Photob y Peter Amador
Garcia TKO7 Bernabe Concepcion
Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia (28-0, 24 KOs) scored a seventh round TKO over two-time world title challenger Bernabe Concepcion (29-6-1, 15 KOs). Another impressive performance for “Mikey” as he patiently broke down Concepcion, finally dropping him in the seventh round and the bout was waved off after Garcia’s followup barrage. Time was 2:33.
Before the fight, Garcia talked about his hope that he would land a shot against the winner of the Orlando Salido-Lopez main event, which turned out to be Salido. It is a very easy fight to make because they are both with Top Rank, but there is also an even stronger possibility that Garcia could wind up challenging titleholder Celestino Caballero instead this summer. Either way, Garcia is going to get the shot he deserves.
Brandon Rios at 135
Whether former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs) faces Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) or somebody else on April 14 (HBO) at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, he said he would make the 135-pound limit if necessary.
“I hired a nutritionist and he’s been cooking for me, so everything is going good,” Rios said. “My weight is good. I’m 150 right now [on Tuesday], maybe a little under, so I will be ready for April 14. I have never felt this good before coming down in weight.”
Rios, of course, failed to make the weight for a Dec. 3 title defense against John Murray on the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II undercard and was stripped of his title. His immense struggle to try to make weight was chronicled on HBO’s “2 Days,” and showed just how depleted Rios was as he weighed in. Although utterly drained and no longer in possession of the title, Rios went out the following night and knocked out Murray in the 11th round.
After he was called out by Gamboa, Rios decided to fight once more at lightweight rather than move up to junior welterweight. He and Gamboa are supposed to meet for that still-vacant lightweight belt, but Gamboa didn’t show up at two promotional news conferences this week, putting the fight in jeopardy. Top Rank president Todd duBoef said Rios will still fight April 14, even if a replacement opponent must be found. It’s possible the replacement fight could be at junior welterweight.
Kessler pulls out of Stieglitz fight
Team Sauerland has announced that Mikkel Kessler’s next fight in Copenhagen has been postponed to May 19. The Viking Warrior has not yet regained the necessary fitness following last year´s hand surgery, forcing him to pull out of the April 14 clash with WBO Super-Middleweight Champion Robert Stieglitz. Details about the new opponent will be announced at a press conference next week. “I hate to keep my fans waiting and I am really sorry about the delay,” Kessler said. “As a boxer, my fists are my biggest weapon. To fight and to win at the highest level, I need my hand to be fully recovered. Unfortunately, the April 14 date comes just a little too early but I will be ready on May 19. I have kept my shape and can´t wait to be fighting again in front of my Danish fans.”