Thursday night was “Fight Night at Sycuan.” The beautiful Sycuan Resort and Casino in El Cajon hosted another Philippines vs. Mexico card in their outside arena. The weather was perfect and the card featured 5 fights with the main event showcasing the Philippines own Bernabe Concepcion (26-1, 15 KO’s) against the tough Giovanni Caro (11-4-4, 9 KO’s) of Mexico City. It appeared nearly all of the 2,800 seats were filled with a lively fight crowd.
Brian Viloria (22-2, 13 KO’s) was on the card in what was supposed to be a stay busy fight against Javier Lagos (15-12-2, 4 KO’s). Viloria is already scheduled to face the tough Ulises Solis (27-1-2, 20 KO’s) December of this year. Viloria, who was the WBC lightweight champion, can remind you a little of Rocky Jaurez in the sense that he appears to have all the tools to land clean, sharp punches when he feels like it. The problem is he seems to feel like it about 30 seconds of each round. It can be frustrating to watch and Viloria is no fan friendly fighter despite his very good record. Throughout the fight Viloria’s corner was imploring him to throw more punches, especially to the body of Lagos who looked a little thick around the middle. By round 6, boos were audible from the fans for lack of action. In round 7, Viloria threw a few more combinations and looked to slow down Lagos. The 8 round fight ended with Viloria earning a unanimous decision. Viloria said “I felt good inside there and had a good work rate but in the end, I could have done more. He is an awkward fighter.” More will be needed against Solis.
Dennis Laurente (29-3, 15 KO’s) was up before the main event and he faced another rugged Mexican fighter in Arturo Urena (20-15, 12 KO’s). Laurente looked very quick and at times explosive as he carried most of the action throughout the fight. Urena took everything thrown at him but did not effectively land the cleaner, harder shots. Before the 7th, the fight was stopped on the advice of the ring physician due to multiple cuts under the left eye of Urena.
It was certainly “Manny Mania” as Pierre Kacsinta, publicist for Sycuan Ringside Promotions stated. Manny was in attendance and was the center of attention the entire night as any pound for pound champ would be. Manny co-promoted the event and his main charge Super Bantamweight Bernabe Concepcion looked to impress against Mexico City resident Giovanni Caro. The opening round showed that this would be no easy task for Concepcion. Caro was in his face the whole 3 minutes. In round 2, tempo changed drastically when Concepcion landed a huge right that sent Caro to the floor. He got up quickly and resumed the attack but easily lost the round. Round 3 saw Concepcion use a smart left jab that led to a barrage of right hands to the head and body. The 4th saw good 2 way action as Caro ate more right hands but threw enough back to stay right in it and keep it close. In the 5th, Caro took advantage of a swollen left eye of Concepcion and landed more clean punches and got right back in the fight. The 6th was nothing short of fireworks the whole round with both fighters landing big shots. Tough round to score but Caro looked like the stronger guy. The 7th slowed a bit as both fighters slowed their attack. In the 8th, Concepcion continued his pattern of hitting low and referee Jose Cobian took action by deducting a point. The deduction nullified the knockdown in the 2nd making the scoring much closer. Caro took his time recovering and it cost him as action continued. Clearly, Bernabe knew the fight was close and came out after the delay blazing. 20 seconds later, Caro was on the canvas and Concepcion was declared the winner by KO in the 8th. Concepcion won but his left eye looked swollen and visibly bruised. All in all, it was a great fight with a dramatic conclusion.
It was a great night of boxing and thanks to Sycuan for another entertaining card.
All photos by Paul Gallegos