MANILA, Philippines – Bernabe Concepcion rose to fame on the undercards of Manny Pacquiao. Now after 12 years as a pro boxer, he may have run out of tomorrows.
Jimmy Paypa fought the fight of his life against his most accomplished opponent to date and it paid off as he earned a split-decision victory over the former world title challenger Concepcion on Saturday, March 12 at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines.
Two judges turned in verdicts for the Lanao Del Norte native Paypa (18-3-1, 6 knockouts) by the tallies of 114-113 and 116-111, while a third had it 115-112 the crowd favorite Concepcion (34-7-2, 20 KOs)
Paypa, 22, was only one fight removed from a first round knockout loss in Japan last year but got an early infusion of confidence in the form of a knockdown in the opening stanza, as a straight right hand over a lazy left jab from Concepcion put the favored boxer down.
Concepcion, 28, rose off the canvas dazed but found his legs later in the fight, stunning Paypa in rounds 6, 7 and 9 with his heavy rights, which were set up whenever he followed his corner’s instructions to keep his left jab busy.
Paypa needed no prodding to keep his jab busy as it disrupted the rhythm of Concepcion, who entered having not been beaten in his previous 5 fights dating back 4 years after a one-sided stoppage loss to Mikey Garcia.
“I didn’t expect like that,” said Paypa, who is promoted by Cebu-based company ALA Promotions. “I know he has power and that’s why I kept my distance.”
Gonzales stops Canillas in 7
In the main event, Roberto Gonzales (27-2, 17 KOs) stopped previously unbeaten boxer Arjan Canillas (13-1-2, 10 KOs) at :57 of round 7 of the scheduled 12-round fight to win the Philippine lightweight title.
Gonzales, 25, of Romblon, Philippines established his jab early, breaking up Canillas’ rhythm while setting up his own counter right hands. The right hands started to wear on Canillas, swelling his left eye and bloodying his mouth. It was clear that Canillas couldn’t see from the eye, but it wasn’t until round 6 when Gonzales introduced the uppercut that he could no longer defend himself.
Gonzales, who trains out of the province of Batangas, has now won 7 straight since suffering a pair of knockout losses in 2012.
His promoter Elmer Anuran says the goal is to continue building his career in the Manila area while targeting a regional title in the near future.
The knockout of the night came at the expense of Bryan Macamay (9-5-2, 5 KOs), who was knocked out in round 3 of a lightweight fight by Gilbert Donasales (6-11-1, 4 KOs).
Macamay had dominated the fight with his much sharper skills, but Donasales found the target with his own right hand as Macamay launched one as well and was unconscious before he hit the floor.
Prior to Saturday, Donasales had lost 11 of his last 13 fights dating back to 2011. – Rappler.com