By Dennis Principe
The belief nowadays is that most boxing fans clamor for action-packed bouts punctuated by savage knockouts. But world Featherweight champion Steven Luevano believes his classy boxing style developed by his adherence to the sport’s sweet science still has a major following among the paying fans. Since winning the crown from Englishman Nicky Cook with a spectacular 11th round stoppage two years ago in London, Luevano successfully defended his crown four times, all via the distance.
“When I started professional people were telling me to get a little more strength. But the way I am, a knockout comes if it comes. I don’t depend on the knockout. I always prepare for 12-rounds,” said Luevano.
This weekend at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Luevano will once again have an opportunity to showcase his mastery of the sport when he defends his crown against hard-wearing Filipino Bernabe Concepcion.
Luevano graced the daily Philippine radio talk show “Sports Chat” hosted by this writer aired over DZSR Sports Radio 918lHz.
In that interview, Luevano, in an unusual manner, even gave an advise to his Filipino opponent by telling him to remain focus and give his best shot.
“If he thinks he’s new to this level he may just feel so anxious and lose his head. It’s really good not to think about it as a title fight even though it is. Just take it as another fight because that’s what I do,” said Luevano.
Headlining this weekend’s card dubbed “Pinoy Power 2” is former world flyweight champion Nonito Donaire, Jr. who will battle Panamanian Rafael Concepcion in a 12-round battle for the World Boxing Association (WBA) interim super flyweight crown.
Asked if he feels bitter that his challenger is given more prominence in the card considering that he is the world champion, Luevano just shrugs off his opponent’s billing.
“It’s a Filipino card and they put me on it but it doesn’t bother me. A card is a card. It doesn’t put any pressure on me. I really take this fight as another fight,” said Luevano.
Though Concepcion will only be in his first ever title shot, having American trainer Freddie Roach on the Filipino’s corner will be a factor in making this fight an interesting one.
“It’s a tough fight because he really is a good fighter, strong and he’s trai ned by Freddie Roach. I know he’s going to be well trained and taken care of,” said the southpaw Luevano.
The La Puente, California native Luevano carries an impressive record of 36-1-1 with 15 knockouts while Concepcion, from Virac, Catanduanes parades a record of 29-1-1 with 16 stoppages.
Another Filipino seeing action in the preliminaries is welterweight prospect Mark Jason Melligen (15-1, 11 KO’s) who will go up against Mexican Ernesto Zepeda (39-12-4, 34 KO’s) in a 10-round bout.