Allow me to be blunt. Bernabe Concepcion (28-3-1, 15 KOs), or Abe, as Concepcion is fondly called by his peers and people who are close to him, is a lamb to the slaughter. On July 10th, Abe will face what would be perhaps the toughest assignment of his young career – wrench the WBO featherweight title from the undefeated Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico (28-0, 25 KOs). Abe is a talented fighter no doubt, but one that has still a long way to go before sharing a ring with elite competition.
In terms of opposition, Juanma holds the most impressive resume that includes big wins over boxing legend Gerry Penalosa and hard-hitting Daniel Ponce de Leon. Abe, on the other hand, only had Steven Luevano in his list of significant fights, albeit he lost that fight due to disqualification. Luevano also suffered a knockout defeat in the hands of Juanma.
Lopez is 5-0 with 4 KOs and a UD victory in his last five fights. On the other hand, Concepcion is 4-1 with just a lone KO victory and 3 fights reaching the distance, all in his favor.The fashion of their latest victories should give you an idea on how the fight would probably fare. Power belongs to Lopez. Rate of opposition also belongs to Lopez. Needless to say, all indications note that everything is stacked against the Filipino challenger.
And I am not the only one who believes that Abe bit off a lot more than he could chew. Several boxing scribes who I know personally know yet chose to remain anonymous felt that Abe does not have enough skills and power and the savvy to beat the far more superior Lopez.
I feel that Top Rank made a huge mistake in pitting Lopez and Concepcion together. Abe could have fought a couple of B-level fighters before he jumped on the gun and try his luck against the top tier contenders.
I will root for Abe, no doubt in my mind about that. But I won’t be surprised if he gets himself decked on the canvas and remain there for some time come fight night.
Photo from The CBZ Newswire