by David P. Greisman
Lightweight/junior lightweight prospect Felix Verdejo will return before the end of the year, according to Carl Moretti of Top Rank.
“Definitely December, maybe November, in Puerto Rico,” Moretti said just moments after watching from ringside as Verdejo scored win No. 8, this one being a second-round stoppage over Gary Eyer on the Orlando undercard to Miguel Cotto vs. Delvin Rodriguez.
“The popularity obviously gets bigger and bigger every time he fights,” Moretti said. “Everybody who’s here is now a Felix Verdejo fan if they weren’t before, especially those in the Puerto Rican community.”
Verdejo fought third on the Orlando card, but the arena had already been filled with enough Florida and Puerto Rican faithful that they roared loudly for Verdejo (and the hometown fighters who preceded him).
Verdejo, 20, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is now 8-0 with 6 KOs. He weighed in at 133.4 pounds for the bout with Eyer, a 27-year-old from Duluth, Minn., fell to 11-4-1 (7 KOs). All of Verdejo’s previous appearances had him come in within two pounds of the junior lightweight limit.
He turned pro in December 2012 and has already fought seven times in 2013.
“He’s about 30 percent of where we want him to be,” said Ricky Marquez, Verdejo’s manager, immediately the bout. “We’re looking for better head movement, a better jab and harder punches to the body.”