By Rey Colon
Puerto Rican lightweight prospect Felix 'El Diamante' Verdejo (23-0 and 15 KO's), whose last fight was in February 2017 when he defeated Oliver Flores by unanimous decision, will reappear in January - according to his head trainer and manager Ricky Marquez.
The official date, location and opponent will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Verdejo's career has been all over the place in the last two years - due to lackluster performances in the ring and mishaps taking place outside of the ring.
Verdejo, 24 years old, was the longstanding mandatory challenger to WBO lightweight king Terry Flanagan of the UK.
The fight was scheduled to take place last fall, but everything was pushed back when Verdejo was involved in an accident while joyriding on a motorbike with some of his friends. He suffered numerous injuries and needed several months to recover.
His team wanted an interim-fight at the start of the year to prepare for Flanagan, and the he fought Flores. While Verdejo won the contest, he struggled in the bout and did not appear ready for an opponent like Flanagan.
Verdejo's team members pressed for the mandatory shot and the fight was being targeted for the fall.
To ensure the boxer would be physically ready for such a fight, he was sent to Big Bear, California to train under the guidance of veteran coach Abel Sanchez.
Flaganan suffered a leg injury and the fall bout was going to be pushed back by a few weeks.
Top Rank booked another fight for Verdejo to keep him busy, by facing Antonio Lozada on September 22.
Verdejo then suffered a wrist injury, apparently from slipping in the bathroom, and was forced to head home from camp and withdrew from the Lozada bout.
To keep the division moving forward, the WBO removed Verdejo from the mandatory position - replacing him with tough Mexican contender Rey Beltran.
Rey Colon covers boxing for thesportpress.com