Photos by Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
“Like Mexican fighters, Filipinos are also brave,” stated WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez in advance of Saturday’s SHOWTIME-televised title defense against Bernabe Concepcion at the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “I have respect for Concepcion, but we’ll resolve the matter in the ring. He throws punches from all angles Pacquiao-style, but Concepcion isn’t Pacquiao.”
It was mentioned that Manny Pacquiao has given Concepcion some advice for the fight and that the Filipino plans to spoil Lopez’ planned fight with Rafael Marquez. Juanma replied that only he and Concepcion will be in the ring. “But if Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring, I’ll get Tito Trinidad and we’ll be even.”
He added, “We’re focused on Concepcion. There’s talk about a fight with Marquez in September, but that’s not on my mind right now. First I have to defeat Comcepcion and then my promoters can talk to Bob Arum and Fernando Beltran to finalize a fight with Rafael Marquez.”
In the co-feature, WBA interim super flyweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash’ Donaire (23-1, 15 KOs) meets Mexican puncher Hernan “Tyson” Marquez (27-1, 20 KOs).
“All Mexican fighters are brave, so I don’t underestimate them. Marquez is coming off a loss in at flyweight and that makes him more dangerous, but we’re prepared for everything. I also have power in my fists and I’m ready to defend my title,” said Donaire.
He added that after beating Marquez “I want to face Montiel, Arce and Darchinyan, we want big names, big fights and we’re more than ready.”
Marquez commented “I know I’m facing a great champion, but I have the desire, hunger and the ability to take the belt to Mexico. Like all Mexican boxers, I’ll die if necessary, but I will be crowned on Saturday.”