By Miguel Rivera
Puerto Rican lightweight contender Felix "Diamante" Verdejo is not a lost cause, according to two well-known Puerto Rican trainers and the boxer's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank.
Trainers Juan de León and Félix Pagán Pintor explained separately that the 24-year-old has the tools to restart his career after suffering his first setback.
However, they pointed out that this will require that both he and his coach are willing to embrace changes.
During the past two years, the development of Verdejo has become entangled in a spiral that began with an accident while joyriding on a scooter in 2016 and ended last Saturday when Mexico's Antonio Lozada Jr. stopped the Puerto Rican fighters in the tenth round.
However, there is still hope for Verdejo.
"We're not ready to give up on him," Arum told Carlos Gonzalez. "It's disappointing how he looked on Saturday. Felix was winning the fight when he was caught (in the tenth round), but in reality he should never have been in trouble against an opponent like Lozada."
Trainer and manager Ricky Márquez has been the constant figure that has accompanied Verdejo since his beginnings in the professional ranks, but Arum assured that he will insist on modifying the structure of the corner.
"Felix needs a new trainer," said Arum.
However, his claim seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
During 2017, Verdejo was briefly established in Big Bear, California, to train in the gymnasium of Abel Sanchez, the renowned coach of Gennady Golovkin.
However, the stay was shortened when the fighter suffered an injury that was never explained. Then Verdejo did all his preparation for the fight against Lozada in Puerto Rico.
"I am not a dictator. They have to make their own decisions. We make suggestions and they do what they understand is right," Arum added.