Roach Reveals That Pacquiao Signed Up Concepcion
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Trainer Freddie Roach revealed Friday that North American Boxing Federation super bantamweight champion Bernabe Concepcion had been signed up by Filipino ring idol Manny Pacquiao.
Roach made the revelation to Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today from his Wild Card gym in Los Angeles after a sparring session in which Pacquiao went ten hard rounds.
Aljoe Jaro had claimed on the program “Sports Chat” hosted by young Dennis Principe over dzSR Sports Radio on Thursday that he would accompany Concepcion to the US on June 24, contrary to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s statement that the NABF champion would leave today (Friday) and that a ticket had already been sent.
However, it appears that Aljoe Jaro, the former boxer who managed Concepcion didn’t want the young fighter to go alone and claimed that there were individuals in the US, both Filipinos and foreigners who were trying to take Concepcion away from him.
But Roach dismissed such speculation saying “he has signed a contract with Manny.” The celebrated trainer disclosed that Pacquiao had spoken to Aljoe Jaro on Thursday night and “everything is going to be okay. He (Concepcion) will be here this week.”
Concepcion is scheduled to fight on the undercard of the blockbuster showdown between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito on July 26 but Arum said he had forgotten the name of the opponent who, he said, was not a Mexican.
Arum indicated that should Juan Manuel Lopez, the undefeated Puerto Rican sensation defeat WBO super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon this weekend and should Concepcion put on an impressive performance then he would give the hard-hitting Filipino a shot at the title which he said posed no problems since he promotes both fighters.
Roach said he was “impressed with Concepcion. The kid can punch.”
NOTES FROM THE SITE OWNER:
Another article said that Abe Concepcion might be up against featherweight Gary Stark Jr. (former IBF/NABF ranked prospect) but that it hasn’t been finalized yet. (http://www.maxboxing.com/Kim/Kim060608.asp)
Stark was a blue-chip prospect until he ran into a series of unfortunate loses last year – a controversial decision loss to Mike Oliver and an upset KO loss to a journeyman in a fight where he was giving his opponent a boxing lesson and actually had his opponent down.
If this fight materializes, Abe Concepcion should not take the guy lightly if he wants a shot at either Molitor or Juanma Lopez late this year or early next year.