During the undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito championship match, Concepcion kicked off the televised pay-per-view match with an impressive knock out against Adam Carrera in the third round of their scheduled ten rounder. The 20-year-old Concepcion of Rizal, Philippines showed great footwork, hand speed and power to overwhelm the 25-year-old Carrera of Cathedral City, CA.
In the third round, Concepcion slipped under a Carrera jab and countered with a hard right cross to the head of Carrera for the first knockdown. Once Carrera got back up, Concepcion quickly pounced on him. Concepcion finished off Carrera with a right uppercut that landed flush to the left side of Carrera’s head. It was Concepcion’s ninth power shot in the round.
Referee Joe Cortez waved the fight off in the 2:14 minute in round 3.
Trainer Freddie Roach, who had hailed Concepcion as the Philippines top boxing prospect, said he was impressed with Concepcion’s performance.
“Bernabe’s a great puncher,” said Roach to the Asian Journal. “He had great head movement, he was very good defensively. Overall, he had the complete package.”
Roach said that he wished that Carrera could have given Concepcion more rounds to work.
“I expected more of a challenge,” he said. “I wanted Bernabe to fight more rounds. He needs to work behind the jab a little bit more and learn to keep his distance.”
The win brings Concepcion’s record to 26-1-1 15 KO’s and a possible title match.
There has been talk that Concepcion’s latest win would set him up with a championship bout against 25-year-old WBO Super Bantamweight Champion Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico. Lopez quickly deposed of Daniel Ponce De Leon early in June for the title.
However, Roach is cautious of that opportunity for now.
With Concepcion knocking out five of his last seven opponents, Concepcion needs more seasoning before fighting an established champion like the undefeated Lopez, according to Roach.
“He needs somebody that’s going to push him for all ten rounds,” he said. “I don’t think he’s ready for a guy like Lopez. He needs more rounds. What’s going to happen when someone takes him to deep water?”
Roach said he’s going to take Concepcion back to the Wildcard gym to perfect his game.
“His overall game is nearly perfect,” said Roach. “He doesn’t have any bad habits. He’s a pretty solid fighter.”