Give us a break please, Abe Concepcion
By Recah Trinidad
12 Mar 2012
THERE are shattering losses, there are demeaning losses, there are career-ending losses, there are so-so losses, then there was poor Bernabe Concepcion.
Concepcion suffered a nameless beating in Puerto Rico on Sunday when he was knocked out in the 7th round of the main supporting fight to the WBO featherweight championship.
That main event was won in sensational fashion by underdog Orlando Salido of Mexico, the defending champion who stopped the overwhelming hometown favorite Juan Manuel Lopez in the 10th round.
That classic fight was readily entered as top candidate for Fight of the Year honors.
Concepcion, in suffering yet another dismal stoppage, also got a piece of distinction.
He was openly tapped by boxing experts, both the critical and sympathetic ones, as a huge candidate for retirement.
Concepcion, a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo who traces his roots in Virac, Catanduanes, is only 24.
Of course, there’s no law against suicidal boxers doing it deadly dumb ahead of their time.
For one, Concepcion, with his fine build and handsome ring presence, did appear to have many more fighting years in him.
Traces veteran boxing writer Abac Cordero: “Concepcion was once considered the next Manny Pacquiao, but he’s certainly not moving in that direction. For Mikey Garcia, Concepcion’s conqueror, it was his 28th win with 24 knockouts, which kept him on track for a shot at the world crown. Concepcion, on the other hand, took his fourth loss in his last six fights, four of them by knockout. He dropped to 29-6-1.”
Cordero said Concepcion would definitely find it hard to hang up his gloves this early.
But the call of the moment, like it or not, is: Enough is enough.
Concepcion has done more than his shameful share of putting Philippine boxing, in this Golden Age of Pacquiao, in a bad light.
So why and how could Concepcion be mothballed--hopefully repaired and reformed-- before he could be ready for decent public viewing again?
“It’s a shame, but Abe was more than glad just to be fighting there,” commented international boxing correspondent Anthony Andales after witnessing Concepcion’s fall in Puerto Rico on pay-per-view from his nest in the United States.
They love to introduce Concepcion as a Pacquio compatriot who has had two challenges to the world crown.
Actually, in his two previous title fight losses, Concepcion first got disqualified for hitting a champion after the bell; before he traveled to Puerto Rico to be wholeheartedly fed to Juan Manuel Lopez, when the former world featherweight kind was at his hottest.
Maybe this need not be told.
But it has become too obvious that the poor boy has become an anomaly for Philippine boxing.
He has not only slipped into one big prizefight eyesore.
“Lumaki ang ulo (he has become a swell-head,” rued Aljoe Jaro, who discovered and guided Concepcion early to his piece of shaky stardom.
“He can’t wear a bike helmet,” Jaro quipped.
That was over three years ago.
Yesterday, six of the seven guys we talked to around the Mandaluyong City wet market swore they failed to watch that all-time classic between Oscar Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez.
It’s like this: Studio 23 started the delayed feed at 2:00 p.m.
But before Concepcion could even get kayoed, the six had already doused off.
The seventh fellow left in a huff to look for somebody to drink with and shake off the infectious boredom delivered by Concepcion.
Can his promoter (Bob Arum?) do something to take this drooling eyesore from the bigtime scene even for just the rest of the year?
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