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Garcia, Golovkin and Martinez Prevail with Mixed Results

(Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)
(Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)

By Jason Gonzalez at ringside


Manhattan, NY---New York City is the city of dreams. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. New York is where it’s at, which is why it’s only fitting that the first “big” fight of 2013 be held in the Big Apple. A crowd of 4,850 filled the Theater at Madison Square Garden. There were Russians, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Americans in the house in full effect. 7th Avenue looked like the United Nations with all of the flags waving.
 
In the main event, featherweight Mikey Garcia, 125.5, of Oxnard, California improved to 31-0 (26), showing that all roads in the 126 pound division lead to him. Garcia dethroned WBO featherweight champion Orlando “Siri” Salido, 126, of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, 39-12-2 (27), via eight-round technical decision on Saturday night.

“If I could breathe better, I would have continued to fight,” said Garcia. “We were clearly ahead by just sticking to the game plan.” Garcia dropped Salido twice in the first round and again in the third and fourth frames. The bout was stopped after Garcia’s nose was broken by a headbutt, ruled as accidental, in the eighth.
 
“I want the rematch,” boasted a dejected Salido. “I didn’t headbutt him on purpose. I was losing.”
Scores were 79-70 and 79-69 (twice) for Garcia. The fight failed to live up to the expectations of all the fight pundits. In actuality, the fight was a snoozer.
 
The last time undefeated WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin was in the squared circle, the 160-pound beast of Karaganda, Kazakhstan turned the Turning Stone Casino out. Golovkin left fans salivating, yearning for more. That said, Golovkin took his act to the big stage under the big lights on Broadway as he defended his strap against the always tough Gabriel Rosado, 159, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
Did Golovkin deliver? Well, it depends who you ask The Kazakhs in the crowd would say yes. But most ringside observers would say no. “This was not a statement fight,” said Golovkin, now 25-0, (22). “It was true that I was sick but that’s no excuse.”
 
Golovkin overwhelmed Rosado, now 21-6 (13), for six-and-a-half rounds and eventually got the stoppage victory at the 2:46 of the seventh round. “I wore him down with my power shots of the course of six or seven rounds,” said Golovkin. “Gabe is a tough fighter but we were able to stop him.
 
Golovkin cut Rosado over the left eye in the second and from that point on, Golovkin pressured Rosado relentlessly. By the sixth round Rosado, looked as if he had bathed in blood. “Gabe came over to me after the fight to ask for a rematch," said Golovkin. “I said yes but after I told him to come to the gym to train with me.”
 
Rosado’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh in order to protect him from sustaining further damage.
Golovkin appeared slow, flat-footed and very hittable. Golovkin might be able to beat Peter Quillin but a fighter of Sergio Martinez’s capability would box circles around him. The southpaw angles would pose a lot of problems for Golovkin. If I were Martinez, I would fight Golovkin ASAP.
 
New Year, new tricks? Normally, the New York State Athletic Commission gets it right just about 99.9% of the time. The panel of judges typically renders fair decisions on a regular basis. Unfortunately, last night fell into the .1 percentile category. Flat-out, the NYSAC dropped the ball after declaring the contest between Juan Carlos Burgos and Roman “Rocky” Martinez a draw.
 
Scores were 117-111 for Burgos, 116-112 for Martinez and 114-114. Maxboxing had it 117-111 as did HBO. Burgos, 129, of Tijuana, Mexico was robbed of the opportunity of becoming a world champion due to the judges’ lack of vision and inability to score an easy fight to judge.
 
Martinez, 129.5, of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico did not have an answer for Burgos’ body assault. Burgos outworked Martinez and his investment in body punches consistently hurt the slightly bigger Martinez, 129.5, over the course of 12 rounds.
 
“[Juan Carlos] Burgos is a big, strong, and difficult fighter,” said Martinez. “I was in trouble in the last three rounds. He bothered me with a lot of overhand rights.” However, when the smoke cleared, Martinez survived and was able to hold on to the WBO super featherweight title a little longer. This has rematch written all over it.
 
Martinez now sports a record of 26-1-2, (16) while Burgos’ gets the first draw of his career. His résumé now stands at 30-1-1 (20).
 
Long Island’s own Sean Monaghan earned a rough and tough eight-round unanimous decision over Roger Cantrell, who, at 15-3 (8), was formidable threat to the light heavyweight prospect.
Scores were 79-73, 78-74, and 77-75 in favor of the Long Beach native improving to 17-0 (10).
 
Monaghan, 177.5, hammered Cantrell, 184.5, with straight shots and hooks to both the head and body of the native of Puyallup, Washington. However, it does take two to tango because Monaghan was bloody and bruised up as well. Monaghan looked as if he had been in a fight. Go figure...
 
Puerto Rican lightweight Felix Verdejo, 130.5, upped his record to 2-0 (1) by simply throwing two punches in 21 seconds to obliterate Tomi Archambault, 129.5,  of Bismarck, North Dakota. Archambault dropped to 1-4, (1). Here is a recap of the punches Verdejo landed: Left hook, straight right.
 
Junior middleweight prospect Glen Tapia, 153.5, of Passaic, New Jersey made easy work of Ayi Bruce, stopping him in the second round. Bruce, of Albany, New York, 22-9 (14), was dropped with a body shot in the second round. The left hook to the liver sealed the deal.
 
A flurry of punches from Tapia prompted the referee to call a halt to the bout at the 2:33 mark of the round. With the victory, Tapia improved to 17-0 (10).
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native Anthony Ferrante, 196, body-bagged the previously undefeated Isa Akberbayev in the final frame of their scheduled 10-rounder. The spectacular ending came at the 1:19 mark via a right hook from the orthodox position. Both men traded knockdowns in the first round. Both guys were getting real rough and rugged with a lot of infighting, resulting in Akberbayev sustaining a cut on his left cheek.
 
With the victory, Ferrante improved to 13-4 (8) while Akberbayev, a native of Almaty, Kazakhstan suffered the first blemish on his résumé as he now stands at 10-1 (7).
 
Welterweight Mikael Zewski, 149.5, of Trois-Rivieres, Canada improved to 18-0 with 14 knockouts after stopping Brandon Hoskins within four frames.
 
Hoskins, 146.5, 16-4-1 (8), ate a vicious right/left hook combination that dropped him twice in the fourth. As Zewski continued the onslaught of punches, the referee decided to close the curtains on the native of Hannibal, Missouri at the 1:42 mark of the same frame.
 
In the opening bout of the evening, super middleweight Ronald Ellis, 168.5, of Lynn, Massachusetts, pounded out a four-round unanimous decision over journeyman Steve Tyner by scores of 40-36 across the board. Ellis, who remains undefeated at 7-0 (5), went to work by jabbing upstairs as well as working the body of his overmatched foe throughout the course of the bout.
 
With the loss, Tyner, 170, who hails from LeBron James’ neck of the woods in Akron, Ohio  dropped to 3-10-2 (2).
 
Questions and comments can be sent to “Jay Gon” at jg51593n@pace.edu. You can also visit him at www.facebook.com/jason.gonzalez39 and follow him at www.twitter.com/jaygon15.
 
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