Junior featherweight prospect Genesis Servania (right) poses with his trainer Edito Villamor
MANILA, Philippines – Genesis Servania will face an opponent very familiar to Filipino boxing fans in his first outing as a main event fighter when he meets Panamanian Rafael Concepcion on Oct. 26 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City, Philippines.
The 22-year-old Servania (22-0, 8 knockouts), of Bacolod City, Philippines, will play the avenging angel role against Concepcion (18-6-1, 8 KOs), who spoiled the unbeaten record of Servania’s stablemate AJ Banal in 2008.
Concepcion, now 31, was behind on all three judges’ scorecards when he stopped Banal in round nine in front of 12,000 fans at the Cebu Coliseum. Though Banal would go on to fight for a world title later, his career never truly recovered.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldegeur, who handles Servania and Banal, says that there was an agreement in place for Banal to fight Jorge Arce on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao-Oscar de la Hoya would he have won.
“I don’t think there’s anybody that’s really broken the hearts of Cebuanos as Rafael Concepcion,” said Aldegeur. “I know there were a lot of big events with ‘Pinoy Pride’ but there hasn’t been anything that will be as emotional for a lot of Cebuanos as this fight.”
The fight will be Servania’s first since his wild, nine-round technical decision win over former title challenger Konosuke Tomiyama on the undercard of Zou Shiming’s second pro bout in Macau, China on July 27. Servania was down twice in round one before putting Tomiyama down twice as well.
The fight was stopped due to a pair of cuts around Servania’s eyes, though Aldegeur says that he believes the cuts have healed properly.
Concepcion would later lose by technical knockout to Arce and Fernando Montiel, but go the distance against Nonito Donaire Jr. after weighing in four and a half pounds over the weight limit. His last defeat came in 2011 when he dropped a unanimous decision to Liborio Solis, but has scored two victories over modest opponents since then.
Concepcion will be Servania’s fifth opponent who has fought for a world title, and will be another measuring stick by which to gauge his progress.
“Genesis, especially right now, I wouldn’t say he’s ready to fight for a world title fight,” said Aldegeur. “Concepcion having a big name in Cebu will put the focus on Servania being a main event fighter. A lot is at stake.”
Also that night, Arthur Villanueva (23-0, 13 KOs), of Bacolod City, will face his most experienced opponent to date in Mexico City’s Oscar Blanquet (32-6-1, 23 KOs). Blanquet went 12 rounds with RING flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi in his most recent bout, while the 24-year-old Villanueva is rated no. 7 by THE RING at 115 pounds.
Photos / Ryan Songalia
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to The Ring magazine and GMA News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.