On May 6th, former featherweight title challenger Bernabe Concepcion suffered a shocking loss to capable journeyman Juan Carlos Martinez inside of the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Appearing to be without focus and listless inside of the ring, Concepcion simply didn’t fight with any fire as he trudged his way towards an eight-round split-decision loss.
The drubbing was surprising, as the Rizal, Philippines native was looking to bounce back from a July 2010 knockout defeat to Juan Manuel Lopez, a fight in which Concepcion scored a first round knockdown but was bludgeoned one stanza later. Prior to the Lopez fight, Concepcion had looked strong and kept a busy work rate in his points win over Puerto Rico’s Mario Santiago and he seemed like a different fight than the man who stepped in with Martinez just five months ago.
Concepcion will look to erase the bad taste from his recent setbacks when he steps into the ring to face off with twice-beaten Aaron Garcia tonight at the San Manuel Casino in Highland, California. Speaking on that fight, all one has to do is hear of whom the 23-year old has been keeping company with to get a sense of his work ethic heading into the clash.
“I’ve been with Manny Pacquiao when I was in the Philippines,” said Concepcion, who fights under Pacquiao’s MP Promotions’ umbrella while also looking up to the eight-division champion with a definite sense of admiration. “I’ve been with him at the Wild Card [too], so everything is going very well.”
Related slideshows: Inside Manny Pacquiao’s media day at the Wild Card in Los Angeles / Behind the scenes with Bernabe Concepcion, Rodel Mayol, and Richie Mepranum
Concepcion can’t offer up any explanations as to his performance against Martinez, and is instead looking forward.
“Some things happened for that fight but now I am 100% ready for this fight. I just focus on my training. Everything will come from my training and I am in good condition right now,” he continued.
Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12th in Las Vegas and Concepcion has been able to take away much from his peer on both a personal and professional level. And maybe that’s why Concepcion’s psyche hasn’t been rattled, because he is training alongside someone who has set the example for him.
“He supports me all the time. That’s why I want to be back. My inspiration is my family, my fans, and Manny Pacquiao, also.”
RECENT SLIDESHOWS FROM THE BOXING WORLD
Images from 24/7 Pacquiao-Marquez, episode 1 – A look inside HBO’s first episode of 24/7 as we join Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez in camp and look into their lives
A ringside view of Donaire vs. Narvaez – It was a slowed-paced affair, but continue to the slideshow for excellent shots from ringside from Nonito Donaire’s victory over Omar Narvaez
A look inside the Wild Card – Step up inside of the famous gym with the likes of Pacquiao, Khan, Chavez Jr., Shawn Porter, Alex Ariza, Alfredo Angulo, Freddie Roach, and several other boxing luminaries
Jorge Linares loses a heartbreaker – Images from Wild Card newbiw Jorge Linares’ thrilling battle with Antonio DeMarco, a fight that a bloody Linares would lose via 11th round TKO
Recent images of Floyd Jr., Shantel Jackson, and Daphne Joy – Visit the slideshow to check out 50 Cent’s girlfriend Daphne Joy in Miami, Floyd Mayweather’s fiance Shantel Jackson on the scene, and an inside tour of Floyd’s mansion in Vegas
Behind the scenes at the bizarre Hopkins-Dawson event – An inside look at Staples Center for the Hopkins-Dawson event, with Manny Pacquiao, Emanuel Steward, The Tecate Girls, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and others
Ultimate Pacquiao – A picture by picture look at the whirlwind years of Manny Pacquiao’s career as he inches closer to his clash with Marquez
Getting to know Mercito Gesta – A closer look at the talented 23-year old southpaw from Mandaue City, including actions shots and out of the ring
Inside Donaire’s Media Day – A closer look as WBC and WBO bantamweight champion works out at the Undisputed Boxing Gym in the Bay Area in California for his October 22nd showdown with Omar Narvaez
The danger of Timothy Bradley – What threat does Bradley pose to Manny Pacquiao? Click to see more
Behind the scenes with Donaire, Rios, Margarito – A closer look at stable mates Nonito Donaire , Brandon Rios, and Antonio Margarito and they prepare for battle, crack heads from ringside, and enjoy the limelight
Inside the Nishioka-Marquez Gallery – A closer look from Vegas at Toshiaki Nishioka’s victory over Rafael Marquez, including appearanes from Mayorga, Barrera, Donaire, Arce, and others
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com