By Miguel Rivera
Felix Verdejo's long-awaited opportunity against WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan is currently held up due to a drastic difference between the economic offer made to the boxer and the demands of his team.
Verdejo (23-0, 15 KO's) is ranked at number one and the mandatory challenger under the World Boxing Organization (WBO) at 135 pounds, where Flanagan (33-0, 13 KO's) is the champion.
The fight is tentatively scheduled for September 16 in Manchester, England, the home of the champion.
The promoters for Flanagan (Frank Warren) and Verdejo (Top Rank) agreed on the date and venue. But, according to reporter Jose Sanchez , the economic offer made to Verdejo has fallen very short of expectations.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations told Sanchez that the purse proposed for Verdejo is $175,000. In addition to this, Top Rank will cover all of his expenses while staying in Big Bear, California, and his training at Abel Sanchez's gym in that town.
The source stated that Verdejo's representatives requested a payment of $450,000 for traveling to Manchester to challenge the champion in his backyard.
Verdejo's last few performances has not been very impressive, which is why Top Rank suggested that he leave Puerto Rico in order to train side by side with a veteran coach like Sanchez. The fight against Flanagan will be by far be Verdejo's biggest step up in competition.
Everything is okay, according to Ricky Marquez, coach and manager of Verdejo.
"We are training. We are not waiting for them to say or announce anything. We're training and we have the best promoter in the world Bob Arum working for us," Marquez told Sanchez.
"I leave [the negotiations] to the promoter. There is plan B and plan C. We are ready for Flanagan. But if something comes up that does not happen, we are willing to do whatever the promoter decides."