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Championships to be sacrificed at MSG
On Saturday, January 19, at the famed Theater of Madison Square Garden in New York City there will be an intriguing HBO-televised tripleheader featuring three world title fights. Coincidentally, each of the three title challengers will be seeking to become a world champion for the first time in their careers.
“Three world titles featuring a host of exciting and hard-hitting competitors hosted by Madison Square Garden is an ideal way to launch an all-new season of HBO Boxing After Dark,” said Kery Davis, senior vice president of programming, HBO Sports.
WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs) defends against the much-improved and surprising Gabriel Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs). WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs) defends against Mickey Garcia (30-0, 26 KOs). Lastly, WBO super featherweight champion Roman Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs) vs. No. 1-ranked contender, Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1, 20 KOs).
All three bouts will be featured on HBO’s Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
“The tripleheader which Top Rank is promoting in conjunction with K2 Promotions is worthy of being at the Mecca of Boxing Madison Square Garden, ” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “This spectacular event will be staged at the Theatre in Madison Square Garden. Each bout figures to be a real barnburner.”
As a veteran of more than 50 professional fights, Salido is having the time of his career in his early 30s. Following failed world title bids against Robert Guerrero and Cristobal Cruz earlier in his career, as well as a short IBF title reign in 2010, Salido went from being a journeyman with 11 defeats to a recognizable and worthy world champion in 2011. Salido traveled to Puerto Rico to knockout an unbeaten hometown favorite in Juan Manuel Lopez to become the WBO 126-pound champion just months after losing his only world title defense to Yuriorkis Gamboa. In 2012, Salido earned a repeat knockout victory against Lopez in his native Puerto Rico to extend his win streak to 5 consecutive by knockout.
Since turning professional in 2006, Garcia has amassed a perfect record with a high-knockout ratio. He’s still undefeated and has explosiveness in both hands. Garcia has been carefully matched under the Top Rank Boxing banner and would not be fighting Salido (another Top Rank fighter) unless Top Rank was convinced that Garcia’s time had arrived. Garcia is the younger, fresher face, and just as television fight-friendly as Salido. Garcia is expected to win, but the same was said of Lopez and look at what Salido did not once, but twice.
Golovkin vs. Rosado
K2 Promotions are more than convinced that everybody is running scared of Golovkin, arguably one of the hottest fighters in boxing.
“Gennady Golovkin has become one of the hottest fighters since making his debut on HBO. Defending his middleweight titles against an exciting fighter like Gabriel Rosado will only bring more fireworks,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions. “Fighting at ‘The Mecca of Boxing’ is every fighters’ dream and Gennady looks forward to performing on the world’s greatest stage. While others have avoided a fight with Golovkin at all costs, Rosado jumped at the chance. Both fighters think they are going to win and neither is going to go backwards, that is what makes this such a great fight. GGG at MSG on HBO is an exciting combination.”
Golovkin has ‘significant’ amateur victories against the likes of Daniel Geale, Andre Dirrell, Lucian Bute, Andy Lee, and Matvey Korobov. Golovkin won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics following a pair of world championship titles in 2002 and 2003. Golovkin became a WBA champion in 2010 by knocking out Milton Nunez in only one round. Golovkin has five title defenses overall, including an eye-raising performance against Grzgorz Proksa (TKO 5) in Golovkin’s HBO and U.S. debut last September.
Rosado, in the last two years, is a much improved fighter. He has won his last seven bouts; displayed improved stamina, hand speed, and overall boxing ability. Rosado’s resume is significantly better having defeated Jesus Soto-Karass, Sechew Powell, and Charles Whittaker. Can Rosado raise the level of his game high enough to take the middleweight title away from Golovkin remains to be seen.
Martinez defends against Burgos
Burgos is seeking his first world title. His only loss occurred nearly three years ago in 2010 against Hozumi Hasagawa for a vacant WBC featherweight title. Burgos has a stellar 20 knockouts in 30 of his professional victories. Burgos will be fighting a very good and exciting boxer in Roman Martinez, the two-time WBO super featherweight champion.
In March 2009, Martinez traveled to Manchester, England and knocked out Nicky Cook in round four of a dominant performance to win the WBO 130-pound title. Martinez lost the title in his third defense against a very good Nicky Burns. Martinez reclaimed the vacant version of the championship by outpointing Miguel Beltran last September.
Martinez-Burgos is another exciting edition to what should be another amazing night at the fights.