By Ronnie Nathanieslz
WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman says Bernabe Concepcion retained his North American Boxing Federation super bantamweight title with a close but “very fair” unanimous decision against a game Juan Ruiz in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico Sunday morning, Manila Time.
In an overseas telephone conversation with Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today Sulaiman who watched the fights on the “Latin Fury” fight card promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank debunked some claims that Ruiz should have been given the decision. The WBC president said Concepcion “ looked very good" but conceded that the Filipino had "a very, very difficult opponent who was like a bull and wouldn’t let him (Concepcion) box.”
Sulaiman said Concepcion “threw lot of combinations and very clean, powerful punches and the judges game him the decision very fairly although it was a close bout.”
The 20 year old Concepcion won the NABF title with an impressive fourth round TKO against the highly fancied Mexican Gabriel Elizondo on August 4, 2007. Concepcion defeated the 29 year old Ruiz in what was described as a sometimes brutal and foul-filled but entertaining fight with all three judges giving the young Filipino the nod..Two judges had Concepcion winning by a 114-112 margin while the third judge scored it for Concepcion 114-111. Both fighters suffered two point deductions for violations during the bout.
Concepcion improved his record to 24-1-1 with 13 knockouts while the busy Ruiz who bored in and tried to work inside dropped to 21-5 with 6 knockouts. It was Ruiz’s third consecutive loss. The fight was Concepcion’s first fight in Mexico where the judges were fair and he did not become victim of a hometown decision in a close fight.
Concepcion had previously won three fights in the US since making his debut on April 14 last year with a unanimous ten round decision over Benjamin Flores in San Antonio, Texas on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jorge Solis fight card.