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Luis Concepcion preparing to enter the lion’s den to face Andrew Moloney in world title eliminator

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Panamanian puncher Luis ‘El Nica’ Concepcion 37-6 (26) says he holds no fear of going into his opponent’s backyard as he vies for another shot at the WBA super flyweight title he lost to Briton Khalid Yafai 24-0 (15) in December 2016.

The 32-year-old veteran will travel to Bendigo in regional Victoria, Australia to face Commonwealth Games gold medallist Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 17-0 (10) at the new Bendigo Stadium on September 8 with the winner having a strong mandate to face Yafai for the world title.

Concepcion claimed the WBA world title with a 12-round unanimous decision win over Kohei Kono in Tokyo, Japan in August 2016 only to lose his crown in his first defence against the talented Yafai four months later.

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It’s no secret that this is a substantial step up in competition for Moloney and Concepcion believes it will be a bridge to far for the undefeated Australian, who has had less than half the number of fights as he has had victories in the prize ring.

“My rival is undefeated, but by reviewing his record he has not had the same opposition that I have faced in my career,” explained Concepcion. “I already studied it and we know what we are going to do in Australia, fighting inside or outside, we have things clear.”

The 27-year-old Moloney, who is ranked WBA number six, IBF number three, WBC number four and WBO number nine, has been gunning for a shot at Yafai’s WBA 115-pound championship for well over a year. Any slip-ups and his dreams of a world title shot will evaporate in front of his eyes.

Concepcion is confident that his big-fight experience, higher quality opposition and flawless preparation will put him in good stead to defeat the local favourite.

“I’m motivated to win the fight and seek to crown myself again, I do not trust the opponent, but I’m sure of the work we are doing to get out with the hand up,” said Concepcion, the WBA number seven ranked contender.

Moloney, The Ring magazine and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ninth ranked boxer, knows he’s going to have a fight on his hands and must be at his absolute best if he wants to escape with the win.

“Concepcion applies a lot of pressure on his opponents and throws a lot of punches. We realise that I need to be extremely fit for this fight and that is why I am training so hard,” said Moloney, who has been the victim of two flash knockdowns in his pro career when he has gone in for the kill against injured opponents.

Moloney’s twin brother Jason, also undefeated with a 17-0 (14) record, will get his chance to fight for a world championship later this year when he takes on Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez 18-0 (12) for his IBF 118-pound crown in the quarter finals of season two of the World Boxing Super Series.

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