Hard Night At The Hard Rock
Report & Photos By Roy & Marlene Marquez “The Road Warriors”
Nonito Donaire, fighting
for the WBA interim super flyweight title, defeated a
super bantamweight in Rafael Concepcion to claim the 115
lb. belt at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
Concepcion wasn’t eligible for the title given he
weighed in 4.5 lbs beyond the super flyweight limit.
“The guy was a 122 pounder tonight”, said Donaire
following the fight. “If he was 115 lbs. he would have
gone down early.”
Donaire (22-1) started
strong by staggering Concepcion (13-4-1) with an
uppercut in the first. The dominance continued in the
second and third rounds when Donaire landed a number of
counter rights. Donaire looked to stop Concepcion early
by loading up on the right but injured his hand and was
forced to alter his game plan. “He ran into all these
punches and hurt my hand”, declared Donaire.
advantage of the suddenly one-handed Donaire and took
the fight to him. He charged after Donaire with a
two-fisted attack. Concepcion did his best work when he
was able to trap Donaire, who had taken to running. “I
came to fight. If I knew it was a marathon I would have
run”, said a frustrated Concepcion through an
interpreter. With Concepcion in control of the middle
rounds the fight tightened.
Aware of the situation,
Donaire used the jab to regain control of the fight. He
followed the jab with enough right hands to win the late
rounds and the fight. Judge Max De Luca scored the bout
117-111; Judge Duane Ford scored it 115-113; and Judge
Jerry Roth scored it 116-112 all in favor of Nonito
For seven long rounds,
featherweight champion Steven Luevano and challenger
Bernabe Concepcion fought a tactical, defense-first
And then, a full second
after the sounding of the seventh bell, Concepcion
landed a left-right that brought the contest to a sudden
and dramatic end.
The combination left
Luevano sprawled across the canvas; a winner by
Referee Jay Nady
disqualified Concepcion (29-2-1) when he correctly
determined the punches were late. “He did hit him late”,
agreed Concepcion’s trainer Freddie Roach. “It’s a good
With the victory Luevano
(37-1-1) retained his WBO featherweight title. Both
sides agreed to a rematch promoter Bob Arum suggested
could happen as early as December.
Filipino southpaw Mark Melligen starched fellow
welterweight Ernesto “Baby” Zepeda over three-plus
rounds until the fight was stopped at 2:40 of the
fourth. Melligen (16-1) kept a jab in Zepeda’s face and
followed it with straight lefts Zepeda didn’t see and
couldn’t avoid. With his face busted up and his left eye
closing Zepeda mistakenly retreated to the ropes near
the end of the fourth. Melligen zeroed in on Zepeda and
tattooed him with heavy lefts. Zepeda (39-13-4) wilted
under the barrage and referee Joe Cortez waived off the
contest. Melligen packs a stiff punch and now has 12 KOs
to his credit.
Undefeated super lightweight Anthony Peterson hooked his
way past left-hooker Luis Arceo to win a 10-round
unanimous decision. Peterson (29-0) stood in front of
Arceo and traded hooks, choosing to fight toe-to-toe in
tight quarters. A marked difference in hand speed
enabled Peterson to repeatedly beat Arceo to the punch
and pile up points. Arceo (22-9-2) did damage early by
digging shots to the body. However, Arceo soon abandoned
the body attack leery of a probable point deduction
following repeated warnings from referee Robert Byrd.
Unable to go to the body, Arceo started head hunting
with little success. Peterson either bobbed or tucked
his chin and rolled away from danger. The fight was
scored 98-92, 99-91 & 97-93 for Peterson.
Rufino Flores quit on his stool following the first
round of his super welterweight bout against Danny
Escobar (3-0). Escobar winged shots against a retreating
Flores (1-3) on route to the TKO victory.
Las Vegan Diego Magdaleno cruised to another super
featherweight victory with 60-54 x 3 whitewashing of
Carlos Vinan (8-8-1). Magdaleno (11-0) peppered Vinan
with speedy combinations in front of an appreciative
Light heavyweight Ismayl Sillakh improved to 9-0 with 8
KOs by dismantling Ray Smith (9-4) of Little Rock, AR.
Sillakh landed a series of unanswered body shots and
right hands that forced referee Robert Byrd to stop the
contest at 1:55 of the second round.