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.”
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Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]