HBO’s hit late-night boxing franchise begins 2014 with an all-action doubleheader featuring an intriguing junior lightweight title showdown when HBO Boxing After Dark Mikey Garcia vs. Juan Carlos Burgos and Bryant Jennings vs. Artur Szpilka is seen on Saturday, January. 25 at 9:45 p.m.
The main event pits Mikey Garcia (33-0, 28 KOs) of Oxnard, Cal. against Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1-2, 20 KOs), from Tijuana, Mexico, in a scheduled 12-round, 130-pound title bout. Garcia comes from a talented boxing family: The 26-year-old is trained and co-managed by his father, Eduardo, and his brother, Robert, the Boxing Writers Association of America’s 2012 Trainer of the Year.
Garcia has been on the fast track to superstar status, steamrolling the competition and emerging as one of the sport’s elite fighters. His three wins in 2013 were knockout triumphs over former champions Orlando Salido, Juan Manuel Lopez and Rocky Martinez. The 26-year-old Burgos is a seasoned veteran who will be making his third bid for a world title.
In the co-feature bout, rising heavyweight Bryant Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs) makes his HBO debut. The 29-year-old Philadelphia native has attracted the attention from boxing observers as the sport searches for the next big American heavyweight star. His formidable foe, 24-year-old Artur Szpilka (16-0, 12 KOs) of Krakow, Poland, has generated a following in the U.S. this year with two televised victories over Mike Mollo, both of them all-action affairs.