Lem Satterfield

Garcia-Burgos, Burns-Crawford on Jan. 25?


Top Rank CEO Bob Arum is looking to finalize a bout between newly-crowned WBO junior lightweight titleholder Mikey Garcia and two-time title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos as early as Monday.

The bout, said Arum on Wednesday, would take place on Jan. 25 at New York’s Madison Square Garden on HBO.

“It seems like [it’s going to happen,]” said Arum. “It’s the holidays, so the HBO guys are away, but I want to finalize it on Monday.” 

Garcia (33-0, 28 knockouts) is coming off an eighth-round knockout of Roman “Rocky” Martinez  on Nov. 9 that earned him the belt and represented his 10th stoppage victory over the course of his past 11 fights. 

It was the second major title in a second weight class for Garcia, who earned THE RING and WBO featherweight titles in January by beating Orlando Salido, whom he dropped four times en route to an eight-round technical decision.

Garcia followed that victory up with a fourth-round knockout of ex-beltholder Juan Manuel Lopez in June, and could next face Burgos, who battled Martinez to a split-draw on the Garcia-Salido card.

For the Garcia-Burgos card, Arum would like to match fighters designated by WBO President Paco Valcarcel, who declared earlier this month that lightweight Terence Crawford (22-0, 16 KOs), of Omaha, Neb., is the organization’s mandatory challenger to British titleholder Ricky Burns (36-2-1, 11 KOs).

Valcarcel said that a deal must be reached between Crawford’s promoter, Top Rank, and Burns’ promoter, Matchroom Sport, by mid-December to preclude a purse bid. If a purse bid is ordered, Valcarcel said the minimum bid will be between $150,000 and $200,000.

“There’s going to be a purse bid on Burns and Crawford, which we hope to win,” said Arum.

Burns has undergone surgery to repair the broken jaw he sustained during September’s controversial draw against Raymundo Beltran, a Top Rank-promoted fighter who dropped Burns in the eighth round. 

Meanwhile, Crawford was last in the ring for October’s unanimous decisioned Andrey Klimov.

Arum also said that he hoped to match Salido, who regained the WBO’s featherweight belt by defeating Orlando Cruz by seventh-round knockout last month, against Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko on the March 1 undercard of a main event featuring the rematch between super middleweights Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera likely in Texas. 

“That’s going to be on March 1,” Arum stated. “We don’t know where it’s going to be, but it will be in Texas.”

A winner of his second Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Games in London, Lomachenko scored knockdowns with body shots in the first and fourth round of last month’s fourth-round stoppage against hard-hitting Mexican rival Jose Luis Ramirez in a scheduled 10-rounder in his professional debut on the same card as Salido-Cruz.

In victory, Lomachenko (1-0, 1 knockout) hopes to become the first boxer to win a title in his second professional bout by facing Salido.

Chavez-Vera I began with controversy when Chavez’s failure to make weight led to a 173-pound catchweight that was negotiated by Arum and Vera’s promoter, Artie Pelullo, and ended with a controversial unanimous decision in favor of Chavez in September. The return bout would happen at the super middleweight limit of 168, according to Arum.



Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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