By Victor Salazar
New York - Outside of Vasiliy Lomachenko, there may have not been a bigger prospect coming out of the 2012 Olympics with more praise and promise than Puerto Rico’s Felix Verdejo (24-1, 16 KO’s). He had the charisma, the talent, and the backing of one of Puerto Rico’s greatest in Felix Trinidad.
But after some subpar performances and a loss, many have jumped off the Verdejo bandwagon. This Saturday night, he is the opening bout on the Crawford-Khan pay-per-view inside Madison Square Garden. Verdejo hopes that new doors will open for him after Saturday night.
“New doors will open up from all the sacrifices,” Verdejo told BoxingScene.com. “The doors will open again and that’s what we are here for. I’m just going to be the Felix of the beginning and the Felix that I was, I have to be that because there is no tomorrow.”
Back in New York is where Verdejo is, a place many thought he would be headlining following in the footsteps of other Puerto Rican greats like Trinidad and Miguel Cotto. For Verdejo he sees the success of other Olympians signed to Top Rank like Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez, and Jose Ramirez. He is happy for his stalemates and still feels, his time will come.
“They give me motivation,” said Verdejo of his counterparts. “I am happy for them because they have won their titles. Everything happens for a reason and I know my time will come.”
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum has stated in the past that Lomachenko called Verdejo his toughest fight in the amateurs so the feeling is that Verdejo still has the backing of his promoter and of the people of Puerto Rico.
“It’s a great opportunity,” stated Verdejo of his fight Saturday. “Top Rank has a big platform and it’s an honor to be on such a big stage for my people in Puerto Rico. They are bit tough but they always show support. The Puerto Rican fans will be there for me.”