By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Manny Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz of MP Promotions denies responsibility for replacing Gerry Penalosa’s protégé, Michael “Hammer Fist” Farenas, with former two-time featherweight title challenger Bernabe Concepcion in a scheduled fight against undefeated NABF and WBO NABO featherweight champion Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 10.
The Showtime televised main event features a title rematch between WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido of Mexico and Puerto Rico’s former champion from whom Salido won the title, Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez. Salido won the title in a stunning 8th round TKO last April 16, 2011.
Although Penalosa doesn’t believe Koncz’s claim, the Pacquiao adviser told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Garcia’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, refused to accept the fight because Farenas was allegedly known to use his head and Dunkin didn’t want to risk Garcia getting cut.
Penalosa was upset because he had called off a scheduled fight on February 28 to accept the Garcia fight for which his boxer had been promised a $50,000 purse.
The 24 year old Concepcion has a record of 29-5-1 with 15 knockouts and twice fought for the WBO featherweight title but lost.
He was disqualified in a fight against Steve Luevano when he hit him after the bell had sounded at the end of round 7 on August 15, 2009.
He then fought Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez who had won the title from Luevano but after dropping Lopez at the end of round one, Concepcion himself dropped in round two and lost by a TKO.
Mikey Garcia is coming off back-to-back stoppages, winning the NABF/WBO NABO titles via a 4th round knockout of Rafael Guzman at the Staples Center on June 4, 2011 before winning by a 4th round TKO over Juan Carlos Martinez at the Theater of Madison Square Garden on October 22, 2011.
Mikey is the brother of former world champion Robert Garcia, the trainer of Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire, Brandon Rios, Antonio Margarito, Kelly Pavlik and others.