Warriors’ Boxing’s Leon Margules said his heavyweight Artur Szpillka will face Bryant Jennings as the HBO-televised co-feature to a main event featuring WBO junior lightweight titleholder Mikey Garcia and respected two-time title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos on Jan. 25 at New York’s Madison Square Garden on HBO.
Szpillka (16-0, 12 KOs) was last in the ring for a fifth-round knockout of Mike Mollo in August. He also stopped Mollo in the sixth round of a wild fight in February.
Garcia (33-0, 28 KOs) is coming off an eighth-round knockout of Roman “Rocky” Martinez last month that earned him the belt and represented his 10th stoppage victory over the course of his past 11 fights.
“I’m happy to be returning to the ring. Burgos is a very good fighter,” said Garcia. “He did very well against Rocky Martinez at The Garden last January and I think he is deserving of this title shot. There is no question we will give the fans a very exciting fight.”
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.
“We are really excited for Juan Carlos Burgos and his opportunity to win the world title that he should have already had,” said ArtiePelullo, president of Banner Promotions, who co-promotes Burgos with Thompson Boxing Promotions.
“Juan was given that very questionable draw against Rocky Martinez last Jan. 25 at The Garden that robbed him of the title. Mikey Garcia is a tremendous fighter, but we feel that Juan has the tools and the experience to get the win and become the new junior lightweight champion of the world.”
Garcia followed up the win over Salido 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.
“I’ve been looking forward to getting back in the ring,” said Burgos. “We’ve had a strong training camp with excellent sparring sessions. I know Mikey is a tough boxer, but I’ve been putting in the work and I expect a win on Jan. 25.”
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes Garcia, said that others expected to be on the card are light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan (19-0, 12 KOs), super middleweight Jessie Hart (11-0, 10 KOs) and Puerto Rican lightweight Felix Verdejo (9-0, 6 KOs), according to Arum.
“We are proud to be presenting Mike Garcia once again,” said Arum. “We believe Mikey is the next big superstar in boxing and in 2014 that will become evident.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com