By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Manny Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz says he is hoping that featherweight Bernabe Concepcion will put on a show when he battles Mexico’s Juan Carlos Martinez in the co-main event of a Top Rank fight card at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday (Manila Time).
Koncz told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Concepcion who weighed in at 128 pounds “looks good physically” but that he was a little concerned about his fighting heart and the fact that in training he didn’t throw many punches.
However, Koncz said Concepcion is talented and he expects him to come back from his 2nd round TKO loss in a WBO title fight against Juan Manuuel “Juanma” Lopez last July 10, 2010 and prove he has what it takes to be a world title contender if not a champion.
The 23 year old Concepcion has a record of 28-4-1 with 15 knockouts while the 29 year old Marquez who came in at 127 pounds sports a 18-12-1, 7 knockouts card and is coming off a ten round unanimous decision over Ernesto Morales last December 20, 2010.
Tapales, the 18 year old protégé of Pacquiao friend and confidant Rex “Wakee” Salud has an impressive record of 16-1 with 5 knockouts. He weighed 114 pouds while Solorio tipped the scales at 113.
The California based fighter has a mediocre record of 4-4 with 3 but is reportedly a puncher.
Tapales was originally scheduled to face undefeated Austreberto Juarez (10-0, 2 KO’s) , a prime sparring partner of WBC/WBO bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire. There was no reason given for Solorio stepping in to replace Juarez.
Meantime, Koncz said that hard-hitting southpaw Michael Farenas who replaced former OPBF featherweight champion Allan Tanada who had to be pulled out after an eye specialist discovered he had a cataract will also not be seeing action.
Koncz said Farenas’ original opponent backed out and his replacement claimed he suffered an injury in training. Koncz believes he saw the record of Farenas, a protégé of former two division world champion Gerry Penalosa and got scared and pulled out. Koncz said he is likely to arrange for a fight for Farenas in Palm Springs on May 19 and that Tanada will undergo surgery next week.
ABS-CBN which has an agreement with Top Rank Promotions will telecast the fights on a tape delayed basis but the schedule hasn’t been finalized as yet.