It was on the eve of AJ Banal’s WBA title fight everyone is eager to see the no.1 title contender win his first ever title at a tender age of 19 years old. Talks have already surface about a possible clash with Jorge Arce or Vic Darchinyan but what Banal’s handlers have failed to do was to pass the script to his forgotten opponent Rafael Concepcion. “El Torito” was tapped by ALA promotions and surprisingly rank higher than what he is expected by the WBA after only 14 fights. He was given a chance to fight for Banal for the interim WBA super flyweight title. Banal fights mostly on unheralded or patsy opponents to bolster his record and Concepcion certainly is not an exception. He fought mostly in Panama and is fighting for the first time overseas. AJ Banal dominated Concepcion most of the fight but in round 10 Concepcion dominated Banal en route to a Knockout win with less than a minute in the round.
This Saturday Rafael Concepcion will be once again tested with another Filipino phenom Nonito Donaire. Unlike Banal, Nonito has the experienced and power to knock Concepcion out he also has speed and lighting-quick reflexes and most of all he have a Vic Darchinyan on his win column. Nonito after his 2007 win never fought any other marquee opponents on his division and when WBC and IBF champions have no intentions of fighting him he move up fighting Concepcion for the infamous interim WBA super flyweight title. This would be Nonito’s stepping stone for future fights against Cristian Mijares and a rematch with Darchinyan and certainly he is not taking Concepcion lightly. Nonito knows Concepcion has the power and the stamina to withstand any of his onslaughts…Rafael went toe to toe with Arce and when his corner had seen enough punishment they threw in the towel awarding Arce a victory.
Betting odds are clearly in Donaire’s favor and Concepcion knows this would be his biggest break in his career. Power, speed, height and reach are clearly pointing on Donaire… It looks good on paper it even looks better in personal when they went head to head. Steven Luevano the WBO featherweight champion who will be fighting Bernabe Concepcion on the undercard made a strong statement on fighthype.com “Just because it’s a Filipino show doesn’t mean all the Filipinos are going to win…” It’s still a distant possibility on a Rafael Concepcion win but still it’s a possibility.