So what now for Abe?
After practically annihilating this final barrier to the big-time, Abe Concepcion at 20 years old already has a lot of things going right as far as his boxing career is concerned.
He seems at home with his managers and handlers – the much maligned Aljoe Jaro and Koncz. Throw Pacman in that mix, as well as Uncle Bob Arum who seem to have developed a “fatherly” liking to the kid (just watch his post fight body language towards Abe), and of course trainer Roach, then you get a team that most boxers could only wish for. From being a mere bedspacer in Jaro’s place in Rizal, Abe now stays and trains full time in the US, with an array of world-class sparring partners to help hone his skills.
With Arum wanting to pit him with IBF’s Molitor and Sulaiman promising to move him up the WBC rankings, everything seems to really be pointing the way of a title shot by next year at the latest. And if fellow Toprank superbantam prospect Juanma Lopez wins over Ponce de Leon, I’m sure the two would also be on a collision course. You have to remember Lopez chose to take on the easier Oquendo instead of Concepcion so as not to derail his date with DPDL… I’m sure Lopez after he wins the WBO belt would love to show the boxing world that he didn’t duck Concepcion by defending his belt with the WBO’s 8th ranked fighter. No problem with that really, Arum promotes them both – unless of course there’s a rematch clause in the DPDL fight.
So it would seem that the IBF, WBC and WBO belts are within reach for Concepcion within a two or three year period. Daniels was supposed to be a Molitor-gauge, and Concepcion passed that with flying colors. Incidentally, Lopez also fights like Molitor but with more power, while the WBC kingpin Israel Vazquez (Pacman’s former sparring partner) happens to be the baddest superbantam on the planet.
Just thinking at the possibilities of fights with these guys happening makes an Abe fan salivate. Rafa Marquez, though untitled would be a major money-maker for Abe too, and of course, I don’t think there would be a pinoy boxing fan that wouldn’t be interested in a fight with Boom2’s tormentor DPDL. Then finally, there’s WBA’s Celestino Caballero…nah, let’s not go that way – not yet anyway.