Photos: Chris Farina / Top Rank
Featured fighters on Saturday’s first big fight card of 2013 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden converged on the at Kingsway Gym (1 West 28th St.) to show their form. On hard were WBO featherweight champion Orlando “Siri” Salido who will defend his title against undefeated #1 contender Mikey Garcia, undefeated WBA/IBO middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and his challenger “King” Gabriel Rosado, and two-time WBO junior lightweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez who meets #1 contender Juan Carlos “Mini” Burgos. All three fights will be televised live on HBO.
Martinez and Garcia crossed paths in the gym and to everyone’s surprise, embraced and chatted for a few minutes. What could they possibly be talking about? “I just told him that we should go out there and put on a good show. A show that people will talk about for ages,” said Garcia. “He agreed.”
Bob Arum: We have three really good fights on this card Saturday night. New York City has a very intelligent boxing fan base. You have to understand that when you put on a fight in New York City, you have to put a good card together for it to sell.
JUAN CARLOS BURGOS: This is my second opportunity for a world title and I don’t know if this chance will ever come again. I am dedicating this fight to my uncle (Victor Burgos). Ten years ago my uncle won his world championship. He won the title against a Puerto Rican and on Saturday night I can win a world title against a Puerto Rican also.
ROMAN MARTINEZ: (Martinez arrived in a Carmelo Anthony #7 Knicks jersey). I am wearing this jersey for ‘Melo because his father is Puerto Rican (his mom is African-American). I am representing my country in this fight. I think working the body is the biggest key for me in this fight. I think that will be to my advantage because of how tall Burgos is. I learned a lot in my last fight against (Miguel Jr) Beltran (split decision win on September 15, 2011). After that fight I went right back to the gym and haven’t stopped training since.
MIKEY GARCIA: People have been talking about this being the first big fight of the year and I’m glad to be a part of it. Everyone expects to see a good fight and they want to see a good fight. I am going to try and dictate the pace, but if I have to slug it out, I will. He will probably try and come in and if he does, I’ll be landing punches. He’ll find out that I have the power to hurt him. I will use counter-punches and throw the jab. Whatever it takes. We will see round-by-round how I will fight.
ORLANDO SALIDO: I come to fight. I give it my all every round. I want to give the fans a good fight but I know it will be a difficult fight.
Also on hand was Puerto Rico Olympian Felix Verdejo who is making his second pro start on the undercard.
Promoted by Top Rank and K2 Promotions, in association with Tecate and Madison Square Garden, remaining tickets, priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, are currently available for purchase at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.thegarden.com.