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Burgos ready for the unexpected

Story by Felipe Leon
Photo courtesty of Thompson Boxing

Professional boxing is often called the theatre of the unexpected.

Nothing could be more true for WBC #2 ranked undefeated featherweight Juan Carlos Burgos (23-0, 16KO). As the Tijuana-born fighter was preparing to face Carlos Oliveira in his first nationally broadcast bout on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights on January 15th, the rug was pulled from under him when his south American opponent was scrapped and the tough Juan Carlos Martinez (17-11-1, 7KO) was put in his place.

The showdown will be held at the Laredo Civic Center in Laredo, TX, and it will be for Burgos' WBC CABOFE featherweight title.

"This is the first time an opponent of mine has been changed so close to the fight," Burgos, who is the nephew of former IBF jr. flyweight champion Victor Burgos, stated. "I don't think the change is going to affect me, that is why we train. I feel focused and well prepared physically and mentally."

Just as Burgos didn't know much about Oliveira,who was slated to fight for the first time in the United States, the current WBC CABOFE champ is in the dark about what Martines of San Luis Potosi, MX, could bring to the ring.

"I don't know much about Martinez either. I know that he fought in Chicago last year and beat Jose Hernandez and he has given tough fights to Guty Espadas Jr. and Antonio DeMarco, but besides that, we don't know much," Burgos added. "We are confident in my training camp. I have been training for two months so the fact that I don't know anything about my opponent, it doesn't worry me. We will study him for the first couple of rounds, see what combinations work against him and then go to work."

The 22-year-old Burgos is coming off an impressive stoppage last October of Colombian veteran Yogli Herrera at his now familiar haunt of the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA, which is the de facto headquarters of his promoter Thompson Boxing who also helm the career of the undefeated WBO jr. welterweight champion Timothy Bradley among others. Burgos stopped Herrera in the sixth round of a scheduled ten.

"It was a quick fight. I thought it was going to go longer but fortunately I was able to earn the win quickly and I came out of the bout unscathed," Burgos remembered.

For his efforts, Burgos was awarded with his first nationally broadcast main event, an opportunity that he is not willing to take for granted.

"Fighting on U.S. television is extra motivation for me. I am always confident in winning, in my mind I always believe that I am going to win so hopefully after this fight we can expect bigger things and more doors open. I am motivated and 100% ready for this fight," Burgos continues. " I want to show what I can do. A win by knock out would be great but winning in any way is always welcomed. I am going to try to display my whole arsenal so that I can shine and hopefully the fans like my performance and they begin to follow my career."

Like any fighter in the professional ranks, Burgos dreams of the day when he can strap a world title belt around his waist and like any Mexican fighter that bleeds red, white and green, Burgos dreams that it would be the green and gold version of the WBC. One man standing in his way besides the WBC title holder Elio Rojas is the three time super bantamweight champion Israel Vazquez who since coming back from a year long hiatus has begun to campaign in the featherweight division and is currently ranked at #1 in the said division by the WBC.

"Israel Vazquez is a champion emeritus and that is why he is ranked as #1. I don't think that he is going to fight for the title but he is only interested in fighting Rafael Marquez because that is where the money is at. I don't think he is that interested in fighting for the title," Burgos stated choosing his words carefully. "I think that Vazquez is old and battered and I think that he is looking for fights that are going to make him money. I hope that soon I am ranked at #1again so that I can be the mandatory challenger and I hope that in 2010 I will be able to challenge for the title and win it."

Burgos does not ignore the fact that according how the boxing sanctioning bodies work, an elimination bout against Vazquez might be in the cards for him.

"I would accept it immediately. He is a fighter who is older and with a lot of experience. Of course I respect him and admire him because he is a great fighter but I think that at this point he is pretty beaten up," Burgos declared. "We would accept the fight because I am in my moment, I am young, have dreams and a hunger to become a world champion and I don't think he can take that away. I think we would beat him."

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