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Bernabe Concepcion loses again: What does he need to turn his career around?

Bernabe Concepcion Mikey GarciaBy Jason Kim: 24-year-old former featherweight contender Bernabe Concepcion (29-6-1, 15 KO’s) lost for the fourth time in his last six fights in getting stopped in the 7th round by undefeated Miguel “Mikey” Garcia (28-0, 24 KO’s) last Saturday night in a one-sided drubbing at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

What made this loss perhaps even more disappointing than three other recent losses was that Concepcion really didn’t appear to be mentally into the fight. Compared to how he used to fight in the past when he was an all action fighter that was looking to take his opponent’s heads off, he looked almost timid last night against Garcia and rarely did he attempt to do anything offensively.

Concepcion appeared to be the faster fighter of the two with power that wasn’t on the level of Garcia, but close enough for him to have a decent chance at winning the fight had he put in a game effort. But instead of really going after Garcia the way that he needed to in order to have a chance at winning the fight, Concepcion hung back and willingly ate jabs and occasional right hands from Garcia. In the 7th, Concepcion was knocked down by Garcia after getting hurt by a right hand.

Concepcion got up and was immediately backed up to the ropes and finished off by Garcia. The referee Luis Pabon halted the fight with Concepcion still standing but looking bruised around both eyes from having eaten so many shots. However, the fight was really over in the 1st round when it was painfully obvious that Concepcion wasn’t going to try and make a fight of it by trying to battle Garcia.

It’s disappointing because Concepcion has good skills and is better than what he’s shown in the recent string of losses. I don’t know that I agree with the matchmaking that’s been done for him, because Concepcion hasn’t had any real confidence boosters since he started losing with his 7th round disqualification loss to Steve Luevano in August 2009. Since that fight, Concepcion has been matched against the following fighter: Mario Santiago, Juan Manuel Lopez, Juan Carlos Martinez, Aaron Garcia and Mikey Garcia.

Apart from the Aaron Garcia and Juan Carlos Martinez fights, Concepcion has gone through a gauntlet of tough fighters and really hasn’t had much of a break from tough fights in order to get his confidence back up. He should have been eased back into things after the Luevano defeat instead of being quickly put in with Lopez. I wouldn’t have done that because he didn’t look like he’d regained his confidence after losing to Luevano.

Concepcion is a lot better than he showed last night and if he turned the attack on Garcia with an all out charge from the 1st round, I think it would have been a much different fight. Concepcion needs to be rebuilt from the ground up if he’s to salvage his career.

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