By: William Holmes
Showtime broadcasted a championship card from the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico in which three of the world’s top featherweights competed. In the opening bout, Miguel Garcia remained undefeated as he stopped Bernabe Concepcion in the seventh round. Garcia battered Concepcion from the opening bell on, and Concepcion was never able to find his range with his offensive attack. There were brief moments of inactivity as the crowd could be heard booing at several moments in this fight, but Garcia got the highlight reel stoppage he needed as a perfect two punch combination in the seventh hurt Concepcion badly enough to force the referee to eventually stop it.
Photo: Peter Amador/ Top Rank Espano
The main event featured a rematch between Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido after the previous bout featured several knockdowns and a huge upset by Salido.
The rematch did not disappoint, and in fact was more exciting than their first matchup. Salido and Lopez fought a legendary war that featured some of the most action ever seen from rounds eight to ten. Both men fought like they were possessed and an obscene numbers of punches were thrown. Salido threw 637 punches and Lopez threw 559 punches. Salido got knocked down by Lopez in the fifth round, but was able to recuperate and withstand the onslaught of Lopez and knock him down in the tenth round. Lopez was clearly wobbily as he got to his feet, and the referee rightly stopped the fight.
Photo: Peter Amador/ Top Rank Espano
Afterwards Lopez said it was a very tough fight, and told Jim Gray that “He was dominating the fight and it was a tough fight. The referee stopped the fight, and in the other fight his son stopped it. He also claims the referee stopped the fight because he had gambling problems. Lopez also claimed that he told the commission that the referee was a gambler, and they should not have put him in as a referee. It was very irresponsible for the commission to put a referee into the fight despite the fact he had a gambling problem.
Lopez reiterates that he was winning the fight, and believed he could still have continued as Jim Gray tries to show him the replay, but Lopez seems to dismiss the referee. Somehow the Judges has the fight scored for Lopez as the fight ended, but the referee was clearly right to stop the fight when he did.
The official scores right before the fight was waived off were 85-85, 86-84, and 86-84. I’m not sure which fight the judges were watching, and the referee was clearly right to stop the fight.
Round by round results are as follows:
Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia (27-0) vs. Bernabe Concepcion (31-4-1); Featherweight
Concepcion and Garcia come out to the center of the ring and do not touch gloves. Garcia paws out a few range finding jabs, and Concepcion flicks out a quick jab that lands. Garcia lands a stiff jab down the pike on Concepcion. Garcia lands another hard jab straight down the middle. Concepcion is able to land a quick jab. Garcia connects with a lead left hook. Concepcion misses with a double jab. Garcia sticks with another lead left hook. Garcia bangs another left hook off the guard of Concepcion. Concepcion barely misses with a right cross. Garcia connects with a counter jab. 10-9 round for Garcia.
Concepcion looks cautious, and paws out his jab to try and find his range. Garcia lands two more hard jabs. Garcia bangs another jab at the guard of Concepcion. Concepcion comes forward and misses with a two punch combination. Garcia throws out a lead left hook straight right cross combination. Garcia lands a two punch combination and Concepcion bounces backwards. Garcia lands another jab. Concepcion misses with a lead left hook. Garcia misses with a two punch combination, but follows it with a solid straight right hand. Garcia lands another two punch combination. Garcia lands two consecutive jabs. Garcia lands a left hook flushly as Concepcion rises from crouch position. 10-9 round for Garcia.
Concepcion misses with an early jab, and still has not found his range. Concepcion partially connects with a lead left hook. Garcia lands a two punch combination. Concepcion misses with a cross to the body, but eats a two punch combination immediately afterwards. Garcia lands another jab. Garcia thuds Concepcion with two more jabs. Garcia backs Concepcion up with a two punch combination. Concepcion comes forward with a lead right hand, and eats a hard right hand from Garcia immediately afterwards. Garcia connects with a lead left hook and a hard jab down the middle. Some in the crowd begin to boo the action in the ring. Garcia lands another stiff jab, and Concepcion misses with an overhand right. Garcia snaps the head of Concepcion with a hard right hand. Garcia connects with another lead left hook, and more fans boo as the round ends. 10-9 round for Garcia.
Concepcion barely misses with a lead jab, but connects with a lead left hook. Concepcion slips the jabs of Garcia. Concepcion slips two more jabs from Garcia. Garcia misses with a two punch combination, and the crowd begins to boo again. Garcia lands a jab in the face of Concepcion. Garcia comes forward with a lead left hook jab combination. Concepcion counters Garcia with a solid right hand. Concepcion barely misses with a straight right hand, but Garcia counters with a two punch combination that lands. Garcia has v cornered and lands a good hook to the body as Concepcion moves out of the corner. Garcia lands a solid left hook as the round ends. 10-9 round for Garcia.
Garcia throws out a few soft jabs. Not much action in the first thrity seconds of the round. Garcia comes forward with a combination and lands a decent left hook to the body of Concepcion. Concepcion backs Garcia up with a straight right hand. Garcia lands a two decent jabs in the face of Concepcion. Garcia connects with another jab in the nose of Concepcion. Neither fighter is throwing much nor landing much. Garcia backs Concepcion up with a combination. Garcia lands a hard straight right hand and backs Concepcion up again with two punch combinations. Garcia lands another good two punch combination. Garcia comes forward with a lead left hook. Concepcion thuds a right hand at the body of Garcia as the round ends. 10-9 round for Garcia.
Concepcion misses with a right hand and a combination immediately afterwards. Concepcion gets stung with a counter combination after he fails to land any punches as he comes in. Garcia bakcs Concepcion into the corner and connects with several punches. Garcia lands a lead left hook, and bangs more counters at the guard of Concepcion. Concepcion is trapped in the corner as Garcia continues to bang Concepcion near the ropes. Garcia connects with another stiff jab. Concepcion lands with a straight right cross. Garcia connects with another right hand, and a two punch combination causes Concepcion to bounce off the ropes. 10-9 round for Garcia.
Concepcion is still unable to find his range with his jab, and lands a few punches in his combination as Garcia is near the ropes. Garcia connects with a lead left hook. Garcia lands another lead left hook. Concepcion slips underneath a straight right hand from Garcia. Garcia connects with a straight right hand. Referee briefly stops the bout to get the tape on the glove of Concepcion fixed. Garcia flicks out several more jabs but Concepcion slips them. Garcia lands another jab, and lands a hard two punch combination that hurts Concepcion, and he comes forward and knocks Concepcion down to the ground. Concepcion makes it up to his feet, and Garcia move sin for the kill and Concepcion runs backwards. Garcia lands another good left hook, and begins to bang at the bod y of Concepcion near the ropes. Garcia lands another three punch combination as Concepcion moves backward. Garcia lands several hard hooks on Concepcion near the ropes and the referee wisely stops the fight.
Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia wins by TKO at 2:33 of round seven.
Juan Manuel Lopez (31-1) vs. Orlando Salido (37-11-2); WBO Featherweight Title
Lopez and Salido come out to the center of the ring as the crowd is whipped up in a frenzy. Lopez takes the outside of the ring in a southpaw stance. Lopez flicks out a few jabs as he tries to find his range. Lopez misses with a lead left hook. Salido ducks under a Lopez combination. Salido pushes forward, but gets backed up from a combination by Lopez. Salido connects with a straight right hand. Lopez lands two right hooks to the side of Salido’s temple. Salido lands a short left hook to the chin of Lopez. Salid lands a few body punches on Lopez by the ropes. Salido slips a two punch combination from Lopez. Lopez lands a counter right hook as the round ends. 10-9 round for Salido.
Salido presses forward behind his jab again. Lopez lands a lead right uppercut, and barely misses with a left cross. Salido comes forward with a combination but does not land. Salid lands a good straight right hand to the body and a shot upstairs. Salido lands another solid right hook to the chin of Lopez that buckles him. Lopez misses with a wild right hook, and eats a few hooks from Salido in the process. Salido has Lopez wobbily, and continutes to stalk him across the ring. Lopez lands a good lead left hand a right hook to the chin of Salido. Saldi lands a good left uppercut, and Lopez responds with a straight left hand. Lopez connects with another lead left hand. Lopez bangs a left hook to the body of Salido. Lopez catches Salido with a counter as he comes forward. Saldi connects with a hard left hook to the chin of Lopez. Saldio lands another right hand, and Lopez throws a combination that barely misses as the round ends. 10-9 round for Salido.
Salido has Lopez backing up right away in round three. Lopez looks real tentative, and Salido tags Lopez with a combination to the body. Salido slips the punches of Lopez, and a straight right hand from Salido backwards to the ropes. Salido tags Lopez with a lead left hook, and a straight right hand. Salido lands another left hook and Lopez is not throwing much. Salido lands another right hook to the chin of Lopez and a right hand to the body. Salido lands several hard hooks and uppercuts on Lopez by the ropes. Lopez misses with a two punch combination, and the exchange and gets the crowd to it’s feet. Salido is landing the crisper punches, and Lopez looks tired already. 10-9 round for Salido.
Saldi continues to come forward and lands a hard straig th right hand and leand left hook. Lopez does not seem to have an answer for the attack of Salido. Salido slips a jab from Lopez, and backs Lopez up with a two punch combination. Lopez misses with a two punch combination and Salido counters Lopez by the ropes with wild right hooks. Lopez connects with a few hooks, and a decent right hook to the body. Salido answers with a solid left hook, and Lopez may have thrown and landed an elbow on Salido. Salido comes forward and lands a couple of short uppercuts to the body of Lopez. Lopez thuds Salido with a good left hook, and a decent two punch combination. Lopez tags Salido with a right uppercut, and they exchange again in the middle of the ring, but it appears that Lopez is now getting the better of Salido. 10-9 round for Lopez.
Lopez comes back out and looks more confident this round. Lopez comes forward and lands a lead left hand. Salido gets tagged with a counter left hand as he comes in, and Lopez comes forward with a two punch combination. Salido lands a lead left hook to the body. Salido tags Lopez with a check right hand to his chin. Lopez stabs a cross to the body of Salido, and is able to avoid the counter of Salido. Lopez’s head snaps back from a straight right hand by Salido. Salido lands a looping right hand, but the left eye of Salido looks to be bruised. Salido barely misses with a straight right hand, and Lopez connects with a jab and two punch combination. Lopez connects with a jab and a check right hook, but Salido answers with a good right hand to the body. Salido catches Lopez with a hard left hook near the ropes and Lopez looks hurt, but Salido gets knocked down by a right hook possibly to the body. The crowd rises to it’s feet as Saldio gets up at the count of eight and Lopez comes forward to try and stop Salido. Replay shows Lopez landed a perfect right hook to the chin of Salido. 10-9 round for Lopez.
Lopez again looks more confident, and lands an early lead right hook to the temple of Salido. Salido may have landed a low blow, and gets warned by the referee for a headbutt. Salido misses with a two punch combination and tries to trap Lopez by the ropes. A right hand by Salido backs Lopez up and may have hurt him. Salido comes forward and lands a short left hand to the body of Lopez. Lopez connects with a short right hook, and another check right hook. Lopez comes forward with another two punch combination that momentarily backs Salido up. Salido goes right back to coming forward and stalks Lopez around the ring. Lopez continues to land some solid counter hooks, but Salido lands several hard shots on Lopez near the ropes, but Lopez is able to fight off the ropes. A straight right hand hurts Lopez, and they exchange again by the corner and both fighters are landing. 10-9 round for Lopez.
Salido keeps his guard up high and barely misses with a right cross. Salido misses with another hook to the body of Lopez. Salido eats a stiff jab from Lopez as he backs away on his bike. Salido tries to trap Lopez by the corner and lands some good body shots on Lopez. Lopez connects with a short check left hook, but Salido lands a harder left hook upstairs. Salido lands a two punch combination on Lopez. Lopez sticks a jab in the face of Salido, but Salido continues to come forward like a bull and applies the pressure on Lopez. Salido lands more several hooks on Lopez by the ropes, and Lopez has no choice but to back up on his bike. Lopez lands another hard left hook, and another good left hook on Lopez by the ropes. Lopez looks a little wobbily. Salido tags Lopez with another good two punch combination. 10-9 round for Salido.
Lopez and Salido touch gloves, and Lopez easily ducks a wild hook from Salido. They momentarily grasp, and the referee seperates them. Salido lands a good hook to the body, and lands a beautiful two punch combination in the center of the ring. Lopez digs in a right hook to the body of Salido, but Salido stays more active with his punches and landing many good ones. Salido throws more wildly but lands some decent body shots. Lopez leans in on Salido and backs him up, but Salido lands hard counter punches with his back to the ropes. Lopez lands a straight right hand, and Salido connects to the chin of Lopez with shots off the corner. Salido lands several hard uppercuts in a combination, and they exchange furious combinations in the center of the ring. Both fighters momentarily catch their breaths, and Salido lands several hard shots as Lopez comes forward. Lopez lands a good right hand and several left hooks. Lopez and Salido continue to throw as the round ends. Excellent, excellent, round. 10-9 for Salido.
They come back out for round nine and start right where they left off, exchanging combinations in the center of the ring. Both fighters look exhausted, and Saldio catches Lopez with a good right hook to the had of Lopez. Salido lands a counter right hook, and they exchange several shots to the body. Lopez leans in on Salido and lands several hard shots to the body of Salido. Both fgihters exchange furiously near the corner, and Salido lands several hard hooks to the chin of Lopez. Salido has swelling underneath both eyes, and they again exchange furious hooks and uppercuts to the body. Lopez is landing several hard body shots, and both fighters look exhausted. The crowd is on it’s feet and they are leaving everything in the ring and landing and throwing several hard shots. Salido gets through with several hard uppercuts, and it’s almost impossible to keep up with the action. They touch gloves and Salido lands a few uppercuts and Lopez connects with hooks to the body. Unreal action this round, and Lopez has Salido by the ropes throwing. Salido lands two hard shots on Lopez near the corner. Wow. 10-9 round for Lopez.
Salido has heavy swelling underneath both of his eyes. Salido lands two consecutive jabs, and a vicious right hook and he follows it up with a combination that causes Lopez to go to the ground. Lopez is still staggering and the referee rightly stops the fight.
Wow. Fight of the year.
Orlando Salido wins by TKO at 0:32 of round 10.