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Concepcion Overpowers Otieno

By Jason Kim: Featherweight contender Bernabe Concepcion (28-1-1, 17 KOs) defeated Kenyan Sande Otieno (16-2, 7 KOs) by a 5th round TKO on Sunday night in scheduled 12-round bout to win the vacant World Boxing Council International featherweight title at the Araneta Coliseum, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.


The fight was stopped after the 5th round by Otieno’s corner due to a nasty cut over his left eye. The cut had opened up in the 3rd after Conception, 20, landed a big right hand. The fight was mostly one-sided throughout, with top heavy Conception dominating the over-matched Otieno with power shots and catching him often with right hands. Conception, ranked #5 in the WBC featherweight division, showed poor defense and was hit quite often by Otieno.

Conception lacked a good jab, and appeared too muscular on his upper body for his own good. All the extra muscles seemed to make his tight, less athletic and not particularly fast on his feet. He also showed poor judgment at times, going to the ropes and covering up and letting Otieno tee-off on him.

If this was by design, it was a stupid thing to do because it allowed Otieno to him much more often than he should have. However, it wasn’t as if Otieno needed any help in hitting Conception because he was wide open for most any shots that Otieno was throwing in the fight.

Conception dominated the 1st round, loading up with right hands and throwing an occasional jab. His jabs were infrequent because it seemed like he lacked the flexibility to stretch his arms out enough to throw them well. Otieno came forward steadily in the round, jabbing to the body and head but not having much luck in landing any significant punches. Conception, like always, chose to stand in between rounds.

In the 2nd round, Conception began nailing Otieno with right hand uppercuts when Otieno would come staying inside trying to land shots. On one occasion, Conception nailed him with a big right hand just after Otieno had come in close to land a shot.

Conception’s punch knocked Otieno back several steps. He wasn’t hurt, just off balance from having been hit just after throwing a punch of his own. Conception then showboated a little, dancing a little as if to taunt Otieno.

It was a classless move considering that Otieno was badly over-matched in the fight and wasn’t all that competitive with him. In the 2nd half of the round, Otieno took advantage of Conception’s poor mobility and nailed him often with jabs to the head and midsection.

In the 3rd round, Conception oddly went to the ropes early in the round, trying to play a sick version of rope-a-dope. However, in this case, Conception was getting hit with everything that Otieno threw at him, blocking few, if any, of the punches and merely taking punishment and looking tired.

As if he needed this to get himself into the fight, Conception sprang off the ropes and landed several right hands before settling down once again to his mostly limited, one punch at a time offense. Once again, Conception tagged Otieno with a right uppercut as the Kenyan was finished throwing a shot. The punch knocked Otieno back several steps.

Conception continued to land right uppercuts, easily his favorite punch in his arsenal, for the remainder of the round. In the last seconds of the round, Conception landed a right hand to the head, causing Otieno to turn his back and walk to the ropes, blood streaming down from a big cut over his left eye.

It was strange thing, and lucky for Otieno that the fight wasn’t stopped, because the referee Bruce McTavish looked poised to stop the fight due to him not realizing that Otieno had been cut. The ringside doctor quickly examined the cut and allowed the fight to continue.

In the 4th round, Otieno controlled the action, constantly jabbing the slow and stationary Conception, nailing him one jab after another. Though Conception held both his hands up, as if to block punches, it seemed more for show than anything else. He was blocking absolutely nothing, as far as I can tell.

There was a clash of heads late in the round, but thankfully no one was cut. Near the end of the round, Conception once again went right uppercut crazy, throwing a lot of them and looking more than a little one-dimensional.

Conception dominated the 5th round, loading up with everything he threw and appearing to be gunning for a knockout. The cut over his left eye was really bothering Otieno, who constantly dabbed at it with his right glove. Otieno still found it surprisingly easy to hit Conception with jabs, and in fact he landed a high number of them to the face of Conception.

After the round ended, Otieno’s corner, with the advice from the ringside doctor, had the fight stopped due to Otieno’s bad cut over his left eye.

Conception got the win, but it wasn’t such a big deal as Otieno looked little better than a C-class fighter, which is pretty much the type of fighters that Conception has been fighting since turning professional in 2005. He’d have big problems if he fought the best featherweights in the division like Chris John, Oscar Larios, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Steve Luevano, and I see him losing to each of them badly.

Conception could help himself a great deal if he trimmed down a lot of his useless muscle on his upper body, because he’s way too top heavy and looks like more like an amateur wrestler with his big upper body and tiny, pipe stem legs.


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