Bernabe Concepcion Eeks Out Victory Over Aaron Garcia
Last night from the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland, CA., the Philippines 23-year-old Bernabe “The Real Deal” Concepcion (29-5-1, 15 KOs), slipped past San Diego’s 29-year-old Aaron “El Gavilan” Garcia (10-3-2, 2KOs), to win a razor close 10 round split decision while acquiring the vacant WBC Continental Americas Featherweight title with scores of 96-94 twice and 97-93 for Garcia.
The tilt was the main event of an MP Promotions/Top Rank fight card that lived up to it’s billing as the fans and Manny Pacquiao himself were treated to a war. Both men were at a cross-road coming into the fight with one man — Concepcion — trying to stay relevant while the other — Garcia — looked to become relevant. Both men seemed to accomplish that goal as there was no loser in this battle of wills.
Bernabe and Aaron were banging from the outset, awarding the fans as the true winners. Garcia was punishing the Filipino’s body and landing the cleaner power shots at a higher rate throughout the first couple legs of the fight. Concepcion closed the barn-burner well after Garcia sustained a cut in the 8th frame which seemed to change things allowing Bernabe to come on strong.
After the scores were read the fans booed the decision. Many in the press row thought it was a draw and numerous spectators thought Garcia won the fight but at the end of the day — or night — both men deserved applause.
30-year-old Filipino Rodel “Kid Rapido” Mayol (30-5-2, 22KOs), of Los Angeles by way of Cebu, PHIL., beat down Fort Morgan, Colorado’s 29-year-old Ernie “The Gladiator” Marquez (9-9-2, 3KOs), by 4th round TKO in a scheduled junior bantamweight eight. After “Kid Rapido” dented up Marquez’s torso for three plus rounds, referee Wayne Hedgepeth mercifully waved off the contest at 2:43 of round four.
In a closer scrap than perceived by the judges, 24-year-old southpaw Richie “Magnum” Mepranum (25-2-1, 5KOs), of Maasim, Sarangani, PHIL., won his junior flyweight contest by 8 round unanimous decision over Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico’s 26-year-old Rigoberto “Planchita” Casillas (7-6-1, 5KO), with scores of 79-73 twice and 78-74.
21-year-old heavyweight prospect Alexander Flores (6-0, 4KOs), of Rowland Heights, CA., broke the nose of 32-year-old Chad Davis (4-10), en-route to a 1st round TKO. Flores also dropped the Phoenix, AZ., resident while keeping his perfect record intact.
MP Promotions in association with Top Rank was promoting the fight card. Pacquiao is in Los Angeles preparing for his upcoming third mega-fight against three-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquiao vs Marquez III will take place, Saturday, Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and be produced and distributed by HBO Pay Per View.
All Photos by Chris Farina