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A BLOODY BRAWL IN EL CAJON


PhilBoxing.com




Los Angeles, CA - Bernabe Concepcion (27-1 with 16 KO) of the Philippines scored a tremendous knockout last Thursday night, September 25, over tough Mexican champion Giovanni Caro (11-5-4 with 9 KO) in the main event of a highly successful promotional debut of Manny Pacquiao's MP Promotions in association with Sycuan Ringside Promotions billed "Fight Night: Philippines Vs. Mexico" in El Cajon, California.

The fight wasn't easy at all, Concepcion had a bloody nose after the 1st round. He sustained a cut at the left eyelid and the swelling around the orbit almost shut the eye close. As Concepcion's cutman and team doctor for this fight, my goal was (in between rounds) to avoid the fight stoppage due to this cut. Concepcion stated he got a headbutt during the 2nd round and the cut was caused by a punch at the 3rd round.

From rounds 4th to 7th, Caro took advantage of Concepcion's vision impairment. Concepcion stood his ground despite being tagged several times. He lost his balance at one point and almost fell outside the ropes until the referee held on to it. He showed a big heart and great determination to overcome and win the fight. Caro remained durable and strong until the final rounds. It looked as though he was taking the fight to Concepcion. The crowd, mostly Filipinos, kept cheering for him and chanted his name - "Ber-na-be, Ber?na-be"

During the eight round, the referee ruled a "low blow" when Caro was hit in the lower abdomen causing him to wince in pain. He objected by pointing to his groin and the referee gave him time to recover at a neutral corner. Concepcion's Coach/Trainer, Freddie Roach argued the decision given by the referee saying it was a legal blow. Freddie shouted at the referee ? "That was not a low blow...come on, you did not even see it."

A sensational Knockout for Bernabe Concepci?n

While at the opposite corner, Concepci?n looked for Manny Pacquiao who was seated at promoter's special section in ringside. Pacquiao calmly stared at him and with his fist, pointed to his heart. According to Concepcion, this gave him the boost to demonstrate the same kind of courage that the current #1 pound per pound fighter in the world is so famous for inside the squared jungle.

When the fight resumed, Concepci?n started throwing a combination of brutal punches that sent Mexican Caro crashing to the canvas, from where he never came back, at 2:35 of round number eight.

At the time that the referee stopped the fight, Concepcion was leading the scoreboards of two of the three judges 77-75 and 80-72, while the third judge had a score of 77-75 for Giovanni Caro.

The Quest for a World Title

According to Atty. Jeng Gacal, Bernabe is not yet ripe. He needs a couple more fights to gain more experience. He added, "We should not rush him?anyway, he is still young."

Mike Koncz, the handler of Concepcion added that -"This is a good test for him and he passed. We will continue to give him more competitive fights. He learns something new each time he fights.Only then should he be ready to go for a world title."

A Great Night for the Philippines

To begin the fight night, Beautiful Fil-Am teenage diva Jasmine Villegas sang the American National Anthem to the delight of everyone. Former WBC bantamweight Champion Jovi Halog proudly waved the Philippine Flag on top of the ring prior to the scheduled main event during the singing of the Philippine Anthem. Fil-Am Brian Viloria, former WBC light flyweight champion, won by unanimous decision over Mexican Juan Javier Lagos in preparation for his IBF title fight against Mexican champion Ulises Solis in Macau, China on December 13. Junior welterweight Filipino boxer Dennis Laurente won by a TKO in the seventh round over Arturo Urena after the Mexican failed to answer the bell due to a cut under his right eye.

Final notes: Pacquiao's Filipino trainer Restituto "Buboy" Fernandez could be heard at the sidelines during the 8th round- "Huwag mong patigil ang laban Bernabe?gawin mo lahat?Kaya mo yan!" (translation ? Don't let the fight be stopped Bernabe?do everything?You can do it!) "Nabuhayan ako at lalong lumakas ang loob ko ng narinig ko si Kuya Buboy" (translation- I was energized and it gave me more strength and courage to go on after hearing Buboy) was what Concepcion told this writer during a brief post-fight interview. Concepcion hugged and thanked Buboy Fernandez after his fight. Bernabe Concepcion said that this was the first time he was cut in his entire boxing career but he never gave up and was willing to fight till the final bell.

Top photo: Bernabe Concepcion (R) sends Giovanni Caro to the canvas during their fight Thursday at Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, CA. Photo by Miguel Salazar.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dr. Allan Recto.


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