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Previewing HBO’s two big main events for January: Pascal vs. Bute, Garcia vs. Burgos

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January Boxing HBO Main Event Previews

Boxing fans were treated to a great end of 2013, highlighted by Marcos Maidana’s triumphant upset of Adrien Broner, Manny Pacquiao’s return to winning ways in Macau, and more. And while the early stages of 2014 won’t offer anything quite as big as a Pacquiao or Floyd Maywather fight, there are a couple of major events and big fights scheduled to kick off the new year.

Here, we’ll take a look at the two HBO main events, and tell you who’s fighting and who’s expected to come out on top.

January 18 – Jean Pascal vs. Lucian Bute at the Montreal Bell Centre

The January 18 event in Montreal will feature a Light Heavyweight showdown many have been anticipating for some time, between Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal. As noted by Boxing News 24, it’s one of the biggest fights to take place in Canadian boxing history, and being featured as the main event on a HBO World Championship Boxing card of course offers a big stage. The fight itself should be worth remembering, with both fighters capable, entertaining, and motivated by being in need of a big win, and having had this fight delayed for so long.

As for which fighter is expected to win, this should be a very close fight. At Betfair online, where odds are already posted for major January bouts, Pascal has opened as the betting favorite with 8/11 fixed odds to win the match. However, at 11/10, Bute has respectable odds as well, and is not too much of a long shot to pull it off.

Ultimately, it’s an interesting fight to analyze, as both fighters are a bit rusty against top competition. Pascal is probably the better fighter at this stage of each man’s career, but this one could simply come down to who comes out in better shape, physically and mentally.

January 25 – Mikey Garcia vs. Juan Carlos Burgos at The Theater at Madison Square Garden

On January 25, MSG will get its first big match of the year, as HBO will broadcast the WBO Super Featherweight Championship between Mikey Garcia and Juan Carlos Burgos. Burgos is considered a very strong challenger to Garcia’s title, and because both fighters took on Roman Martinez to the tune of very similar results last year (Garcia took home the title, but most fans acknowledge that Burgos actually easily defeated Martinez, but was robbed on the scorecards. In light of that, Burgos could, in theory, actually be the defending champion here) there’s reason to believe this could be a tight one.

That said, however, the early betting odds will strongly favor Garcia. Burgos has only one loss in his career, but has been unable to get that real breakout win against a top-flight opponent, even if there has been questionable scoring in several different bouts. Back at MSG, where he won his title to begin with, Garcia ought to have a clear edge.

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