By Mark Vester
At the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, a battle of featherweights saw Bernabe Concepcion (28-3, 15KOs) win a ten round decision over Mario Santiago (21-2, 14KOs). The judges saw it 98-91, 96-93 and 97-92 for Concepcion. He will now fight WBO bantamweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez in June. Juanma was ringside scouting the action.
Santiago used his jab and controlled most of the action by boxing in the first round. In the final ten seconds, Concepcion landed three good power punches that might have stolen the round. In the second Santiago was boxing for the first minute before Concepcion began firing away with power punches. Concepcion started pushing him back until the final thirty second when Santiago began to bang back with his power shots. They started trading some big shots at the start of the third. The back and forth action continued for most of the round, including a near shot by Concepcion after the bell.
Santiago was moving and boxing during the fourth. Concepcion caught him with a big right hand that shook him up. Concepcion started throwing some big shots until Santiago backed him off and stood his ground. Santiago was sitting down on his punches in the fifth and coming forward with big punches. Concepcion was missing a lot of punches. Concepcion got off with some good power shots at the start of the sixth. He caught Santiago with a big right hand that sent him down and he was hurt. Concepcion jumped on him and tried to finish him off. Santiago was able to survive by moving and jabbing.
During the seventh, Santiago just tried to stay away as Concepcion came forward winging away with shots. More of the same in the eight, Concepcion was doing most of the damage with the harder punches. During the ninth, Santiago was landing a lot of punches to the body trying to slow Concepcion down. Concepcion could not land many of his counters.
In the tenth, Santiago was trying to land something big and backing Concepcion back. He started landing big on Concepcion against the ropes with uppercuts and hard shots to the body. Concepcion was trying to hold on but then went to the middle of the ring and wanted to fight. They stood in the middle of the ring and were trading punches with both hands.
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