By Hector Santos
Jorge Melendez managed his second straight win, outpointing Richard Gutierrez over ten rounds Saturday evening in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Scores were 97-92 (twice) and 98-91.
Unbeaten lightweight Felix Verdejo continues to cruise through the pro ranks. The 2013 Boxingscene.com Prospect of the Year made quick work of Juan Santiago, drawing blood early before scoring a third round stoppage in front of a partisan crowd. Verdejo, who represented his island in the 2012 London Olympics, was quick out the gate. The quick and lethal fists of the 20-year young Boricua opened up a cut over Santiago's eye, with the Colorado native's night about to get much worse.
A steady attack in round two paved the way for a big finish in round three. Verdejo chipped away at the determined Santiago (14-12-1, 8KO), who in his last fight extended Juan Diaz the full ten-round distance although dropping a decision. He didn't come close to lasting rounds on Saturday; a right hand by Verdejo put his challenger down and out.
Verdejo advances to 11-0 (8KO), scoring his second consecutive early knockout. The prodigious lightweight needed just 21 seconds to tear through Lauro Alcantar this past January in New York City. His two wins in 2014 have totaled less than nine minutes of ring action, with his next fight slated for April 19 in Orlando.