IT’S a pity Bernabe Concepcion’s jab is mediocre. That anvil of a right hand deserves a better harbinger.

Sure, he throws the jab but it’s hardly a threat. It’s almost perfunctory as if he were only complying with his corner man’s instructions.

You get the sense that if it were all up to him, he would go crazy with that prodigious right hand of his.

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His designated opponent at Pinoy Power 3, Mario Santiago, obviously came into the fight with a preconceived game plan to box and possibly tire out Concepcion.

But he sorely lacked the power to thwart Bernarbe’s aggressive forays. He did box well and at times, speared Bernabe with straight lefts.

Concepcion appeared to run out of steam in the last rounds, but he held on and benefited from good lead built early in the fight.

Do I think he’s ready for undefeated Juan Manuel Lopez? I think not, but he always has a puncher’s chance.

Which brings me to Ciso Morales.

HINDSIGHT. Scarcely had the smoke from Ciso Morales’ meltdown in the Fernando Montiel debacle cleared when the boxing experts and pundits started pontificating about how Ciso didn’t deserve to be in the same ring as “Cochulito.”

Was he way in over his head coming into the fight?

Probably. The decision to come down in weight also had a lot to do with it.

But of course we know that now in the brilliant clarity of hindsight.

Beforehand, who knew then with absolute certainty how it would play out? I certainly didn’t hear any whimpers of protest when the fight was announced. No, sir.

VULNERABLE. Montiel looked vulnerable enough in his last fight to warrant at least a modicum of possibility that a young undefeated upstart might be able to catch him on a bad night.

It’s that probability that’s worth fighting for. That possibility that cries out for a confirmation.

I’ll be candid. I’ve seen the kid fight several times and none of those performances leapt out as being spectacular. He was often flat and uninspiring.

But I’ll be candid again. This is boxing- a sport where participants actually weigh in beforehand and come in with two arms, two legs with no hidden weapons.

You know where I’m getting at. Every fighter actually has a chance. You have to respect that chance and allow the fighter his stab at glory.

Sometimes the favorite gets laid out by a lucky shot. Or he runs out of steam. Or he gets disqualified or suffers a nasty cut.

FAMOUS UPSETS. Without that belief in a remote chance, we probably would not have had some of the most famous upsets in boxing history.

Who can forget Buster Dougles vs. Mike Tyson. Or how about Nonito Donaire vs. Vic Darchinyan? Coming into that fight, Nonito was a virtual unknown with a respectable record of 17 wins one loss and 10 knockouts. That’s not too far removed from Ciso’s 14 wins, no loss and 8 kayoes.

Few gave him a chance of upsetting the supremely confident Darchinyan who was a ruthless puncher with concussive power in his left hand.

But we all marveled at how Nonito starched Darchinyan in 5 rounds. Back then, who knew?

So, don’t mope too much about Morales’s loss. It’s probably best that we find out now if he really is any good. And if he improves by leaps and bounds later on in his career, he can probably chalk up that loss as a brutal albeit enlightening experience.

FILIPINO FLASH. The same argument can probably be made for Manuel Vargas who came in as a last minute sub against Donaire. Sure, he was outclassed and outsized, but who are we to deny him the opportunity to unfrock a celebrated champion?

LAST ROUND. It’s on a dear friend, Tetchie Zosa-Tan who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!

(jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)