Artem Dalakian Steamrolls Mandatory Challenger
At the AKKO International in Kyiv, Ukraine, Artem Dalakian (21-0, 15 KOs) returned from a 21-month layoff to defend the WBA world flyweight title against mandatory challenger Luis Concepcion (39-9, 28 KOs).
Dalakian may well be the most anonymous among the current world champions at 112 pounds. But the 34-year-old is the longest-reigning of any active world champ in the division. He won the belt by defeating Brian Viloria in February of 2018 and has rolled through four previous defenses; all in his adopted home country of Ukraine.
Defense number five came against Concepcion, who has won a world title at flyweight and junior bantamweight. Known for his aggressive style and two-fisted punching power, he earned this opportunity by stopping Rober Barrera in February of 2020.
However, many experts feel the 36-year-old is a fighter in decline and on the downslide of his career.
The WBA champion was in control from the get-go. Dalakian is an excellent mover in the ring. He’s also skilled and very adept at pot-shotting and leaping in with the two and three punch combinations from the outside. Those attributes were keys to accumulating points against the shorter and slower challenger.
His power came to the surface in the middle rounds. With 1:44 to go in the fifth, Concepcion was dropped on the seat of his hands courtesy of a Dalakian leaping left hook. Another series of shots put him down with nineteen seconds to go in the round.
The one-way beating continued during rounds six, seven, and eight. Conception had no answers for the elusive champ. Dalakain was able to effortlessly slither his way around the ring, landing big punches at well.
With 2:19 to go in the ninth and Concepcion taking further punishment, his corner mercifully stood up and said “no mas.” Truthfully, the fight should’ve stopped sooner as the challenger was overmatched, overwhelmed, and being beaten pillar to post.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr