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Salido TKOs Lopez in rematch; Garcia stops Concepcion

Bernabe Concepcion Juan Manuel Lopez Mikey Garcia Orlando SalidoBy Jim Dower: Juan Manuel Lopez (31-2, 28 KO’s) gave it his best shot but it wasn’t good enough to unseat WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido (38-11-2, 26 KO’s) in their rematch on Saturday night, losing by a 10th round TKO at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Lopez took a pounding in the fight and was not surprisingly dropped in the 10th after eating a hard right hand from Salido.

To his credit, Lopez got back to his feet and was in the process of trying to stand without assistance when the referee Robert Ramirez Sr. stopped the fight at 0:32 of the round with Lopez none too happy. After the fight, Lopez stated that he thought the referee stopped the fight when he did due to a gambling problem. It looked like poor sportsmanship on Lopez’s part because the fight needed to be stopped and the referee did his job by keeping Lopez from possibly getting badly hurt by Salido. Lopez couldn’t even stand without swaying and it would been too easy for Salido to put him down again had the fight been allowed to continue.

Lopez changed his tactics for the rematch choosing to box and move for the first seven rounds to avoid Salido’s pressure. The tactic unfortunately only partly worked, because Salido proved to be very good at catching up to Lopez and punishing him at every opportunity. Salido breezed through the first three rounds almost uncontested with his higher work rate and bigger shots. Lopez lost a lot of his power due to his habit of punching on the move and he couldn’t match the big shots that Salido was landing.

Lopez came back in the 4th and landed some nice shots in the 2nd half of the round to steal it while Salido seemed to be either resting or playing possum. In the 5th, Salido was really giving it to Lopez after hurting him with a big right hand while Lopez was against the ropes. But moments later, Lopez landed a sweet check right hook that put Salido down when he had Lopez cornered. There wasn’t enough time for Lopez to throw more than a few shots aftr the action resumed upon Salido getting back to his feet.

Salido completely dominated the 6th and 7th rounds with his heavy pressure and big shots. Lopez stayed on the move and wasn’t able to match the firepower from Salido.

In the 8th, Lopez began to attack Salido and it looked like Lopez had completely abandoned his fight plan of trying to box and was going with his old slugging style of fighting. It seemed to suit Lopez really well. However, Salido still got the better of Lopez even with fighting most of the round with his back against the ropes. Lopez just looked tired and slightly punch drunk from having eaten so many big shots throughout the fight.

Salido continued to punish Lopez in the 9th round, but Lopez made it exciting by fighting back hard and throwing a lot of shots. It was a clear round for Salido.

In the 10th, a weary Lopez came out and was immediately hurt by a right hand and then hit with two more fight hands to put him down on the canvas. The fight was then halted after Lopez made it to his feet.


Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia stops Bernabe Concepcion in seven

Undefeated featherweight contender Miguel “Mikey” Garcia (28-0, 24 KO’s) kept his unbeaten record intact with a rather boring 7th round TKO win over Bernabe Concepcion (29-6-1, 15 KO’s). The fight was more than disappointing on a number of levels starting with Concepcion, who looked like he really didn’t come to fight mentally. He threw very few punches and appeared to be treating it like a sparring session. I didn’t see much effort or enthusiasm from Concepcion. In the 7th, he was knocked down by a left-right combination. He got back up and was halted with after getting nailed by a flurry of shots from Garcia.

The good was that Garcia showed a nice jab and right hand power. The bad was Garcia looked very slow in terms of hand speed, and failed to throw a lot of punches. He fought almost in a robotic manner against a fighter that looked unwilling to mix it up. The crowd booed off and on starting from the 3rd. Garcia didn’t look good in comparison to Lopez and Salido, who both threw a lot of shots. Garcia doesn’t look capable of throwing a massive amount of shots, and that would be a problem for him when he goes from fighting 2nd tier opposition like he’s been fighting to top tier world class fighters like Salido and Lopez. Garcia could be next for Salido, but his management still hasn’t said whether they’ll go that route or not. I think it might be a bad move right now because Garcia is still too upright and easy to hit. He needs to fight 1st level opposition before he takes on the very top of the division. If they throw him in with Salido now, Garcia will only get knocked out. He’s not ready.

Garcia needs to increase his work rate if he’s to be a factor in the division because he won’t be able to beat the better fighters by throwing jabs and four or five right hands per round. He was like David Haye of the featherweight division with his ultra low work rate, but without Haye’s hand speed. Garcia needs A LOT of work if he’s to be a champion. He’s young and may pick up a belt due to there being four titles to pick from but he’s not on the level of guys like Robert Guerrero, Lopez or Salido from what I can see of him.

In other action on the card

José “Chelo” González TKO 8 Hevinson Herrera
McWilliams Arroyo UD 10 Luis Maldonado
McJoe Arroyo UD 6 Shawn Nichol
Camilo Pérez UD 6 Charlie Serrano
Gamalier Rodríguez UD 8 Allan Tanada

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