Did Concepcion come out of the loss to Lopez more of a star than before?
By Jim Dower: Sometimes losing a fight isn’t that bad for a fighter’s career. In the case of featherweight Bernabe Concepcion (28-4-1, 15 KO’s) it might not be that bad of a thing that he was trounced in a 2nd round knockout by WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez (29-0, 26 KO’s) last Saturday night in Puerto Rico.
By coming out gunning with both hands, Concepcion showed a ton of courage and got up off the deck in the opening round to knock the powerful Lopez down later on in the 1st round. Even if Concepcion didn’t knock Lopez down in the fight, he still would have come out of the loss looking good because Concepcion’s fighting style was entertaining throughout and he was willing to go down out on his shield.
It was like watching a younger version of Manny Pacquiao, before he had acquired knowledge in how to fight, slugging it out against a much more technically oriented fighter. If you look at it like that, you can’t help but he impressed with the performance from Concepcion. But clearly, Concepcion can’t keep getting knocked around the ring if he wants to continue to be popular. He needs a good trainer to teach him how to fight and give him some more weapons so he can be successful.
Pacquiao has taken an interest in teaching and guiding the 22-year-old Concepcion’s career. Hopefully, this loss hasn’t caused Pacquiao to have second thoughts about Concepcion, because the fighter is still young enough to learn and can be a champion at some point in the future if he can keep getting better. The loss to Lopez was a good thing in a way, because it put Concepcion in with a really talented fighter that he can learn from.
At the same time, it showed that Concepcion can be competitive to a certain extent even against a quality fighter like Lopez. Concepcion was landing well to the head and body before he ran into problems in the 2nd round and was taken out.
Instead of people being so hard on Concepcion and seeing him as an utter failure in the Lopez fight, I think they need to see the positive. He took a huge step from the type of fighters he had been competing against, and fought his heart out, knocking down the champion, landing well before finally getting drilled to pieces.
There’s no shame in that. Concepcion was exciting to the very last, which is more than I can say about a lot of the previous knockout victims of Lopez.
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