By Rey Colon
Puerto Rican star Felix 'El Diamante' Verdejo (22-0, 15 KOs) is well aware that he needs to be impressive when he returns to the ring on February 3rd - if he wants to full secure a June world title shot against Terry Flanagan, the lightweight champion of the World Boxing Organization (WBO).
Verdejo is also open to the idea of fighting the best boxers in the world who are within his reach - including strong puncher Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KO's) and two-time Olympic gold medal winner Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1 and 5 KO's), the current super featherweight champion of the WBO.
Verdejo has not fought since August 2016, after suffering a motorcycle accident. The young boxer is scheduled to return at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum against Nicaragua's Oliver Flores (27-2-2, 17 KO's). In the contest Verdejo will defend his WBO Latino title for the sixth time.
"I feel great and I am 100%. On February 3 I will demonstrate what we do in the ring. We hope everything goes well and we come out gracefully to go forward and fight Flanagan. I have not heard anything about [Mikey] Garcia, but that's not in my hands. I'm willing to fight the best in the world and if Garcia is a champion - I'll fight with him."
Garcia, who knocked out Juan Manuel Lopez and Roman 'Rocky' Martinez, will challenge Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0 15 KOs) for the WBC lightweight world title on January 28th.
"I saw Flanagan's fight against Orlando Cruz and he looked like a strong fighter. We know that we have to be ready to go 12 rounds. As for Lomachenko, we are with the same promoter [Top Rank] and that can happen at any time. I would like to fight Vasyl Lomachenko. He beat me in [the Olympics in] London 2012 - but it would be different. I would come better prepared, hungrier and more experienced. I do not rule out having that fight."
Rey Colon covers boxing for thesportpress.com