By Jake Donovan
Mikey Garcia’s returning visits to Madison Square Garden continues to grow as time passes on. The unbeaten 130 lb. titlist from Oxnard, California makes his third appearance at MSG’s The Theatre in New York City, defending his title this Saturday evening versus Juan Carlos Burgos.
Despite the sudden arrival of Winter Storm Janus dumping more than a foot of snow in the New York region during the week, sports fans have responded in droves. With the NFL Super Bowl taking place in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey. in what is now a virtually sold-out event.
“The people of New York have paid attention to this fight,” promoter Bob Arum stated during Thursday’s press conference at BB King’s Blues Club & Grill in New York City. “There are less than 50 tickets left at the box office. The only reason there are still 50 tickets left is because we had them on hold but put them back into public sale.
“They will probably be sold by the time this press conference is over.”
Garcia (33-0, 28KO) made his Madison Square Garden debut in Oct. 2011, but it was last year’s featherweight title-lifting effort over Orlando Salido that captured the attention of the viewing public. He has since moved up to the super featherweight division, snatching a title from Puerto Rico’s Rocky Martinez last November.
Martinez represents a common denominator between Garcia and Burgos. While Garcia was able to rise from an early knockdown to stop the defending champion in nine rounds, Burgos was denied the title in his 12-round bout with Martinez last January – on the undercard of Garcia-Salido – as he was held to a highly controversial draw in a bout most had him winning.
A strong undercard supports the evening’s top bill, which will air live on HBO (Saturday 9:45PM ET). The televised co-feature pits unbeaten heavyweights Bryant Jennings and Artur Szpilka in a bout scheduled for ten rounds. Those appearing on the non-televised undercard – most of which will be carried live on toprank.tv – include Long Island-based light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan and 2013 Boxingscene.com Prospect of the Year Felix Verdejo, the outstanding lightweight from Puerto Rico.
“New Yorkers can’t be fooled. They want quality, and this a quality event,” insists Arum. “One thing we did to ensure this event was a sellout was to make sure tickets were affordable. You could purchase tickets for as little as $25, which is a great price for an event like this.”
Remaining tickets vary in price and are mostly only single seats scattered throughout the venue which holds just over 5,000 fans for boxing events.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox