grateful for where he is.” Wonder who Bob was comparing him too.