Luis Concepcion (left) scored a fourth round knockout of Roberto Leyva in Panama. (Photo via WBAnews.com)
Interim WBA flyweight titlist Luis Concepcion was on his home turf at Arena Roberto Duran in Panama City, and it showed as he dominated Mexican veteran Roberto Leyva over the first three rounds, and then knocked him out hard in the fourth to retain his belt.
Concepcion (19-1, 14 KO) looked very sharp the entire fight, and 24-year old showed he's going to be a fighter to be reckoned with at 112 pounds. Leyva (26-10-1, 21 KO) is certainly not a world class fighter, but he wasn't even in the fight. To be fair to Leyva, part of that could be explained by the fact that he hasn't made 112 pounds in years now. The last time he fought that low, he was actually at 108 to challenge Edgar Sosa for a title in 2007. In the three fights since then, he's fought at 115 against Benjamin Garcia, 118 against Z Gorres, and all the way up at featherweight (126) in September against Omar Soriano. That fight with Soriano was also Leyva's first win since 2007.
Overall, Leyva has lost 10 of his last 15 fights. The knockout blow in this one came with Concepcion's back to the ropes. The Panamanian threw a left hand, and then a short, perfectly-timed right came in immediately after, knocking Leyva to the canvas and ending the fight.
On the undercard, 108-pound prospect Luis Rios improved to 11-0 (6 KO) with a decision win over Carlos Melo (19-10, 2 KO). Melo challenged Edgar Sosa for a title earlier this year and was stopped in four. In this fight, it appeared as though Rios, just 19 years of age, had trouble coping with a fighter as experienced as Melo. Melo isn't a star or anything, but he's been around the rings. Melo appeared unfazed by anything Rios threw at him until the last three rounds or so of the fight, when the smaller Melo (who gave up at least three inches of height) seemed to tire and lose whatever zip he ever had on his punches. Bad Left Hook scored the fight a 95-95 draw after ten, but it was Rios who closed the fight strong.
21-year old Panamanian junior bantamweight prospect Ricardo Nunez (17-1, 15 KO) put a licking on veteran Juan Francisco Centeno (16-14, 8 KO). Nunez dominated the first round, then decked Centeno three times in the second. After two more knockdowns in the third, the referee mercifully called an end to the shellacking.
We'll be back with two more cards of live coverage tomorrow, including what appears to be the final boxing show that will air on ITV in England for the foreseeable future. In that main event, Darren Barker meets late substitute Danny Butler. Then tomorrow night, it'll be the HBO double-header headlined by the Lucian Bute-Librado Andrade rematch, as well as the intriguing fight between Joan Guzman and Ali Funeka.