Mikey Garcia tangled with Bernabe Concepcion in the Showtime TV opener. Garcia, the younger brother of the It trainer, Robert Garcia, worked off the jab nicely in this featherweight tangle which unfolded at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The California fighter carried the rounds to the midpoint, using a jab to score points, soften up his foe, keep the Filipino at bay and generally build a base for a win.
Garcia (28-0 with 24 KOs; age 24) looked to be taking a step up in to another class with this showing, though it could be argued that Concepcion is the sort who has to this point and maybe forever will not be able to beat an A grade fighter. Losses to Steve Luevano and Juan Manuel Lopez indicate he’s comfortable with a certain caliber of boxer.
Pretty quickly, Concepcion (29-6-1; age 24, an old 24) was backing up, not able to use mobility or power shots to disrupt Garcia’s rhythm.
He hit the deck in round seven, and took a mandatory eight with 1:15 left. A one one-two, one-two did the job. Garcia poured on the pain, and stopped the show with a string of shots at 2:33 mark. Ref Luis Pabon saw that the loser wasn’t in a mode to defend himself and stepped in.
Garcia went 112-426 to 38-232 for Concepcion.
The winner said after to Jim Gray he thought he fought the correct fight. He said he was patient, and thought he could have pressed the issue more, but that would have resulted in more of a brawl.
He said he’d like to face the winner of the JuanMa-Salido rematch, or any featherweight champ.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV