Puerto Rican Roman “Rocky” Martinez is motivated to “steal the show” with the Jan. 19 defense of his WBO junior lightweight belt against Mexico’s Juan Carlos Burgos in The Theatre at New York’s Madison Square as the opening bout of an HBO-televised triple-header.
A 29-year-old who will be after his third straight victory, Martinez (26-1-1, 16 knockouts) is being trained by Raul Torres at the Edgar Martinez Gym in El Dorado, Puerto Rico, in the hopes of ending the five-fight winning streak of Burgos (30-1, 20 KOs) that includes two stoppage wins.
Martinez-Burgos will take place on a card featuring Philadelphia-based junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs) in pursuit of his eighth straight triumph and his sixth stoppage win during that run against Kazakhstan-born WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs), who will be after his 12th consecutive knockout.
Promoted by Top Rank as well as the K2 and Russell Peltz promotional companies, Martinez-Burgos leads off the televised portion of a card whose main event matches featherweight contender Mikey Garcia (30-0, 26 KOs) and WBO beltholder Orlando Salido.(39-11-2, 27 KOs) in a clash of Mexicans.
From his training camp in El Dorado, Martinez provided an update during this Q&A below that was translated by Top Rank’s Ricardo Jiminez.
RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on being the first fight on this card at Madison Square Garden?
Ramon “Rocky” Martinez: You know, I’m looking forward to this, because I’ve never fought there before. So I’m looking forward to having a great experience there.
I’ll be there in New York, and I’m looking forward to giving the fans a good show. HBO is giving me an opportunity, and I hope that they enjoy my fight as well.
RingTV.com: How do you characterize the style of Burgos, who has won five straight fights?
RRM: I know that the reason that he’s No. 1 is that I’ve seen videos, and he’s a really good fighter. He likes to come forward, and I do the same thing.
So I expect to be in a war. I think that both of us will enjoy having that type of a fight, and that’s why I’ve prepared myself so well, because I know that it’s going to be a very tough and difficult fight.
RingTV.com: Do you think that it can be show-stealer?
RRM: I think that our fight could steal the whole show. I think that our fight is one of those explosive shows. You’ve got Mexico versus Puerto Rico in our fight.
That’s always exciting, so there is excitement there to begin with. I think that our styles should be able to provide fireworks.
So I’m looking forward to giving the fans a great fight, and a great show, and I think that we could steal the show that night.
RingTV.com: What did you learn from the Burns fight, and how much does that loss serve as a motivator?
RRM: I thought that it was a good experience and a good fight against a good fighter. I think that you always learn from every fight.
But that’s in the past, and I’m looking forward to having a great year. This is a great start for me, and I’m looking forward to this fight.
RingTV.com: In what ways have you improved since the loss to Burns?
RRM: I think that I’m more mature now, and I’m able to handle more different things in the ring. I think that my experience has grown. So I think that I’m a totally different fighter than I was then.
I think that my experience will show in the ring against Burgos. I think that, more than anything, the loss showed me that you have to move a little bit.
I know that I need to be a little more defensive. But, overall, I just think that I I’ve gained a lot of experience from that fight, and, in the fights since then.
RingTV.com: Do you see yourself or Burgos as more of the puncher in this fight, and, also, can you box if you need to box?
RRM: I just have to be intelligent. I just have to be smart in there. But I’m not going to back down from anyone. I think that everyone expects me to give a show every time that I step into the ring.
That’s what I’m going to give them. I want HBO and the fans to be excited. I want everyone to be excited about my fight.
But I also have to be intelligent and I have to be smart. I have to know when to be smart and when to box if that’s necessary.
RingTV.com: Do you see a scenario in this fight breaking down to a knockout in your favor?
RRM: I think that I have the ability to knock him out, but that’s not what it’s about. If the knockout is there, then that’s what I’ll try to do.
But it’s not going to be me going out there being reckless. I need to be intelligent, and I think that I can knock him out, probably in the later rounds. But we’re going to have to work for it.
I’m going to have to work for everything that I get in the ring, and that’s what I’ve prepared myself 100 percent, one thousand percent to do.
I’m ready for anything and everything, because I’m a champion, and I want to keep my championship, and that’s what motivates me going into the fight.
Photos by Peter Amador, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]