Robson Conceicao takes on unbeaten contender Xavier Martinez in the main event live on ESPN from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The winner will be one step closer to challenging for the WBC junior lightweight belt as this bout is a title eliminator. The co-feature should produce some good action as well with Rene Tellez Giron vs. Luis Melendez. Conceicao is coming off a controversial fight with Oscar Valdez as he looks to climb the ranks at 130. Freshly signed with Top Rank, Xavier Martinez looks to make an impression in this step-up fight against Conceicao.
Robson Conceicao attempts to get back on the horse he was bucked off from in the form of Oscar Valdez back in September of 2021. The fight itself was razor-close, and this boxing podcaster wouldn’t question anyone that saw it for Robson. Beyond the drama outside of the ring that surrounded Oscar Valdez leading up to the fight, Robson gave a good account in his first true test as a pro. The Brazilian Olympic Gold Medalist Conceicao had over 400 fights in the unpaid ranks on his way to gold.
Robson looked every bit the part of a crafty operator versus Oscar Valdez, even out-landing the WBC Champion 141-83 according to compubox. Robson is a quick-handed fighter who fights at range behind a steady and accurate jab. Whether it’s one jab or doubles it, he generally follows it up with a compact right hand or snappy left hook. He targets the body at times but will need to increase the rate instead of just potshots. Beyond a 1-2, he can lead or counter with either that right hand or left hook.
Xavier Martinez is still unbeaten but did have to come off the mat not once but twice to defeat a veteran guy in Claudio Marrero. Before his move from Mayweather Promotions, he also beat a faded boxer in Juan Carlos Burgos. Martinez doesn’t have the amateur pedigree Robson has, but he did start boxing at the tender age of 6, going a more than respectable 85-10. Martinez is an economical fighter who does still throw in combination and also attacks the body fairly well. At times he shells up defense a bit too much and tends to push his punches in spots. This will be Martinez’s first prime Top-10 boxer he will have faced, so let’s see how he responds.
On paper, this should be very competitive backing that up is the Las Vegas odds sitting at pretty much a 50-50. Robson Conceicao is a slight underdog and for all my fellow degenerates out there, just know there’s value in both guys, but I favor Robson. The confidence via performing the way he did last September and the want for a serious get back will be the underlying motivation. Plus, this hack-of-a-scribe sees Conceicao as the more talented fighter by a hair.
My Official Prediction is Robson Conceicao by Majority-Decision.
Side Note: Don’t you dare miss the co-feature between Rene Tellez Giron and Luis Melendez. Giron’s only loss was to a legit boxer in Michel Rivera, and he responded nicely by knocking off a touted prospect in Carlos Balderas. After losing early in his career, Luis Melendez strung together a bunch of wins, but no one really stands out in the bunch. Back in November, plenty of folks thought he lost to Thomas Mattice; that’s not to say he can’t come up big in this spot. My Official Prediction is Rene Tellez Giron by UD.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio