Photos: Optimum Sports
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Rafael “el Torito” Concepcion approached the podium at the press conference for Pinoy Power 2 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and in broken English stated “No one knows who is Rafael “el Torito” Concepcion in Las Vegas, but after August 15, everyone will know who I am.” This simple statement highlights the opportunity that Rafael Concepcion has before him, an opportunity to announce himself to the boxing world. Rafael Concepcion takes on the former IBF Flyweight Champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire in the Main Event of Top Ranks Pinoy Power 2 Promotion.
The former WBA Fedalatin flyweight champion who headed to Cebu in the Philippines on July 26th 2008 as a huge underdog to capture the WBA Interim super flyweight title in spectacular fashion, by stopping the highly touted and undefeated AJ “Bazooka” Banal.
In Concepcion’s first defense of his newly won championship, he travelled to the infamous Arena Mexico in Mexico City on the eve of the Mexican Independence day to take on the 2 time world champion Jorge “Travieso” Arce, in a fight that boxing experts said was one of the fights of the year. Arce and the altitude got the better of Concepcion that night as referee Steve Smoger stepped in after the 9th round to stop the bout, but not before Concepcion had Arce out on his feet on several occasions.
Rafael Concepcion has been handed an opportunity to regain his championship when he meets Nonito Donaire on August 15, “This is my chance to show everyone who is Rafael “el Torito” Concepcion. I respect Nonito Donaire but I will be taking the belt back to Panama.”
Rafael had been in preparations to take on Drian Francisco on July 26th before the bout was postponed due to the H1N1 virus scare by the Philippine authorities.
“Rafael is in the midst of training and is in good shape already, we have very good sparring partners coming into camp who will be emulating Nonito. We are looking forward to this fight” says Rafael Concepcion’s Manager Damon de Berry of Optimum Sports Agency.
Rafael Concepcion is training for this bout in Panama under the watchful eye of trainer Rigoberto Garibaldi and is confident that he can once again upset the odds makers. Las Vegas is the right city to do it in also.