San Juan, Puerto Rico- A wildly partisan crowd at the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot saw Juan Manuel Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs) make a case for himself as the top featherweight in the world by destroying game #1 contender, Bernabe Concepcion (28-4-1, 15 KOs).
Making his first defense of the WBO featherweight belt he snatched from Steven Luevano, Lopez came out quick and sharp and stunned Concepcion early with some big shots. Lopez would pounce on a stunned Concepcion and never let up, dropping the challenger twice in the first and twice more in the second before the ref waved off the contest at the 2:37 mark of the second.
The highlight of the night for Concepcion was at the end of the first round when Lopez was pushing for a third knockdown and walked into a big left hook that dropped him right at the closing bell. Lopez wasn’t seriously hurt, but it was definitely a moral victory for the tough Filipino and his fans.
Next up is a September 18th date against veteran Rafael Marquez.
The opening bout of the Showtime double-header was a predictable blow-out pitting super flyweight, Nonito Donaire (24-1, 16 KOs) against Hernan “Tyson” Marquez (27-2, 20 KOs). Donaire opened the bout as a southpaw and then switched back to orthodox in the fifth round, instantly highlighting the great disparity in talent and ability between both fighters. Donaire dropped Marquez in the fifth and dominated the bout until he closed the show after a hard knockdown at the end of the 8th.
Next for Donaire is a likely move up to the top-heavy bantamweight division.