Carl Frampton vs. Luke Jackson Set For Interim WBO Featherweight Title on Aug. 18

Carl Frampton accepts Luke Jackson poses a serious threat to his world title aspirations but has told the Australian Belfast will serve up an atmosphere more daunting than any other.

Australia’s Jackson (16-0-KO7) will enter the cauldron of Windsor Park on August 18 as the underdog – but Frampton doesn’t have to look far back into his own history to find a cautionary tale.

Frampton said: “The last time people were saying a fighter didn’t pose a threat to me was against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr and I ended up on my backside twice in the first round. It was the first time I’d been down in my career.

“Luke Jackson is an undefeated fighter and former Olympian with a very decent pedigree. He comes with a lot to gain if he beats me. He’s highly ranked with the WBO and I expect a tough fight.

“Jackson has had plenty of notice to get himself into the best shape of his life and he’s entitled to put on a great performance. It’s up to me to better his performance and that’s what I’m going to do – Windsor Park deserves it. I want to do a proper job.

“The thing is – like most other featherweights, Jackson won’t have experienced an atmosphere like Belfast can create. I’m used to boxing at the SSE Arena in Belfast and it’s intense. It’s got to be hard for an opponent to deal with.

“It’s hard enough in front of 9,000 at the SSE Arena so just think how tough it’s going to be to fight against a hometown boy at Windsor Park. It’s going to be so tough. It might make him fold or it might gee him up but one thing’s for sure – it won’t be easy for him.

“I’m professional enough to avoid getting carried away with the atmosphere. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve dealt with big atmospheres and high expectations before. I’ll rise to the occasion of stepping out in the stadium and realising a dream.”

Frampton is aiming to become a three-time world champion having already secured two-weight status with memorable victories over the likes of Leo Santa Cruz and Scott Quigg.

Update on WBO World Champion Oscar Valdez

Oscar Valdez’s victory over Scott Quigg on March 10th on a rainy night at the StubHub Center came at quite a cost.

Valdez – facing a Quigg who didn’t even try and make the featherweight limit and came in heavy and thus ineligible to win the WBO featherweight title – suffered a fractured jaw, which hospitalized him for a few days after the fight.

When asked how his fighter was doing, manager Frank Espinoza told – “Since his fight he’s been back to the doctor four times in two-and-a-half months. His progress has come along well. The wire that was in his jaw has been removed so he’s now able to eat solid food. We have periodic checks with the doctor. He’ll be back there in June for another check-up.”

It’s unclear if Valdez (the reigning WBO 126-pound titlist) will return to the ring in 2018.

“That’s solely up to the doctors discretion, it’s his call,” said Espinoza, who makes it clear that Valdez’s return to the ring will not be handled recklessly.

“Listen, he’s had 36 hard, tough rounds and now after suffering a serious injury to his jaw, I have a responsibility to my client to do what’s right for him and his long-term future. He’s the type of guy that will literally fight anybody – as he showed back in March – and there will be plenty of time to make the big fights in the featherweight division but for the time being we will take the appropriate fights to bring Oscar back.”

The 27-year old Valdez (24-0, 19 KO’s) won the WBO strap in the summer of 2016 by blasting out Matias Rueda in two rounds and has made three successful title defenses.

“Oscar will be back stronger and better than ever and he’ll be involved in some of the best fights in the division but again, there will be a process in getting there. That’s my job as a manager to do what’s in his best interest,” stated Espinoza.

Article by Steve Kim / News Editor for / Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank–128440

Miguel Angel García

Born December 15, 1987 in Ventura, California. Trained by his father Eduardo García and former World Champion, his brother Roberto García.

Miguel started his amateur career at the age of fourteen and beat the current Ring Magazine, WBC and WBA (Super) Light WelterweightChampion, Danny García. He went on to win gold medals at the 2004 National Junior Golden Gloves Championships and the 2005 National Police Athletic League Championships.

García is known as a patient fighter with good punching power, a natural right-hander who likes to switch to southpaw during some of his fights. He turned pro in 2006 and signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank.

In April 2010, Miguel Ángel beat the veteran Tomas Villa by T.K.O. in the first round, to win the USBA Featherweight Championship. He then beat Matt Remillard to win the WBO NABO Featherweight Championship. This would not only be the last boxing bout but also the last event Nick Charles would broadcast, Charles would die a few days later from Cancer.

In his next fight HBO asked García to turn down a world title shot against Billy Dib to fight on the undercard of Julio César Chávez, Jr. vs. Sebastian Zbik. After his win over Rafaël Guzmán, García sent his well wishes to Genaro Hernández who was struggling with cancer, Hernández would die a few days later. Months later he beat Juan Carlos Martinez in under four rounds at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

García vs. Salido

Garcia’s first major step up in competition came on January 19, 2013 against WBO Featherweight champion and Ring No. 1 ranked Featherweight, Orlando Salido. Garcia dominated the bout from the very beginning, keeping Salido at range with the jab. Garcia knocked Salido down four times early on in the fight, building up a large lead on the scorecards. During the 8th round, Salido accidentally clashed heads with Garcia, causing Garcia’s nose to break. The fight was stopped between rounds, with the decision going to the scorecards. Garcia won a wide unanimous decision, to win his first world title.

Titles Held

  • NABF featherweight title (2011- )
  • NABO Featherweight Title (2011- )
  • USBA Featherweight Title (2010)

Orlando Salido

Although his record shows several loses, it is important to clarify that eight of those eleven loses came between the ages of 15 and 21. A “journeymen” for many boxing fans, Orlando Salido made his biggest statement with an impressive 8th-round knockout of former undefeated WBO champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez; proving his worth as one of the elites in the featherweight division. In 2004, Salido challenged then WBA/IBF Featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez but came up short, losing by unanimous decision. In 2006, he defeated Robert Guerrero by unanimous decision to claim the IBF Featherweight title, but Salido’s victory was later ruled a “No Contest” because Salido tested positive for steroids after the fight, therefore he was stripped from his title. His third title opportunity came against Cristobal Cruz for the vacant IBF

Featherweight title. Once again, Salido came up short, losing by split decision. But in 2010, he avenged his loss by defeating Cruz in the rematch by unanimous decision, and claimed the IBF Featherweight title. Five months later, he lost a unanimous decision against Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa, but was quickly able to bounce back by defeating Juan Manuel Lopez to claim the WBO featherweight title. After two successful title defenses, Salido once again went to Puerto Rico and defeat Juan Manuel Lopez by TKO in the tenth round in their rematch on March 10.


1. IBF Fetherweight Champion (twice)

2. WBO Featherweight Champion (twice)

Oliveras liquidó a Ayala en Bariloche

La argentina Alejandra “Locomotora” Oliveras se impuso a la colombiana Diana “La Leona” Ayala , por nocaut técnico en el sexto asalto, y así defendió por primera ocasión su título mundial pluma de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), en el combate estelar de la velada desarrollada en la noche del sábado en el estadio Pedro Estremador de San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina.

Dominando con suma comodidad a una retadora que prácticamente no acertó envío alguno, “Locomotora” avanzó sin oposición a la corta distancia donde acertó sus derechas cruzadas que llegaron plenas al rostro. A pesar de carecer de claridad, y por momentos quitarse su propia distancia, siempre llevó el trámite. Tan es así que filtró su gancho zurdo a la zona hepática y su izquierda cruzada a la mandíbula con que la hizo retroceder en varias ocasiones. Y ante la casi nula oposición, atacó en el quinto donde la tuvo conmovida con un potente cross a la mandíbula, seguida de su gancho izquierdo al cuerpo. Por eso, al sonar la campana de inicio al sexto, Ayala no salió a combatir, obligando al árbitro a señalar el precipitado desenlace.

 De arranque, la campeona tomó la iniciativa, presionando con su derecha arriba. Con la colombiana contra las cuerdas, acertó su izquierda cruzada a la mandíbula. Y antes del primer descanso, trabajó al cuerpo combinando derecha e izquierda. A pesar de que en el segundo Ayala impactó de contragolpe su derecha cruzada por adentro, “Locomotora” la hizo retroceder con un cross diestro al mentón. Pero más allá de un directo zurdo al rostro, careció de claridad. Siempre yendo al frente , en el siguiente la jujeña continuó llevando las riendas y buscando con sus derechas cruzadas al rostro y rectas al cuerpo de una retadora que le cedía la iniciativa, y no lograba contrarrestar.

 En el cuarto, mientras extendía sus ventajas, Oliveras filtró su izquierda en swing al mentón, que llegó pleno sobre una Ayala que no respondía. Avanzando a cara descubierta salió la jujeña al quinto. Tras un ataque algo desordenado, conectó un veloz y potente cross zurdo al mentón, que acusó recibo en la retadora. Segundos más tarde, dio el paso al frente y descargó su izquierda contundente en cross a la mandíbula, con que la llevó contra las cuerdas, y en gancho al hígado, que acentuó el sufrimiento de una “Leona” que no hacía gala de su apodo. Y antes del descanso, “Locomotora” volvió a sentirla al conectar dos derechas cruzadas al mentón. Por eso, tras el minuto de descanso, la frágil y ya sin respuestas retadora permaneció en su banquillo, obligando al árbitro argentino Gustavo Tomás a decretar el fuera de combate.

 De esta forma, Oliveras, de 34 años, que pesó 57,150 kg., retiene por primera vez el cetro que conquistó el pasado 5 de enero cuando se deshizo de la mexicana Jessica Villafranca, por nocaut técnico en el quinto asalto, en San Antonio de Areco, Buenos Aires. Además, es la primera y única campeona mundial argentina en tres categorías diferentes (hombres incluidos), luego de haber reinado entre las supergallo del WBC entre mayo de 2006 -cuando noqueó en ocho a Jackie Nava en Tijuana, México- y diciembre de 2008 -cuando cayó ajustadamente ante la formoseña Marcela “Tigresa” Acuña unificando con el cinturón de la Asociación Mundial de Boxeo (AMB), en el Luna Park de Buenos Aires-, y entre las ligeros de la AMB, cuando noqueó técnicamente en cinco capítulos a la colombiana Liliana Palmera, el 13 de agosto pasado en Río Cuarto, Córdoba, antes de descender a pluma. Ahora, aumenta su marca a 26 victorias (12 KOs), 2 derrotas y 2 empates. En tanto Ayala, de 22 años, y que registró 56,700 kg., cae en su quinta oportunidad mundialista -las anteriores frente a las argentinas Mónica “La Gata” Acosta, en disputa del superligero WBC, y Fernanda “La Camionera” Alegre, en juego el superligero OMB; l a estadounidense Maureen Shea, por la faja pluma WBC; y la mexicana Jackie Nava, en Tijuana, por la corona supergallo AMB-, y desmejora a 12 triunfos (7 KOs), 8 reveses y 3 igualdades.


 By Nicolás Samuilov,

Piriyapinyo Too Much For Megrino Wins By 6th Round TKO

Thailand’s WBO Asia Pacific featherweight champion Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo lived up to his lofty WBC No.1 and WBO No.2 rankings to score a 6th round TKO over Filipino journeyman Randy Megrino in Thailand Wednesday.

The undefeated Piriyapinyo improved his unbeaten record to 43-0 with 26 knockouts while Megrino dropped to 12-10-2 with 7 knockouts.

WBO Asia Pacific vice president Leon Panoncillo told the Manila Standard that Chonlatarn was “very precise with his punches and dominated tough journeyman Megrino, stopping him in the sixth round.” The time was 2:39.

The Thai champion’s promoter Pariyakorn Ratanasuban in a post fight interview said that negotiations are underway for a title shot against either WBC champion Johnny Gonzalez or WBO champion Orlando Salido.

The 27 year old Piriyapinyo was coming off four successive knockout victories while the 23 year old Megrino won a majority decision in a four round bout against Gabriel Royo who hadn’t won a fight and had a 0-4 record. That fight took place last October 16.

Megrino had also previously lost by a 9th round knockout in an IBF Pan Pacific super featherweight title fight against another top Thai, Fahsai Sakkreerin on June 17, 2011.

Piriyapinyo won the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title with an 8th round TKO over Filipino Sonny Gonzales on Septremnber 15, 2010 and in his last defense won by a 4th round TKO over Arief Blader of Indonesia on January 23, 2012.


By Ronnie Nathanielsz

Team Orlando Salido: No Fight on 6/2, Returning on 7/21

Sean Gibbons, manager of WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido (38-11-2, 26KOs), has advised that his boxer is not returning on June 2 – a tentative date being set aside in Ciudad Obregon for the ring return of former champion Antonio Margarito (38-8, 27KOs).

Per Gibbons, Salido is currently on vacation and plans to make a voluntary defense on July 21, in Ciudad Obregon. After the voluntary date, he wants to return in the fall against the winner of Jhonny Gonzalez-Elio Rojas, which takes place on April 28th.

“He is waiting for the outcome of the Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Rojas fight on April 28. Salido is targeting the winner for a unification in the fall,” Gibbons told


By Rick Reeno

WBO Champion Orlando Salido’s Victory Tour


Orlando “Siri” Salido the WBO featherweight champion took a victory lap last weekend with visits to Mexico City and Miami. The Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico native, arrived in Mexico City Friday, March 30th and visited with the Mexican Media on Friday, before appearing in studio on the very popular boxing show “Golpe a Golpe” and with three-time world champion Juan Manuel Marquez host on ESPNDeportes.

Salido then flew to Miami on Saturday, to appear on Sunday, in “Republica Deportiva” in highest rated sports show in the Univision National Network at the invitation of his fine producer Rick Seara.

The Champ made an appearance on Sunday evening at WrestleMania 28 as a guest of Azteca Mexico Television.


Salido is coming of his second win over Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez, whom he stopped in the 10th round of the best fight of the year so far. The Mexican warior went back to Puerto Rico March 10 to give Lopez a rematch of their fight last April of 2010, where Salido stopped the Puerto Rican in eight rounds.


March 10th, Salido got up of the deck in the fifth round and then was part of two incredible non stop action rounds – 8th and 9tth- that will be hard to top this year.


“It was a great fight because we both wanted to win so much. I now know that I beat the best Juama Lopez this time, he was strong and smart, but at the end of the day I can take his punch and he can’t take mine. I am happy people enjoy the fight and that they will remembered it for a long time”, said Salido.


Salido was joined by manager, Sean Gibbons and Aldo Barba from Zanfer Promotions, during this victory lap.

Orlando Salido May Return on 7/21, Eyes Jhonny Gonzalez

WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido (38-11-2, 26 KOs) is looking at a possible return on July 21st, and WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez is the fight he wants most. He’s waiting for the outcome of the April 28th clash between Gonzalez (51-7, 45KOs) and mandatory challenger Elio Rojas.

“I believe that good fight are coming my way. We want to unify this year. I want to unify one or two titles and then move up to 130-pounds. Jhonny was the better fighter last year, and I know that talks have already begun and I think it’s a matter of time before I get that fight,” Salido said.

Sean Gibbons, the agent of Salido, said – “We want the fight with Johnny, we love it. If we can win that fight, then we could look at Adrien Broner, Gary Russell, Celestino Caballero – there is a good range of opportunities.”


By Salvador Rodriguez

Zanfer high on Salido

Zanfer Promotions president Fernando Beltran spoke about the triumph of his fighter, WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido, after his spectacular KO victory over Juan Manuel Lopez last Saturday in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “We’re excited by his victory, very proud of the way he fought and for giving a great fight,” said Beltran. He points out that Salido (38-11-2, 26 KOs), had no amateur fights and started his career at the age of 15, losing his first pro fight and acquiring quite a few other “L”s as he got his education in the ring against bigger and stronger opponents. However, Zanfer detected the quality of Salido and in the last ten years, “Siri” has only lost three close world title fights. “Orlando is admirable,” said Beltran. “His heart and his hunger for victory is impressive. He’s a warrior and we’re proud to have him in our stable. He’s a world champion who has earned it the hard way to be among the elite. And the best is yet to come. If all goes well in 2012, he’ll rise to super featherweight in 2013.”


By Gabriel F. Cordero

Salido Eyes Marquez, Gonzalez, Ponce and Gamboa Too

Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez treated fans not only to a great fight, but also added another chapter to the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry when they fought this past Saturday on Showtime in Puerto Rico. Salido who is fresh off arguably the biggest victory of his career, appeared on Boxingscene’s official audio show The Boxing Lab to talk about the thrilling affair.

After their first fight Lopez claimed he did not train properly and had personal issues that served as distractions leading up to their showdown. While it was a great victory for Salido there were still those who felt maybe it was a fluke or he simply caught Lopez at the right time. After winning the rematch in the same dominating fashion, Salido feels there shouldn’t be anymore questions regarding his wins.

“This victory confirms the first victory on April 16th. Both of them have been by knockout and there has been no controversy. I believe everyone should give me the credit I deserve” stated Salido.

In the early rounds of their rematch we saw Lopez try a few different things we didn’t see in the first fight as he boxed more and tried not to engage Salido as much. But it was only a matter of time before he went back into the trenches and fought fire with fire. While they once again provided us with an action packed fight, Orlando did notice some adjustments from Lopez.

“I felt he was strong, more intelligent. He moved around and boxed a little. But we started working him to the body to take away his legs so he could stop moving and fight” explained the WBO Featherweight champion.

And that’s exactly what they did; fight.

With two big wins under his belt, Salido has plenty of options in deciding who he should fight next. When he was asked which opponent he’d prefer to fight now, he had a list of guys he’d consider opponents.

“There are talks of Rafael Marquez, Ponde De Leon, Jhonny Gonzalez; a lot of fighters. They are good opponents for me and I can make good fights with them” said Orlando.

The road to where Salido is now has not been an easy one. He turned professional at the age of 15 and often fought in fights against bigger and older opponents. He did it to provide for his family and while it took some time and sacrifice, Salido is now where he wants to be.

“I feel very happy to be able to accomplish this. It’s a great triumph. My career has had highs and lows because I didn’t always have the support when I fought. There were fights I took without any training and that’s why I lost them. But I’m at the best moment of my career right now”.

The Mexican fighter’s last loss occured in September of 2010, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Yuriorkis Gamboa. Salido hit the canvas twice and Gamboa once in that fight. The undefeated Cuban has since moved up to 135 pounds although his status is in limbo since he pulled out of his fight against Brandon Rios. Salido said that he would like a shot at revenge should the Olympic gold medalist decide to move back down to featherweight.

“I would like to get a shot at Gamboa again. I would like a chance to get that win but he’s at 135 now. If he ever wants to come back down to 126 I would like to fight him again for sure,” revealed Salido.


By Ryan Burton

Mikey Garcia Stalks, Stops Bernabe Concepcion in Seven

Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico – Mikey Garcia (28-0, 24KOs) stopped Bernabe Concepcion (29-6-1, 15KOs) in the seventh round to retain the NABO featherweight title.

A clash of styles in the first three rounds. Concepcion, usually an aggressive fighter, switched things up and started pure boxing match with Garcia. In the fourth, Concepcion was staying defense to avoid the big shots of an incoming Garcia, and tried to reply with counters. Garcia was using a heavy jab and trying to break the strong guard of Concepcion. By the sixth, Garcia started picking up the pace with punches to the body and head.

In the seventh, a two-punch combination sent Concepcion down for count. Garcia was stalking in a calm manner by working the head and body of Concepcion against the ropes to force the stoppage at 2:27.

Photos: Orlando Salido knocks out Juan Manuel Lopez in the Tenth Round

WBO Featherweight champion Orlando “Siri” Salido won the rematch this past Saturday against Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez by technical knockout in the tenth round. After knocking Lopez down early in the tenth round, referee Roberto Ramirez Sr. stop the fight when Lopez struggled to get up. In an action-packed fight, Salido was able to overcome a knockdown in the fifth round and continue to pressure Lopez until knocked Lopez out with a couple of uppercuts in the tenth.

Photos: M. Garcia, Concepcion Shaking Out in Puerto Rico

No. 1-rated contender MIKEY GARCIA will risk his undefeated record, his NABO and NABF featherweight titles and his rating when he faces two-time world championship challenger BERNABE CONCEPCION on the Lopez-Salido II card which will take place Saturday, March 10 and will be televised live from Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, P.R. on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). Photos by Peter Amador/Top Rank.

Salido, Lopez Take Different Public Approach at Presser

Wednesday’s presser in San Juan for the rematch between Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez revealed two things as it pertains to the main event: Lopez is intent on proving that the first fight was a fluke, while Salido just wants everyone to shut up and fast forward to fight night.

As was the case last April, Showtime will be on board to televise the clash, live from Coliseo Roberto Clemente (Saturday, 10PM ET/PT). The final presser before Saturday’s showdown saw both fighters say as much with body language as they did behind the mic.

Salido (37-11-2, 25KO) appeared disinterested for much of the media station, so much that he didn’t even make note of the promotional banner, listing Lopez’ name first despite the fact that he enters Saturday’s rematch as the defending champ.

The 31-year old Mexican was sporting his usual blue zip-up jacket with the WBO patched placed just above the heart, proudly representing the organization that crowned him champ in last year’s monster knockout upset over Lopez. His wardrobe – also including jeans and sneakers – was in stark contrast to that of the flashy Lopez (31-1, 28KO), who appeared in a suit and tie and with plenty to say.

Above all else, Lopez is trying his hardest to convince anyone who will listen that the JuanMa from the first fight and the one who will be present are two separate fighters entirely.

“I want to clarify that I have never offered any excuses,” Lopez said of last April’s affair, in which the Puerto Rican suffered a 5th round knockdown and was stopped on his feet two rounds later. “So Orlando, I don’t want to hear you say any excuses. I assure you that March 10 that title is mine.”

‘That title’ was Lopez’ – along with an undefeated record and a rumored showdown with Yuriorkis Gamboa. All of that went out the window the moment referee Roberto Ramirez Jr rescued the Puerto Rican southpaw from taking further punishment midway through the seventh round of an even fight.

Since then, Lopez has fought just once – a third round knockout of Mike Oliver in an uneven performance. Meanwhile, Salido has spent every moment of the past near-year knowing what it once again feels like to be a champ.

That hasn’t sat well at all with Lopez, who thirsts for a return to the spotlight.

“I hope you enjoyed your title reign, because come March 10 I’m regaining my title,” Lopez insists. “Orlando, you can return the title that I let you borrow for the past 11 months.”

Whether he woke up late, or just wasn’t in the mood to be there, Salido couldn’t be bothered to summon up a response to Lopez’ claims. Instead, he remained true to his motto of letting his fists do all the talking.

“I don’t have much to say,” stated Salido when it was his turn to the mic. “I now come to (this fight) with more confidence than the last time.”


By Jake Donovan

Bernabe Concepcion and Mickey Garcia face off during presscon in San Juan

Concepción and García faced off today. Hard-hitting Filipino Bernabé “Abe” Concepción (29-5-1, 15 KO’s), a boxer managed by fellow Filipino Manny Pacquiao, will have the golden opportunity to challenge world ranked undefeated featherweight Miguel Angel “Mikey” García (27-0, 23 KO’s) for the prestigious WBO North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and North American Boxing Federation (NABF) featherweight titles this coming Saturday at the legendary Coliseo Roberto Clemente this Saturday in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Hailing from Virac, the capital city of the island province of Catanduanes in the Bicol Region in Luzon, Bernabe Concepcion, 24, comes from a very tough narrow split decision victory over California’s Aaron Garcia (10-3-2, 2KOs) last October at the San Manuel Indian Casino in Highland, California, a combat in which Aaron Garcia suffered a cut in his left eyebrow from accidental headclash with the Filipino.

Bernabé Concepción, a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, is mainly remembered for his second round KO lost to Juanma Lopez in Puerto Rico and for being disqualified in his WBO world title fight against then champion american Steven Luevano.

In that fight in which Abe Concepcion intentionally hit Steven Luevano with a violent right hook way after the sound bell that ended round seven. American referee Mr. Jay Nady disqualified Conception on the spot.

Meanwhile, tough opponent Mexican-American Miguel “Mickey” García, 24, the heavy handed figher from Oxnard, California is the promising current #1 featherweight by the WBA, #2 by the WBC and # 3 by the WBO.

It’s probable that that the winner of the Mikey Garcia vs Bernabe Concepcion clash would challenge the winner of the Juanma Lopez vs Orlando Salido fight for the WBO featherweight world title.

Mickey Garcia is a younger brother of former world champion Roberto Garcia.

Nowadays, Roberto García is the hugely successful trainer of some of the world’s top fighters in coming high profile bouts like “The filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire, Antonio Margarito, Joan Guzman and Brandon “BamBam” Rios.

Both Bernabe Concepcion and Mickey Garcia have promotional agreements with Top Rank. And fellow featherweight fighter Boricua star Juanma Lopez, fighting in the main event, is also promoted by Hall-of-famer legendary promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank.

Here are Mikey and Bernabe’s toughts during todays presscon:

Bernabe Concepcion: “I’m excited for fight night on Saturday against Garcia. I came to Puerto Rico once before (in July 2010 to fight Juanma Lopez). Thanks to the promoter (Top Rank) and all the fans for having me back, but I hope for a different result this time.”

Mikey Garcia: “My fight with Bernabe Concepcion is a tough fight. It’s a dangerous fight and it means everything to me. If I want my world title shot, I need to win. There has been talk about me fighting the winner of Lopez and Salido. I want my chance. I hope to fight the winner of Saturday night’s fight for the belt before the end of the year.”


By Carlos Costa

Photos: Salido Hits Puerto Rico, Continues Training Hard

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – Mexico’s Orlando Salido arrived in Puerto Rico this afternoon and immediately started to  train at a local gym. This coming Saturday Salido will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight title against hometown hero Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Showtime and Showtime Extreme will extreme. Last April Salido stopped Juanma in eight rounds to capture the title.

Salido (37-11-2, 25 KOs) was accompanied by his coach Jose Santos Moreno, and his team, doing floor exercises, several rounds on the heavy bag, hitting the pads, showing speed and a good physique.

“I’m in the best condition, better than the previous fight,” said Salido. “We are prepared, I have no pressure whatsoever. I will do my job as always. I know who Juanma Lopez is.”

Photos: Mikey Garcia Gets Final Sparring For Concepcion

A recent swing through California saw me catch up and chronicle several fighters and boxing luminaries prepping for their next big assignments in one way or another.

This past weekend I paid a visit to the Two Feathers gym in Riverside as unbeaten featherweight Miguel ‘Mikey’ Garcia was putting in work for his March 10th Showtime date with former title challenger Bernabe Concepcion for the vacant WBO NABO Featherweight title, set to go down in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

And while I definitely felt the need to get back home, it was only fitting that I again paid a stop to the Two Feathers gym beforehand, as I heard Garcia was going to be putting in his final sparring before heading out to Puerto Rico this Tuesday.

On this day his older brother Robert would make the trek from his Oxnard bases with a pair of sparring partners for his young sibling, undefeated Russian-born featherweight Evgeny Gradovich and 23-year old lightweight prospect Javier ‘Pelos’ Garcia, who is also Garcia’s nephew.

Getting in on the action was another talented featherweight prospect, 3-0 Saul Rodriguez, a stable mate of Mikey’s.

In a round-robin kind of format that saw each guy put in six rounds of work, Garcia went three rounds with the aggressive Gradovich before switching off for three rounds with Javier. Javier then stayed in the ring and went three frames with Rodriguez, who, in return then went three stanzas with Gradovich.

No matter what pairing I watched, the sparring was very intense and competitive.

After the work was done I said my goodbyes, this Oxnard/Riverside crew being a particular favorite of mine to keep tabs on, and headed back home.

And while it was another whirlwind jaunt through Cali over those five days I find myself being grateful that I’m able to work so closely in a sport I love so much and can only hope my photos and interviews/stories do a bit of justice to the memorable time that was again had.


Photos and text by Chris Robinson


Mikey Garcia Doesn’t Expect Juanma To Remain at 126

Undefeated featherweight contender Mikey Garcia appeared on the latest edition of The Boxing Lab,’s official audio show. Garcia faces Bernabe Concepcion on March 10th in a bout televised by Showtime for the vacant WBO NABO Featherweight title.

In the main event, WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido faces Juan Manuel Lopez in a rematch of their classic battle that took place last April. Assuming that Garcia defeats Concepcion, Top Rank would like to pit him against the winner of the Salido-Lopez rematch.

Garcia isn’t so sure that he will get a shot at JuanMa should the Puerto Rican avenge his loss to Salido.  He feels there is a good chance that JuanMa will move up in weight immediately after the Salido fight.

“If Lopez wins I am not sure that he will fight me. He said that if he wins the belt back that he may go to 130 or maybe even higher.  If it were to happen I think it would be a great fight for the fans with the Puerto Rico versus a Mexican (rivalry) but I am not sure if he wants that fight,” Garcia told The Boxing Lab.

Garcia said that he feels comfortable at featherweight and isn’t planning on moving up in weight anytime soon.  He also revealed that becoming a unified champion is one of his goals before he leaves the division.

“I want to stay here for a while. I haven’t won a title at featherweight yet. I would like to maybe win multiple titles here before I move up. At the moment I want to stay at 126.”


By Ryan Burton


Photos: Salido Ripped and Ready For Juanma Rematch

Ciudad Obregon, Son. – The featherweight champion of the World Boxing Organization (WBO), Orlando Salido, is preparing very hard for one of the most anticipated fights of the year. “Siri” Salido (37-11-2, 25 KOs) will defend his title against the man he dethroned dramatically in April of 2011, Puerto Rico’s Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez (31-1-0, 28 KOs). The fight is scheduled for March 10th at the Coliseum “Roberto Clemente” in Puerto Rico. TV Azteca and Showtime will televise.

“We’re almost reaching the point of a perfect preparation. I am very fast and very strong and we are doing well with the weight issue and we are prepared for war. I’ll be better prepared for Lopez physically and mentally. The Puerto Rican try to make a different fight, but I will apply the pressure and the war will start,” Salido said.


By Rafael Soto