By Miguel Rivera
A deal has been reached for Felix Verdejo's long-awaited opportunity against WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan.
For several weeks, the deal was being 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, and Flanagan (33-0, 13 KO's) was ordered by the sanctioning body to face him.
The fight is scheduled to take place on September 16th at the Copper Box in London, as part of the same show where WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders will defend his title against Willie Monroe Jr. BoxNation and BT Sport in the UK are sure to televise the fight.
Initially, there were some financial issues because Verdejo was only offered $175,000, while his team requested $450,000 to take the fight in the champion's backyard. A deal was reached between the parties that satisfied everyone.
For this contest, Verdejo will prepare in Big Bear, California, under the guidance of veteran coach Abel Sanchez, who is currently best known for his work with middleweight king Gennady Golovkin, who ironically also returns on September 16 when he defends his titles against Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas.
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 coach like Sanchez. The fight against Flanagan will be by far be Verdejo's biggest step up in competition.
Ricky Marquez, coach and manager of Verdejo, confirmed the fight with Flanagan was a done deal.
"Well Puerto Rico, I'm happy to inform you that now it's official. There is a fight on September 16 in London. Felix Verdejo vs Terry Flanagan for the WBO lightweight world championship," Marquez said.