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26 APRIL 2018


SecondsOut Team Pick Lopez vs. Concepcion

Lopez vs. Concepcion: Tom Casino/Showtime
Lopez vs. Concepcion: Tom Casino/Showtime

The champion is being held up as the new rising star of boxing and the challenger is a hard working contender ready to upset the promoter’s future fight plans, but that hasn’t stopped SecondsOut’s team of fearless writers from making their confident picks for Saturday’s WBO featherweight world title match between title-holder Juan Manuel Lopez and Bernabe Concepcion at the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico, televised in the USA on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing.

“Concepcion is a deserving challenger to Lopez’ 126 belt. Besides two losses early in his career, Concepcion’s only setback came last year in very controversial DQ fashion to former WBO champion Steven Luevano. However, common opponent Luevano makes Lopez the pick here, as the Puerto Rican stopped Luevano right after Luevano squeaked by the Filipino in a close fight before the premature ending. Lopez probably has the better all-around skills and he’s fighting at home. Lopez W.TKO.11.”
- Gregory Juckett, Content Editor - New York, USA

“At his best Juan Manuel Lopez is the better boxer. But the reason we have the boxers take the fights is so they can prove it. Of course, the well muscled and strong Concepcion has the chance to win. He is a hard working, come forward fighter who will make Lopez work hard. But JuanMa has that something extra in his arsenal and will get the win. Lopez W.12.”
- Paul Upham, Content Editor - Sydney, Australia

“Concepcion is a decent fighter with decent wins but Lopez is steaming full-throttle towards a fall match-up against Rafael Marquez. He is just too good and too strong for a solid but unspectacular boxer like Saturday night’s challenger. Lopez W.TKO.7 .”
- Michael Norby, Contributing Editor - New England, USA

JuanMa is on a roll. I see him using his speed and heart to win. As long as he is not looking past Concepcion to Gamboa he will be too much fighter for the challenger who has a flimsy defense. Lopez throws straight punches that I can see going right through Concepcion’s defense. Lopez W.UD.12.”
- Jerry Glick - Contributing Editor - New York City, USA

“Interesting fight. Concepcion’s bad boy attitude make it worth to watch. He won’t respect the champion’s status of JuanMa and will go directly at him like Honeyghan against Curry. But Lopez skills and power won’t give place for an upset. The Puerto Rican will be gradually progressing and increasing the action. Will batter the brave Philippine to the body and head prompting a stoppage. Lopez W.TKO.8.”
- Juan Pablo Manfredi - Buenos Aires, Argentina

“Conception rides into this fight on the coattails of Pacquiao, but there is a steep drop off after that. Conception is not a bad fighter, he is just not in the class of Lopez. Conception is quick and that should keep him in the fight for at least a few rounds. Expect Lopez to find his mark midway through the fight for a TKO victory. Lopez W.TKO.7.”
- John Lumpkin - Madison, Wisconsin, USA

“This is one heck of a fight and as long as it’s not stopped early due to a (T)KO or injury, it could wind up being a candidate for Fight of the Year. With that said, I think Juan Manuel Lopez is the real deal and have felt that way for quite some time. Bernabe Concepcion is a terrific fighter in his own right, but he doesn’t have the same skillset as Lopez and should be a step behind for most of the fight. Still, he makes it tough for Lopez as he’s got numerous tricks up his sleeve and his experience will allow him to win enough close rounds. However, Lopez is faster, stronger and more powerful and I see him hurting Concepcion badly around round seven and scoring the stoppage in round eight. It’s too bad that Lopez, arguably the brightest young talent in boxing, is a phantom (at least in America) in that nobody knows who he is. Lopez W.KO.8.”
- Mike Sloan - Las Vegas, USA

“The fact that Concepcion could bang should make this main event fun for as long as it lasts. I think Lopez will survive an early storm, and once his superior boxing skills take over, he’ll be able to land his own power shots and eventually stop Concepcion. Lopez W.TKO.9.”
- Jason Pribila - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

“Juan Manuel Lopez is an undefeated fighter with loads of power in both hands, in addition to that a little bit older, more mature and probably a lot more confident than his challenger. I can’t see Conception looking past that, he will probably come in a little bit nervous and somewhat respectful towards the champion. That will eventually lead to him making some mistakes which he can’t afford against a powerhouse like Lopez. My prediction is a TKO fairly early. The Philippine hits the canvas in the fourth after being hurt (nailed) then getting exposed to a barrage of punches before he caves in. Lopez W.TKO.4.”
- Teddy Stenmark - Sweden

JuanMa is ready to return to his native Puerto Rico and put on another great performance. Bernabe Concepcion is nothing to play around with. He always comes ready to fight and only has 3 losses. Two of his losses were very early in his career before he even turned 18 years old. His third loss, to Steven Luevano, was a very close fight on the cards before he was DQ’d. I think his best shot at winning in Puerto Rico is to knockout Lopez. With nearly a 47% knockout rate I can’t see that happening. The taller Lopez will have his work cut out for him in the early rounds but will be comfortably ahead on the cards when he delivers Concepcion his first loss by knockout in the later rounds. Lopez W.TKO.9.”
- Derek Gionta - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

“I’ll take the champ in this one. He’s looked pretty sharp lately and seems to be determined to clean out the division. Concepcion is a game underdog though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a very tough fight. He’s been training with Manny Pacquiao and that may help him. But don’t expect him to turn into Manny overnight. Lopez has faced tough opposition and can really punch! Lopez wins by late round TKO. Lopez W.TKO.10.”
- Tri Nguyen - Alexandria, Virginia, USA




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