On what was perhaps the final quiet week of the sweet science, a single card in Tulsa, Oklahoma captured the attention of fight fans and it was a fun prospect-heavy card. In the main event Robson Conceicao, of Brazil was perhaps robbed out of the WBC World Super Featherweight title back in September took on skilled undefeated Xavier Martinez in a 10-round bout. There was no letdown and no baggage as Conceicao dominated the 10-round affair perhaps got himself back into the title picture, moved his record to 17-1 (8) captured our Fighter of the Week award, and proved that he belongs amongst the most elite 130-pounders in the world.
Conceicao had a spectacular amateur career winning a gold medal in the 2016 games in the lightweight division and compiled a career amateur record of 405–15, however, he had not scored a career-defining victory at the pro level. He looked to change that at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After a fairly even first round, Conceicao got going in the second and flurries at the end of the round with a four-punch combination that seemed to daze Martinez. Conceicao brushed off a head butt and continued to outwork and land his younger. He again rocked his opponent at the end of the fifth this time with a three-punch combination. Conceicao continued to stay busy with the jab and landing sharp left hands and mixing in some good body punching building a big lead on the cards. He shook off and a big lead right hand and an all-out assault from Martinez in the fight’s final stanza to secure a wide and well-earned unanimous decision victory by scores of 100-90, 99-91,98-92.
Most observers thought that Conceicao eeked out the fight with Oscar Valdez back in September. Even the judge, Stephen Blea, who scored the fight 117-110 way too wide in favor of Valdez admitted his card was wrong. At 33-years-old the Brazilian is not getting any younger and world title shots are difficult to come by, especially when you arent a huge ticket seller or have a natural fan base like Conceicao an emotional letdown was almost expected, but the olympian showed none of that as he handed in an excellent workmanlike performance scored the dominant position and has put himself in a terrific position to either force a rematch with Valdez or perhaps fight WBO 130-pound champ, Shakur Stevenson. He is in position and on the right side of the promotional street to score one of that title shots and if those can’t be made immediately he has fights with Jamel Herring or Albert Bell that could easily be made on the Top Rank side as well. At 33-years-old Conceicao proved he belonged and he will cash in on another big day in a big fight in the very near future.