By Harold Briceno Torrez, notifight.com
When it was first announced that a fight was finalized between Oliver Flores, who had last fought on December 31, 2015, and rising Puerto Rican star Felix "El Diamante" Verdejo, many felt he would be dominated or knocked out inside the distance.
However, last Friday in San Juan, Flores was far from being knocked out and at times was somewhat closer to knocking out Verdejo.
At the end of the ten rounds, Flores lost by unanimous decision - although he believes that he deserved a fairer ruling.
Verdejo was throwing and landing a good jab in the fight, but it was Flores who landed the bigger shots.
"It was a close fight. It is true that Verdejo scored with the jab and he was effective with that punch, but it was I who landed the most forceful punches. From the eighth to the tenth I hit him very hard and that led me to believe that the decision... I hoped it would at the very least be a draw or at least a split decision, but I didn't expect that all three of the judges would see him win. I deserved a better judgment," said Flores.
"Even the people of his own country booed him, while me they were shouting to me that I had made a great fight and that I deserved the rematch. "
Flores arrived at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente of Puerto Rico with the mindset that he could do "a good job." However, he was aware that he had not made the best preparation, because he took the fight on late notice.
"When I was advised of the fight I was very heavy, I was 167 pounds and I had a hard time getting down to 135," said Flores.
"I took off the early rounds to study Verdejo, so I did not show myself as being so fierce in my offense. I thought he would come out and fight, but it was not like that. Félix went running and exhibiting his good legs, so it complicated me to connect on him with a lot of power."
"I needed to be more careful in the beginning. In the eighth what happened is that I could break his defense and connect hard with my left hand. He began to show signs of tiredness, so I began to press him, taking advantage of the fact that he was no longer moving with the speed of the early rounds. Verdejo did not want to [trade toe to toe], or I would have knocked him out."
"My manager in the United States called me yesterday and he told me that the subject of a rematch with Verdejo is being discussed and that it could possibly happen in two or three months. He also told me that there are many offers coming in, including fights in the United States, and that is where the best purses are.