Robson Conceicao Dominates Martinez; Sets Sights On Valdez Rematch!

Robson Conceicao Wins Easy UD Over Xavier Martinez In WBC Title Eliminator

Robson Conceicao flexes at a final-weigh-in, Oscar Valdez with his WBC belt
Robson Conceicao (left), Oscar Valdez

Conceicao Pulls Away to Dominate Martinez


At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Robson Conceicao (17-1, 8 KOs) took on Xavier Martinez (17-1, 11 KOs) in a ten-round WBC junior lightweight title eliminator.

Many fans remember Conceicao from his most recent bout, a loss to WBC 130 pound champ Oscar Valdez. It was controversial from the start as Valdez failed a pre-fight drug test but was still allowed to defend the title. In the ring, more than a few fans and pundits felt that Conceicao boxed well enough to earn the verdict. However, the judges differed, scoring the fight in favor of Valdez.

The former 2016 Olympic gold medalist returned to the ring and faced a Martinez who recently inked a deal with Top Rank. He has visions of making a statement in his debut with the promotional company.

NO KILLER INSTINCT

Conceicao is very good when he’s able to create distance. Early in this one, he set the tempo by using the jab to create range and throwing with power early. But Martinez used a hard guard to block, then counter with combos to the head and body. A Martinez left hook to the temple wobbled Conceicao in the final seconds of round three.

With his opponent visibly stunned, one would think that Martinez would jump on him. That didn’t happen as he let him off the hook. Martinez made the mistake of looking to land one punch. For his part, the Brazilian continued to pump the jab and mix his punches up and down to pile up points.

IN CONTROL

Finding his groove in the middle rounds, Conceicao was impressive with his discipline. He had a game plan and stuck to it throughout. He didn’t provide a stationary target and did a good job of using head, upper body, and footwork to slip shots. The former world title challenger was starting to dominate the action.

It was wash, rinse, repeat in the later rounds. Obviously behind on the cards, one would think Martinez would’ve fought with a greater sense of urgency. Yet he just didn’t seem to have the pepper over the latter half of the contest.

In the end, Conceiacao won this going away as the judges ruled the fight in his favor by unanimous decision (99-91, 100-90, 98-92). With the win, he is expected to be elevated to the mandatory challenger by the WBC. Valdez is set to face WBO champ Shakur Stevenson on April 30. After his win, Conceicao said he will surely have his eyes on that fight. He believes Stevenson will win but is rooting for Valdez as he desperately wants to fight him again.

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By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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Michael is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a writer/contributor for 3kingsboxing.com.