PINOY PRIDE XXII: 'EL TORITO' CONCEPCION RETURNS TO CEBU TO TAKE ON SERVANIA
By Dong Secuya
Mon, 30 Sep 2013
CEBU CITY – Panamian slugger Rafael 'El Torito' Concepcion, the fighter who, on July 26, 2008, caused a huge letdown to Filipino fans and scuttled grand plans from ALA Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions by knocking out then fast rising Cebuano prospect AJ 'Bazooka' Banal in the 10th round of their WBA Interim super flyweight world title bout at the Cebu Coliseum, returns to Cebu to take on undefeated ALA stalwart Genesis 'Azukal' Servania on October 26 for 'Pinoy Pride XII' at Cebu's Waterfront Hotel. Titled 'The Revenge', which also co-features undefeated 'King' Arthur Villanueva, this installment of the highly successful Pinoy Pride series was announced during Monday's press conference at Sarrosa Hotel in Cebu City.
The damaged caused by Concepcion on that fateful day of July was so deep that Banal, after 5 years of rebuilding his career, never overcame the stigma of that defeat. ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer confessed that the emotions and expectations of the Banal-Concepcion fight came rushing back to him on the way to Monday's presscon.
“We had a tele-conference with Oscar de la Hoya at noon the day of the fight,” Aldeguer narrated. “Everything was set. Banal was the uncrowned champion. We were supposed to hold a press conference after the fight to announce that Banal will be taking on Jorge Arce next.”
As it turned out, the press conference never came. The Filipino fans exited Cebu's historical arena with blank faces. ALA Promotions and Golden Boy's Eric Gomez went home empty handed. Concepcion, who was not given much of a chance by boxing experts against Banal, went back to Panama with the championship belt and went on to fight Jorge Arce next.
Now, Concepcion (18-6-1, 8KO) will take on another up-coming and undefeated ALA fighter in Genesis Servania (22-8-0, 8KO) for the WBO Asia-Pacific super bantamweight title. Will history repeat itself? Or will it be a different story?
“I have no pressure for this fight,” Servania, who picked himself up twice in the canvas during his last outing in Macau against Konosuke Tomiyama of Japan, told the Cebu media. “I'm sure I'm going to get revenge for AJ.”
Servania's confidence may not be unfounded. After getting a beating from Arce in 2008 where the referee mercifully stopped the fight in the 9th round, Concepcion, because of his come forward style, received more punishments from elite fighters Nonito Donaire and Fernando Montiel, among others. After losing to Venezuela's Liborio Solis in October, 2011, 'El Torito' briefly retired from the sport only to return in April this year where he won his two comeback fights.
This fight will not be about Servania's chances of winning against Concepcion but it will be more about how much left in Concepcion as a fighter.
Top photo (L-R): Arthur Villanueva, Genesis Servania, ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer and trainer Edito Villamor during Monday's press conference at the Sarrosa Hotel in Cebu City. Photo by Dong Secuya.
Concepcion (L) knocks down Banal during their July 26, 2008 world title fight in Cebu City. Photo by Dong Secuya.
Co-headlining the event is Bacolod's Arthur Villanueva (23-0-0, 13KO), the current OPBF superfly champion, who will take on Jose 'Matador' Cabrera (22-3-2, 10KO) of Mexico for the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific super flyweight title.
For Servania and Villanueva, this will be their first time headlining a Pinoy Pride event.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dong Secuya.
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