By Jake Donovan
Juan Carlos Burgos hopes the third time’s a charm in regards to realizing his dreams of winning a major championship. The lean-yet-tough Mexican boxer has come up short in two previous title tries, including last year’s controversial 12-round draw with then 130 lb. titlist Roman Martinez at MSG’s The Theatre in New York City.
He returns to the scene of the crime tonight, facing unbeaten rising star Mikey Garcia in a bout to air live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark. Garcia enjoyed a far more successful go of things in his own fight with Martinez, recovering from an early knockdown to score an 8th round stoppage last November for his second championship in as many weight classes.
While Garcia posted three wins in a stellar 2013 campaign, Burgos saw both of his ring appearances on the year end in stalemates. Six months following his unlucky title tilt with Martinez, he saw his 12-round bout with late sub Yakubu Amidu end in another split decision draw. This time around, reactions were mixed as to whether or not Burgos once again drew the short straw.
Naturally, the fighter feels different, but the instances serve as building blocks for the future as he prepares to clash with one of the best in the game.
“You can say that those two draws were not just. I worked very hard in those fights to get the win and unfortunately two judges did not appreciate my work in the ring,” Burgos (30-1-2, 20KO) believes. “But like I said before I am not looking at the past – I am looking at the immediate future, which is Mikey Garcia.”
Burgos also came up short in his first title try, a unanimous decision loss to Hozumi Hasegawa in their vacant featherweight title fight more than three years ago. The bout is the lone loss of Burgos’ career, and the only one of his three non-wins that comes free of dispute. Despite his shortcomings at the championship stage, the game plan is still to go out there and do what he does best, only in a manner in which the judges can appreciate and properly compensate through their scorecards.
“In regards to the knockout, I don’t think about that. Like most fighters in the world today – I let him come to me and we see what happens,” Burgos insists. “I am just going to go out there and do my work and to put everything into play what I have practiced.”
Don’t mistake any of that for Burgos leaving anything to chance.
“I know in my heart that (Garcia’s) title belongs around my waist,” Burgos said after Friday’s weigh-in, when he checked in at a lean 129 lb. “I won that title from Martinez, but didn’t get the decision. Come (tonight), I will claim what’s rightfully mine. Outside the ropes, as a fighter I have all of the respect in the world for Mikey Garcia. But that respect goes out the window once the bell rings.”
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