Juan Manuel Lopez Blasts out Bernabe Concepcion in Two; Nonito Donaire Scores TKO Too
By Gabriel Montoya, MaxBoxing (July 11, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)  
Featherweight titleholder and rising boxing star Juan Manuel Lopez gave his Puerto Rican fans something to talk about when he blasted out Bernabe Concepcion in two rounds while tasting canvas once in the process. The bout was held at the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico before a giant raucous crowd that cheered on not only Lopez but Puerto Rican legend Felix “Tito” Trinidad, who accompanied Lopez to the ring and cheered him at ringside.

The action started fast and furious with Lopez, 29-0 (26), coming out with his right jab and left hand feeler. Concepcion, a Wild Card Gym fighter, who it was hoped would be the next power-punching Filipino fighter to come out of that famed gym, was game and ready to fight. Too bad he wasn’t ready for Lopez’ power.

“JuanMa,” as he is known, exploded all over Concepcion, 28-4-1 (15), in the first with a short right hand hook that shook Concepcion a bit and backed him off. A straight left soon landed from Lopez and the question of whether or not Concepcion could handle the power of Lopez was answered. He couldn’t and, a few moments later, a series of lefts would stagger and drop Concepcion midway through the round.

Concepcion would rise but Lopez would jump all over him and drop him, left lead after left lead. But the 27-year-old Puerto Rican star-in-waiting got a little overzealous and ate a Concpecion left hook that dropped him at the end of the round. Lopez rose but lucky for him, the bell rang soon after, as there were cobwebs in his attic.

Round two saw Lopez come out strong despite his corner telling him to be more cautious between rounds. A straight left dropped Concepcion early in the round and, from then on, it was mop-up duty as Lopez, an excellent finisher, went after his prey. This was new territory for Concepcion, who had never been off his feet before this night but now was in enemy territory, down twice with few answers to the questions being asked. Lopez waded in and let go with combinations and Concepcion was rocked and rocked again. The brave young fighter would once again rise but was in terrible shape and referee Luis Pabon wisely waved it off at 2:37 of the second round.

Now Lopez is set to fight Rafael Marquez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV on September 18.

“I got a little overconfident. You have to stay in control,” said Lopez afterward. “He’s a good fighter. He’s a strong fighter. He can punch. I have to learn to never be overconfident.”

In the Showtime co-feature, Nonito Donaire, 24-1 (16), took out game but overmatched Hernan Marquez, 27-2 (20), in eight rounds that were not so much scintillating as they were a little interesting. Donaire, traditionally a left hand lead or orthodox fighter came out and stayed southpaw for the first five rounds of the fight. The problem was that while Donaire, who was taking this stay-busy fight while he waits to get in with the likes of Fernando Montiel, made himself shorter and less mobile in doing so. Normally a rangy moving fighter in his right hand stance, those attributes went away as Donaire got smacked with a right hook to start the bout from the southpaw Marquez. A first word that really was all Marquez had to say throughout.

Donaire controlled the action throughout, eating a shot here or there but generally never being in danger. In the fifth, Donaire switched back to his normal stance and he lit up. He began to move, get more confident in dropping his hands and slipping around Marquez and he flashed that power and speed so many had talked about coming into the fight. That and Donaire began to fight taller as he should. The result: he hurt Marquez with a left hook soon into the round and Marquez dropped soon after.

The rest of the bout was mop-up duty as Donaire cautiously but efficiently set about breaking down Marquez. A series of brutal uppercuts throughout that had not been there in the southpaw stance, dropped Marquez again, prompting his trainer Rudy Perez to call a halt to the bout. The time was 2:59 of the eighth round.

You can email Gabriel at maxgmontoya@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim or tune into him live on Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST when he co-hosts the BlogTalk radio show Leave-it-in- the-Ring.com. Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

* Special Thanks To MaxBoxing.

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing Inc. 1998-2010