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Fireworks in Puerto Rico: Juanma and Donaire Facing Tough Challengers

Fireworks in Puerto Rico: Juanma and Donaire Facing Tough Challengers


If boxers stay on course this Saturday, there should be a night of post-Independence Day fireworks in Puerto Rico: All four combatants in the two main fights are willing to put on a show any time they step into the ring. And even if the champions Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez and Nonito "The Flilipino Flash" Donarie are the favorites, the challengers are going to fight hard to spoil the belt-holders' plans.

"It should be a great fight," Lopez said yesterday during the final press conference in Puerto Rico, "because we both come to fight, and I know how strong and tough Bernabe Concepcion is. I will not underestimate him . I work very hard to get to this level, and I will never take anything for granted."

Lopez will defend his WBO featherweight championship against Filipino Concepcion this Saturday night in the Coliseo of Puerto Rico, while Donaire will defend his WBA Interim super flyweight crown against Hernan "Tyson" Marquez in a big double-header to be telecast live by Showtime in the United States.

Said Concepcion: "I am honored to fight a great champion like Juan Manuel Lopez in his home, but I have come to win and take the title back to the Philippines. This is the most important fight of my career, and I have prepared like never before for this fight."

Donaire, who is a two-time world champion, is a big favorite over Marquez.

"I know that Marquez is coming off a loss and that makes him very dangerous, as he will try to get back in the winning track. He is a strong guy, and I will have to fight him smart. I expect him to come at me and I will be ready for him," Donaire said.

Marquez, a 21-year-old prospect, will be fighting for a world title for the first time in his career.

"This opportunity came to me from nowhere and I took it, because I know I can win this fight. Donaire is a great boxer, but I believe that I can not only compete with him but defeat him as I will do everything in my power to take the belt home with me on Saturday night," Marquez, said.

The weigh-in will be on Friday at 1:00 p.m. at the Verdanza hotel in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico.  

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