The November 6th Juan Manuel Lopez-Rafael Marquez bout has the potential to be a firecracker of a fight given the precision and power that each man has showcased in previous fights. Taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lopez-Marquez will have serious implications in the featherweight class with such fighters as Yuriorkis Gamboa and Celestino Caballero waiting patiently for the winner.
In recent weeks the event has received some additional firepower in the form of a co-feature event between super middleweights Allan ‘Sweetness’ Green and Glen ‘Road Warrior’ Johnson. The Green-Johnson fight is the type of ‘loser goes home’ clash that keeps the sport of boxing moving and also happens to be a Stage Three fight of the plagued Super Six tournament.
What hasn’t been noticed and it definitely worth a look to those who will be in attendance on the 6th is the addition of two young and talented fighters from the Top Rank stable who will be looking to make statements of their own as featherweight Bernabe Concepcion and junior lightweight Diego Magdaleno will fight in separate bouts. Concepcion is coming off of his worst loss as a pro while Magdaleno happens to be coming off of the most impressive showing of his young career.
Concepcion was overmatched and outgunned this past July when he attempted to wrestle away the WBO crown from Lopez in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Rizal, Philippines fighter was pounced on from the get go and despite scoring a knockdown of his own late in the first round he would be systematically beaten down one stanza later. It was a humbling defeat and Concepcion will look to get back on track against Salinas, California’s Alejandro Perez.
Magdaleno trains out of Barry’s Boxing Center right off of the strip and his duties are overseen by Pat Barry, who also serves as his manager. While the 23-year old’s 16-0 record with 4 knockouts typically saw him in scripted decision wins, he impressed in his last outing by blowing out once beaten Brazilian Carlos Oliveira in five rounds at the Palms Casino and Resort last month.
Former title contender Augie Sanchez, known best for his valiant losing effort against Prince Naseem Hamed ten years ago in Mashantucket, Connecticut, also works with Magdaleno and has been monitoring his progression in recent weeks. Magdaleno trains alongside interim WBA junior welterweight champion Marcos Maidana, who is preparing for a December 11th date with Amir Khan, and was last seen by this scribe engaging in some heated sparring with local prospect Anthony Lenk.
What’s noteworthy about Concepcion and Magdaleno is the fact that despite their similarities in age, Bernabe is actually only 22 years old, the two men seem to be in different points in their careers. Magdaleno is regarded as the blossoming prospect while Concepcion is a six year veteran with four losses whose back is to the wall. No better place than under the bright Vegas lights to see the next chapters of their story unfold.
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com