New York City, Hulu Theater, Madison Square Garden, - Puerto Rican lightweight Felix Verdejo (23-1) lost for the first time in his pro career when he was stopped by Mexico's Antonio Lozada Jr. (39-2, 33 KOs) with 23 seconds left in the 10th and final round. (photos by Mikey Williams).
Verdejo, ending a 13-month layoff, was hurt in the middle of the fight and never fully got his legs back, and finally was knocked down in the 10th. Lozada landed another flurry of punches later in the round and the referee stopped the fight right in front of Verdejo's incensed corner men.
Also, Jose Ramirez won his first world title Saturday night with a unanimous decision victory over Amir Imam to win the WBC's vacant 140-pound belt.
Ramirez pulled away in the late rounds, swelling Imam's right eye in the process to take the title that became open when Terence Crawford moved up to welterweight.
Ramirez relentlessly pressured Imam and pounded away with hard left hooks, and Imam just couldn't keep him off for all three minutes. Ramirez won the final three rounds on all three scorecards after Imam had gotten back into the bout with some good work in the middle rounds.
Ramirez is an Avenal, California, native who has done most of his fighting around home, and his first title defense will likely be back there. Promoter Bob Arum said they would look to do something in an outdoor stadium in the Fresno area, where Ramirez has a loyal fan base because of his talent and also his commitment to help the farming community.
The WBC's 2,000th world title fight was the first time promoters Arum and Don King went against each other since March 12, 2011, when Miguel Cotto stopped Ricardo Mayorga in a WBA super welterweight fight.
King, wearing a giant button of President Donald Trump on his glittery denim jacket, boasted big as always leading into the fight but had to acknowledge that his fighter lost it afterward.