JuanMa retains featherweight title
Juan Manuel Lopez survived a first-round knockdown en route to a second-round stoppage of Bernabe Concepcion in Puerto Rico to retain his WBO featherweight title Saturday.
It was a weird, wild fight because of the undisciplined style of Concepcion. Lopez staggered Concepcion with his first punch and put him down later in the round. With Concepcion swarmed in the corner, the Filipino challenger landed a desperation left hook that sent Lopez to the canvas with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first round. Lopez got up immediately, but the pro-JuanMa crowd fell silent.
Lopez regained his focus and dropped Concepcion two more times in the second round. The referee didn’t allow Concepcion the time to get up on the last knockdown, choosing to end the fight at the appropriate time.
Concepcion was all smiles before the fight, but he had little to be happy about in his performance. He landed zero jabs, and most of his punches were thrown one at a time with his head down. Not sure what the game plan was supposed to be, but Concepcion did little to impress.
Lopez will now look ahead to his Sept. 18 bout with Rafael Marquez scheduled for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
On the undercard, Nonito Donaire defeated Hernan Marquez by eighth-round TKO in his final bout as a super flyweight. Donaire opened the fight as a southpaw, seemingly as an experiment. Marquez landed a right hook right off the bat, a precursor for how things would go for the lefty Donaire. Donaire put Marquez down in the fifth round, after going back to his orthodox stance. It was evident that Marquez’s time was running short in this fight. Donaire finished the job in the eighth, just seconds before the end of the round, much to the dismay of the game Marquez.