By Rick Reeno
Next week's featherweight bout between Mario Santiago (21-1-1, 14KOs) and Bernabe Concepcion (27-3, 15KOs) will be very interesting. BoxingScene.com has been informed the winner could become a candidate to fight WBO champion Juan Manuel Lopez in the spring.
Santiago-Concepcion takes place on the Pinoy Power 3/Latin Fury 13 pay-per-view on February 13 from the Las Vegas Hilton. Concepcion has only had one loss since 2005. That loss, to Steven Luevano, was by disqualification in a very close fight. Concepcion decked Luevano with a punch after the bell rang to end the seventh round. Santiago fought Luevano to a draw in 2008. And Lopez knocked Luevano out two weeks ago in New York.
Top Rank wants to slowly build a Lopez-Yuriorkis Gamboa unification. That fight is probably being targeted for the middle of next year - if both guys continue to win. Gamboa defends his title on March 27 in Germany.