By Francisco Salazar
Lightweight contender Felix Verdejo was in line to fight WBO lightweight contender Terry Flanagan on Nov. 5 before suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident postponed that fight.
After months of recovery and rehabilitation, Verdejo is ready to return to the ring.
Verdejo will fight Oliver Flores on February 3 at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Top Rank announced Friday morning.
The Verdejo-Flores bout, along with the Christopher Diaz-Efrain Esquivias fight, will be broadcast on UniMas, beginning at 11 p.m. ET/ PT.
Verdejo (22-0, with 15 knockouts) has not fought since stopping Juan Jose Martinez at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 11.
The 23-year-old Verdejo, who is the mandatory challenger for Flanagan's world title belt, was scheduled in line to fight Flanagan before sustaining head trauma and lacerations to his face and left arm from the motorcycle accident on August 6.
"Fighting at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente is the continuation of a dream of mine and the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that I am ready to give a world title to my island," said Verdejo in a news release. "I want to send a message to (WBO Champion) Terry Flanagan that I'm not a tune-up for anybody."
In his last bout on Dec. 31, Flores (27-2-2, 17 KOs) was stopped in the third round at the hands of WBA Super World junior lightweight titleholder Takashi Uchiyama.
Opening the 'Solo Boxeo' broadcast will be unbeaten featherweight Christopher Diaz face former junior featherweight contender Efrain Esquivias.
Diaz (19-0, 11 KOs), who is from nearby Barranquitas, has fought on numerous fight cards and trains alongside Verdejo.
In his last bout on November 18, Verdejo won a hard-fought eight round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Fernando Vargas.
Esquivias (17-5-1, 10 KOs), a former National Golden Gloves champion, has lost his last three bouts since his upset win over Rafael Marquez in September of 2013.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing