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Juan Carlos Burgos: “I am young, hungry and I want to eat up 126 and 130!”

(Photo © German Villasenor)
(Photo © German Villasenor)


When Juan Carlos Burgos entered the ring on the night of the 12 November last year (as part of the televised undercard for the HBO main event between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez), he knew he was the “B” side of his fight against house fighter Luis Cruz, who recently moved onto Top Rank’s promotional roster. The 24-year-old knew that on this big occasion nothing short of his very best would do and that’s exactly what he gave. Burgos scored a majority decision that most people had him winning handily thus upping his record to 28-1 (19). Not one to stand on ceremony, in true Mexican fashion, he returns in quick time on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” on 24 February against former IBF featherweight champion Cristobal Cruz. Unlike many fighters in his position who have won on HBO but waited for a date on the “Network of Champions,” Burgos is being practical. He’s sharpening his tools and staying busy waiting for the call. He’s keen to test himself against the best fighters in the world at either featherweight or super featherweight. Now all he needs is that chance and as he proved last fall, Burgos may just make the most of it. He’s currently sitting in the top 10 of all four main sanctioning bodies at super featherweight, currently number two in the WBC, number three in the WBA, number four in the WBO and number six in the IBF whilst he’s ranked number 10 by The Ring magazine.
 
Anson Wainwright - You fought Luis Cruz on the pay-per-view undercard of Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez III, winning a decision. Looking back on that fight, can you share your thoughts on that fight?

Juan Carlos Burgos - I wanted to win; that’s all I thought about. I knew I had to be impressive and aggressive from the initial bell. I was fighting Cruz on his promoter’s turf and I did not want to leave any doubt inside the ring that I was a step ahead of him.
 
AW - What was it like for you fighting on such a big occasion?  
 
JCB - It was a huge event but I was focused on the task I had. It was great for my career and I was happy I had a good night.
 
AW - You have a fight scheduled with former IBF featherweight champion Cristobal Cruz on the 24th February. What do you think of that fight? What do you see as his strengths?
 
JCB - Cruz is an experienced former champion and I know for a fact he will be ready for me. I know “Lacandon” very well since we sparred a number of times. I think this will be an all-action bout that will entertain the fans. He is a guy that comes forward and is not afraid to trade and I love that type of challenge. 
 
AW - The Luis Cruz fight was at 130. What weight is the Cristobal Cruz fight? Which division do you feel you fight better in, 126 or 130?
 
JCB - The fight on February 24 will be at 130. I feel great in both divisions and I can certainly go to 126 which really is my natural weight but I want to keep my options open.
 
AW - You have previously fought for a world title when you went to Japan and fought Hozumi Hasegawa for the then-vacant WBC featherweight title. What are your thoughts looking back on that fight? How much did you learn from having to go on the road and fighting someone like Hasegawa? 
 
JCB - It was the best experience of my life. I was devastated with the loss because I knew I made mistakes. I showed I can compete but I didn’t win so I was not satisfied with the result. I had a chance to win and I let it go early on. I never want that to happen to me again.
 
AW - Who are the members of your team? Also where do you regularly train?
 
JCB - My manager is Roberto Sandoval; my co-manager and trainer is Gerardo Espinoza. My promoter is Thompson Boxing and I train in Tijuana, Mexico, at the Azteca Gym
   
AW - You are from Tijuana, known as a very tough place. Did you have a tough upbringing and how did that first take you into boxing?
 
JCB - Boxing is in my DNA. My father and two of my uncles were boxers. The most successful of the three was my uncle and former champion Victor Burgos. I have been in a boxing gym since I can remember.
 
AW – You just mentioned your uncle, Victor Burgos, who was the former IBF light flyweight champion. He was hurt badly nearly five years ago when he challenged Vic Darchinyan. How is he doing these days?
 
JCB - He is doing great, working at City Hall and taking care of his family. It’s truly a miracle he made such a recovery and we are happy to see him back living a normal life. 
 
AW - Your turned professional just before your 17th birthday. Did you have much of an amateur career before that?
 
JCB - I cut my amateur career short because nobody wanted to fight me anymore. I had to make it in the pros to find suitable opponents.
  
AW - What do you like to do with your spare time when you’re not training or boxing?
 
JCB - I work hard. I own a grocery store that keeps me busy. My girlfriend and brother help me every day to tend to the store while I’m training. The rest of the time I like to enjoy my family and music.
 
AW - What do you think of the featherweight/super featherweight champions?  
 
JCB - They are both deep divisions nowadays. I would like to fight Takahiro Aoh [of the WBC] or [Juan Carlos] Salgado [of the IBF] and I want to mix it up with “JuanMa” Lopez. [Yuriorkis] Gamboa would be great too. Jhonny Gonzalez is doing well and has avoided me for a while, no matter what he says. At featherweight, I’d like to fight Elio Rojas or Mickey Garcia. Bring them all. If my promoter lines them up, I will handle them.
     
AW – Finally, do you have a message for the featherweight/super featherweight divisions?
 
JCB - I am trying my best to be at the top of my game. I just want a piece of the cake. I am young, hungry and I want to eat up the divisions!
 
Questions and or comments can be sent to Anson at elraincoat@live.co.uk and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright.


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