FilAm Muay Thai fighters Michael Mananquil and Christine Toledo will co-headline a World Championship Muay Thai event at the Las Vegas Hilton. At the same time, Boxer Bernabe Concepcion will be featured in the undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito championship bout at the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
Mananquil from the San Francisco Bay area is defending his World Boxing Council (WBC) Intercontinental Muay Thai belt against an opponent to be announced. The 26-year-old welterweight said it’s frustrating that the promoters have changed his opponent on him three times.
“I really don’t know whom I’m fighting,” he said to the Asian Journal. “I’m just going to come prepared.”
Mananquil is known as a balanced Muay Thai fighter. His last match in Las Vegas ended in a knockout. Mananquil said he knocked his opponent out with a sharp elbow.
Unlike Mananquil, Toledo knows whom she is fighting against.
Ruth Ashdown is the current International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) British Flyweight Champion. She is considered one of the best fighters in the United Kingdom.
“I have my work cut out for me,” said Toledo, who holds the World Kickboxing Association US (WKA) and the Muay Thai International Association (MTIA) World Title. “I’m really expecting her to give me her best. Everyone in England is counting her to win. She’s the top female fighter in Britain but I’m going bring my best game too.”
The 115-pound Toledo said she expects Ashdown to be aggressive and put a lot of pressure on her.
“She’s a forward fighter,” said Toledo. “I like those fighters because I get to play around with my strategy more. I’m going to try and throw her off guard and throw a lot of angles and combinations at her.”
The 30-year-old Las Vegas native is coming off an impressive win at the Roseland Ballroom in New York just a month ago. Toledo defeated Emily Bearden by majority decision.
Bernabe Concepcion of Rizal, Philippines is the reigning NABF and WBC youth superbantamweight champion. He’ll be featured against Adam Carrera in the pay-per-view undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito championship bout.
The 20-year-old Concepcion holds a 25-1-1 14 KO record. In his last match, he defeated Torrence Daniels by technical knockout in the second round in Mexico.
The knockout performance is something his trainer Freddie Roach expects to see more.
“He’s a real good puncher and I expect him to knock people out with his great power,” said Roach in a phone interview with the Asian Journal. “This opponent [Carrera] is someone we are supposed to beat but we can’t take anybody lightly. Bernabe needs to rise to the occasion.”
Roach said that among all the boxers coming out of the Philippines, Concepcion might be the best of them all.
“I really think he’s a great prospect probably the best young prospect coming out of the Philippines. I really believe that,” he said.
Roach said that he and Concepcion would leave to Las Vegas Wednesday night or Thursday morning. (www.asianjournal.com)