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Garcia beats Burgos; Jennings stops Szpilka

Mikey GarciaBy Dan Ambrose: WBO super featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28 KO’s) defeated #1 WBO challenger Juan Carlos Burgos (30-2-2, 20 KO’s) by a boring 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Madison Square Garden Theater, in New York, New York, USA. The final judges scores were 118-110, 118-110, 119-109. Mikey was booed in many of the rounds for his timid way of fighting, and it was sad to see him failing to impress the crowd.

It’s going to be interesting to see what the executives at HBO say about putting Mikey’s fights on their network in the future. If they feel that Guillermo Rigondeaux has a non-crowd pleasing style, then you have to wonder what they feel about Mikey after tonight. I think Rigondeaux is a lot more entertaining to watch than what we saw from Mikey in this fight.

Mikey was staggered in the 2nd round by a left hook from Burgos. In the 3rd round, Mikey returned the favor by hurting Burgos with a big shot that had him holding on.

After the fight when asked if he’d be willing to fight Yuriorkis Gamboa, Mikey said “If they want to sit down and put it on the table. I’ll sit down and negotiate terms.”

Burgos was able to use his jab and height to keep Mikey at range for most of the fight. When Mikey would attempt to get in range to throw shots, Burgos would nail him with left hooks that would get his attention and cause him to act cautious.

It was unusual to see Mikey fighting so timidly, but I think he was afraid to get hit by Burgos, so he treated him like he was a dangerous puncher at all times in the fight. Had this really been a big puncher, I think Mikey been in big trouble.

After hurting Burgos in the 3rd, the fight really slowed down into a routine where Burgos stayed on the outside jabbing and moving to keep out of range. Mikey stalked him the whole time but took no chances whatsoever.

It’ll be interesting to see if Mikey’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank and his promoter/trainer Robert Garcia will let him fight the dangerous Gamboa. Robert recently said that he’ll never let Mikey fight Gamboa, because he wasn’t happy how he pulled out of a fight with one of his other fighters in his Oxnard, California gym in Brandon Rios. But you also have to wonder whether Robert is afraid that Gamboa would beat Mikey, because that’s a very real possibility.

Based on what I saw from Mikey tonight, I would have to favor Gamboa to beat him, as the Cuban fighter is a lot faster than Mikey and capable of hurting him with left hooks to the head. Mikey seems to have a weakness to getting hit with left hooks, and I don’t think chin is good at all. Mikey can dish out the punishment, but he’s not too good at taking hard shots in return.

I don’t think Mikey’s going to be able to compete at light welterweight when/if he does move up to that weight in September or later. He doesn’t have the chin, power, frame or the willingness to take a hard shot. I can only imagine what would have happened to Mikey tonight if he was in the ring with Manny Pacquiao, Marcos Maidana, Ruslan Provodnikov or Keith Thurman; not that Top Rank would ever allow Mikey to fight Maidana or Thurman. I think all of those guys would be much too strong for Mikey.

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Heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings (18-0, 10 KO’s) defeated Artur Szpilka (16-1, 12 KO’s) by a 10 round stoppage in a scheduled 10 round bout. Jennings dropped Szpilka twice in the fight, and had him out on his feet in the corner when referee John McKaie stopped the bout.

Jennings knocked Szpilka down with a left to the midsection in the 6th. In the 10th, Jennings put him down with a left to the head.

The talking heads at HBO got really excited about Jennings’ performance tonight, and one of them went so far as to say that Jennings it the best heavyweight in the U.S, based on his performance against the fringe contender Szpilka. I’m not sure I agree with that. I think Jennings is a good heavyweight, but there are clearly better heavyweights than him in the U.S. His lack of power will get him in all kinds of trouble when he eventually is put in with someone good. HBO needs to realize that there’s a huge difference in beating a bottom dweller heavyweight like Szpilka and beating the likes of Chris Arreola and Deontay Wilder.

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Other boxing action on tonight’s card:

Francisco Vargas TKO 1 Eligio Lopez
Alberto Machado TKO 2 Nuwan Jayakody
Felix Verdejo KO 1 Lauro Alcantar
Jesse Hart UD 6 Derrick Findley


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