Juanma Chickens out of Concepcion Fight
News from Salven Lagumbay (full article here.), confirmed by boxrec.com as well as by Dennis Principe, says that Puerto Rican Juan Manuel Lopez withrew from the Concepcion fight for no apparent reason (or at least none as of yet). Arum said Concepcion will now face a fighter named “Rubio” according to Lagumbay and “Ruiz” according to Dennis Principe (full article here) yet boxrec.com only has a record of one active fighter named “Rubio” that is anywhere near Concepcion’s division and he’s a super featherweight who has a record of 3 wins 2 KOs. So I think Principe heard Uncle Bob right and Arum might be referring to Mexican Superbantam Heriberto Ruiz (37-6-0, 22 KOs) as a possible replacement for Juanma. So right now, Concepcion’s next fight is, well in limbo to say the least.
In my humble opinion, I think Bob Arum suddenly had this realization that it would be better to have two young high-rated prospects in his stable instead of just one. Pitting his two best talents in superbantam would only end up tarnishing the record of one of them – not really an intelligent move especially now that GBP is overtly trying to sign-up the best talents in the lower divisions. Having two prize talents instead of one would only make good business sense. The fact that the Juanma-Concepcion fight has been shelved also bolsters the fact that Arum believes that Concepcion is really the “real deal” as he is “protecting” his other fighter Juanma from a possible first loss.
Having both Puerto Rican and Filipino fans’ support also makes good business sense, as both fan bases turn up in huge numbers whenever their fighters face a Mexican, so pitting both rabid fan base over the other would be like seeing Arum donate to charity.
Or it could simply be that Juanma is just trying to stay clear of “high risk” fights, opting to face fellow Puerto Rican Jonathan Oquendo at home instead of NABF champ Abe Concepcion in Mexico, in anticipation of a possible crack at Daniel Ponce De Leon this year (this according to Lopez’ website).