Garcia Dominant over Burgos; No KO this Time

mikey-garcia-vs-juan-carlos-burgos-04-photo-by-naoki-fukudaKnockouts are the keystone of boxing. Their brutality and execution are what draws fans, yet even the biggest punchers must settle for decisions on occasion.

Mikey Garcia (34-0 28KO) defended his title by outclassing formidable challenger Juan Carlos Burgos (30-2-2 20KO) over 12 rounds. Some experts thought that Burgos would try to engage and put pressure on Garcia but Burgos decided to settle into a more tactical style of fighting.

Burgos had some success with this style early on as he hurt Garcia with a left hook in the last minute of the second round. Garcia recovered from the shot and began to take control of the fight with precise, hard jabs, keeping his defense tight, and exploiting any mistakes that Burgos made by landing accurate counters.

By the middle rounds, Burgos was visibly wilting as his punches lacked the same power and snap that they had early on and Burgos began to display a sloppier stance and footwork.

Garcia is not the type of fighter who will try to force the knockout. He did put more pressure on Burgos as it became clear that Burgos was trying to survive but knocking out an experienced professional who is doing everything he can to make it to the end of the fight is a lot easier said than done.

Nevertheless, Garcia continued to display his accuracy and poise as he steadily but calmly landed hard shots on Burgos, making sure Burgos never regained his confidence.

The scorecards were lopsided in Garcia’s favor with cards that read 118-110 (twice) and 119-109. The fight itself quickly grew lackluster after Burgos had his brief moment of success in the second round. Burgos was robbed of a decision win and a title last year when he fought to a draw with then champion Rocky Martinez. It is unclear where Burgos goes from here but a rebuilding process may be necessary. He is 26 years old so he should have time to earn another shot at the title.

For Garcia, he has stated that he would like to stay in the junior lightweight (130 pounds) division for at least one more fight before even considering moving up in weight. Potential matchups with Cuban standout Yuriorkis Gamboa and Japan’s Takashi Uchiyama (The only fighter this author thinks could provide a stiff challenge to Garcia) have been discussed although nothing is official as of now.

We all crave knockouts, especially when the fighter has proven he has devastating power. But, it cannot be forgotten that even those guys will need to go the distance a few times in their career. It is simply too difficult to knock every opponent out. Just ask Mikey Garcia.



Dodgers Extend Mattingly’s Contract


Los Angeles Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly was unable to attend a news conference on Wednesday that announced a three-year contract extension for the former MVP. His absence was due to a snowstorm which struck his home in Indiana, preventing him from traveling.

General Manager Ned Colletti praised Mattingly’s managerial work, calling the last three years of the Dodgers organization “historic”. These comments were most likely made as an answer to a few complaints that Mattingly had of his contract and the owners of the club.

In an October news conference, Mattingly aired his frustration over managing the last year of his first three-year contract unsure if he would have a job at the end of the season. He had asked the club to pick up a 2014 option a year earlier but was denied.

This denial at first seemed justified with the Dodgers struggling immensely before the All-Star game break and key players either underperforming or injured. The Dodgers would go on to have the greatest in-season comeback in the history of the franchise, winning the NL West title by 11 games, the largest margin in Los Angeles history.

Mattingly will have an interesting 2014. He already has the talent and money to make the Dodgers a force in the NL West, the issue will be managing the egos of these players and keeping them focused throughout the season, such as breakout star Yasiel Puig. He proved last year that he can keep the clubhouse in a competitive spirit even with star players such as Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez injured.

His decisions have gathered some criticism, such as deciding to Clayton Kershaw to the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS series over Atlanta in spite of the mere three days rest the pitcher had. The thinking for the Dodgers staff is that they have a manger who knows how to win with the talent he has, is an excellent leader, and isn’t afraid to take risks.

Whether you agree with the gambling managerial style Mattingly has or not, he has earned his extension the old fashioned way: winning. Fans will expect nothing less and only time will tell if Mattingly can get his hands on that World Series title that eluded him throughout his playing days.

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