CAGUAS, PR- The last time they fought on the same card, Felix Verdejo received criticism for knocking out his opponent way too fast, and Jose ‘Wonder Boy’ Lopez for having to extend his fight into a decision. Now the Puerto Rican prospects that were in action on the June 7 card at Madison Square Garden that was headlined by Miguel Cotto’s victory over Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martinez, will be the main-eventers of the card that is named Future Stars and that will be presented by Miguel Cotto Promotions on August 16 at the Hector Sola Bezares Coliseum in Caguas.
Verdejo, who is the lightweight super prospect of Top Rank, improved his record to 13-0 with 10 knockouts on June 7 by knocking out Mexico’s Engelberto Valenzuela in one minute and seventeen seconds. On August 16 he will be facing his most difficult opponent to this date when he faces Chile’s Oscar Bravo (21-5, 9 KO’s) in his first eight round fight.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to fight home once again. I will be ready to give my best and bring happiness to my people”, said Verdejo. ‘I don’t know much about my opponent, other than that he’s very experienced and has never been knocked out. This will be a good opportunity to demonstrate that I can keep my rhythm in a long fight” added the former Olympian.
The fight against Bravo should be Verdejo’s last fight on the Island until next year said his manager, Ricky Marquez.
“The plan is for him to be active, fighting every two months, but the fights in October and December should be in the United States”, said Marquez.
Wonder Boy’s case is very different: the super bantamweight prospect with record of 13-0 and 10 knockouts, will be defending his regional FECARBOX title against Mexico’s Roberto ‘Azabache’ Castañeda (21-6-1 and 15 KO’s), and he was lethargic and not very aggressive at The Garden when he defeated Raul Hidalgo, a fighter with record of 21-10 an five knockouts, by unanimous decision in a eight round fight.
“I didn’t want to say anything until now to avoid people thinking we were giving excuses”, said his trainer Gerardo Sanchez, “but we had some setbacks for this fight”.
“What he ate after the weigh in made him sick and Jose was vomiting all night and he couldn’t get the proper rest”, he added. “We even talked with him to see if he wanted us to talk with the promoters to cancel the fight, but Jose is a very serious and valiant young man and he wanted to go on with the fight”.
“That’s why he looked that way, not very aggressive. He even told me between rounds that he was afraid he could vomit again during the fight. As his trainer, he showed me a lot that day… It also was a learning experience for him to go the distance”.
Now Lopez will go against another Mexican, one that on paper possesses a more impressive record than his last opponent. But that doesn’t trouble the Wonder Boy.
“It’s natural for it to be that way, that the quality of the opponents continues to improve, but that doesn’t worry me at all”, said Lopez.
The program, which will be broadcasted as part of UniMas’s ‘Solo Boxeo Tecate’ Series, will include six more bouts where Jose ‘Chiquiro’ Martinez, Rashidi Ellis, Christopher ‘Pitufo’ Diaz, Alberto Machado, Yomar Alamado and Freddy Ortiz will expose their undefeated records.
“FUTURE STARS” is presented by Cotto Promotions in association with Top Rank and H2 Entertainment and will be televised live at 11pm ET/PT on UniMas.
Entrance to the arena will have a cost of $50 (Red Carpet), $20 (Ring Side) and $12 (General Entrance). Tickets are available on Ticket Center and can be purchased by calling (787) 792-5000 or on the Internet by visiting www.TCPR.com.