Veteran trainer Ismael Salas is embracing his new position as head trainer of Puerto Rican boxer Felix Verdejo, who hit a few bumps in the last few years of his career.
The Olympian was at one time considered to be a rising star in the sport - but then an unexpected TKO loss and several lackluster performances have destroyed his stock as a fighter.
"That type of recovery project is my specialty," said Salas to George Ebro. “That is what I did with Yuriorkis Gamboa, with Yordenis Ugás, with Jorge Linares. I like rescue challenges and Verdejo fits that mold perfectly. ''
Verdejo will begin training with Cuban coach in Las Vegas, where most of the trainer's boxers come to learn.
In the last few weeks, Verdejo (25-1, 16KO) becomes the second major project that moves to the City of Sin to benefit from the teachings of Salas, after the Olympic champion Robeisy Ramírez took the same road.
Both Verdejo and Ramirez are signed with Top Rank.
"Verdejo reminds me a lot of the case of Linares, who came to me after many problems with his hand that distorted his technical pattern," Salas recalled.
“We fixed his hand and then fixed his technique. Then came the victories and the world title. This is very similar. Verdejo had problems with one hand, but we will also fix it.''
Verdejo expects to return to the ring in January.
"This boy has a lot of talent, and talent doesn't go away just like that, it's not something that suddenly disappears," the coach added. “If he does his part, and I think he will, we will reach a higher level. There are no limits to what we can achieve.''