Boxing preview: Orlando Salido vs. Mikey Garcia, Gennady Golovkin vs. Gabriel Rosado on HBO

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 04: Mikey Garcia (R) connects with Rafael Guzman of Mexico during featherweight bout at Staples Center on June 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) - Jeff Gross

Preview this weekend's boxing triple header, with three intriguing fights on HBO kicking off 2013. In the main event, Orlando Salido faces Mikey Garcia, while Gabriel Rosado attempts to derail Gennady Golovkin.

On Saturday night, while the UFC heads down to Brazil, HBO will be at the mecca - Madison Square Garden. HBO Boxing After Dark returns with a stacked triple-header, airing live on HBO Saturday night, starting at 9:45 p.m. ET. Join us Saturday night here at Bloody Elbow for live fight night coverage.

The Orlando Salido vs. Mikey Garcia fight is the big one, but all three have a world of potential to be thrilling fights, with interesting implications. Here's the full fight card for Saturday's show, followed by a preview of all the action:

Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs) vs. Mikey Garcia (30-0, 26 KOs)
Gennady Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs) vs. Gabriel Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs)
Rocky Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs) vs. Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1, 20 KOs)

Orlando Salido vs. Mikey Garcia

The arguable division king vs. an undefeated prospect. The 32 year old Salido started his pro career with an uncharacteristically rocky start, but in the past 10 years, he's proven himself to be one of the sport's best. He's won his last 5 fights, including a pair of stoppage wins over Juan Manuel Lopez (the only two loses on Lopez's record). Salido has a lot of experience against big names, including a 2004 loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. An aggressive, brawling fighter, Salido is likely to try and get inside on Garcia and rough the younger fighter up.

That may be a winning strategy against the 25 year old Garcia. Though he has a solid 30-0 record, and an amazing pedigree thanks to growing up in a long-time boxing family, Garcia has not faced nearly the same level of competition as Salido. A 6 year pro, Garcia has used his technical skills to outbox every opponent he's faced so far - but he's never faced an Orlando Salido. This is a real step up for Garcia, and a chance to prove that he deserves to be at this level.

Stylistically, this is an interesting pairing. On one side, you have Salido, who maintains an incredibly high volume of punches. You could almost say Nick Diaz-esque in his volume is Salido, Joe. On the other side, there's the patient and cerebral Garcia, who will increase the pressure in later rounds, but tends to start things pretty slowly, using his boxing to fight a technical battle. Look for Salido to take the early advantage thanks to that volume, but if he can't close the show in the early rounds, Garcia should be able to come back and make it a fight late.

In the end, I'll go with experience here. Garcia will make it interesting, but Salido has the tools to take this.

Prediction: Orlando Salido

More coverage of Salido vs. Garcia at Bad Left Hook

Gennady Golovkin vs. Gabriel Rosado

Of all six fighters on the card, the one that is perhaps the recipient of the most hype is GGG, Gennady Golovkin. HBO is pretty high on him, and it's understandable why. An undefeated record, a high KO ratio, an impressive highlight reel, and the mystique of a new powerhouse out of Eastern Europe all add up to what the company hopes is a superstar in the making. And maybe they're right. Golovkin is a fighter with scary power, able to blast his opponents at will. He also has a crowd pleasing style, as he relies on his chin to take some shots in order to land those bombs. His US debut was a very good 5 round TKO win last September. Since then, the big story has been that no one wants to fight him. True or not, that's the mystique, and that's a huge factor in selling a fighter.

Rosado is coming up a weight class here, and made some headlines earlier this week because of it. Talk was that this fight would be at a Catchweight, with Golovkin dropping down a few pounds to accomodate Rosado. Interestingly, Rosado refused the catchweight, saying he wanted to fight Golovkin at his best, and didn't want there to be any excuses. Admirable? Absolutely. Wise? Time will tell.

Rosado is an exciting fighter, who will probably provide the kind of fight HBO wants out of Golovkin - action, heavy shots landed from both men, and another KO win on Golovkin's rise to superstar status.

Prediction: Gennady Golovkin

Rocky Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs) vs. Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1, 20 KOs)

Martinez vs. Burgos opens the broadcast, and has the definite potential to steal the show right off the bat. Both are exciting fighters who have engaged in some very entertaining fights. They'll also be providing a new chapter in the classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry. Martinez has the experience advantage here, and is four years Burgs's senior. As in the Salido fight, I see that experience being the difference maker here, but this is a super even fight and very tough to pick.

Prediction: Rocky Martinez

Remember to tune in to Bloody Elbow this Saturday night for live fight night coverage of HBO Boxing After Dark.


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