Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Verdejo Motivated To 'Shut Some Mouths,' Prove That He's Elite

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Felix Verdejo smiled wide when the question was translated for him Wednesday.

Yes, the undefeated Verdejo is well aware of what’s being said and written about him.

That he’s never going to live up to the potential the talented contender displayed during the strong start to his professional career. That he can’t remain focused or stay healthy long enough to become the next in a long line of iconic Puerto Rican boxers who’ve won world titles and achieved stardom.

verdejo-diaz (18)

The 24-year-old Verdejo (23-0, 15 KOs) is determined to begin changing that negative narrative Saturday night. That’s when the lightweight contender will fight for the first time in 13 months in a 10-rounder against Mexico’s Antonio Lozada Jr. (38-2, 32 KOs).

Verdejo’s fight won’t be part of ESPN’s telecast, which will feature junior welterweights Amir Imam and Jose Ramirez in the 12-round main event (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). Appearing in a non-televised bout should provide plenty of motivation for a fighter once considered a can’t-miss star.

“I’m wanna retake what’s mine,” Verdejo said through a translator. “I have to work very hard to show everyone that I’m back. Some people have doubted me. Some people have stayed with me throughout. That motivates me a lot because it gives me an opportunity to shut some mouths up and show what I can do. All because of my preparation, I’m gonna look good on Saturday.”

Injuries and training issues have hurt the 2012 Olympian’s development in recent years.

Verdejo was supposed to battle Lozada on September 22 in Tucson, Arizona, until Verdejo sustained a wrist injury in training camp. He hasn’t fought since he beat Nicaragua’s Oliver Flores (27-3-2, 17 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder in February 2017 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Verdejo’s defeat of Flores marked his return from injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident in August 2016. That obstacle cost Verdejo, then the WBO’s No. 1 contender at 135 pounds, a mandatory shot at England’s Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13 KOs), who then owned the WBO lightweight title.

Promoter Bob Arum has mentioned matching Verdejo against newly crowned WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran on the Vasyl Lomachenko-Jorge Linares undercard May 12 at Madison Square Garden. For now, Verdejo is concerned only with winning impressively Saturday night.

“First things, first,” Verdejo said. “I’m looking forward to Saturday. But after Saturday, I’m looking to work my way to a world title opportunity. I’m ready to fight the best fighters in the world and to prove that I’m an elite fighter, too.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by True That on 03-18-2018

[QUOTE=DramaShow;18583077]was hoping this comment wouldnt get found :lol1: :lol1: thats the last time i hype a puerto rican[/QUOTE] I'm not sure what people saw? Ever since 2016 I knew this guy wasn't going to do sh it. He became Felix…

Comment by Madison boxing on 03-18-2018

[QUOTE=True That;18583056]Lol, give this kid a chance and he will fake it Down goes Pendejo Felix Pendejo and Juanmaricon Lopez, a pair made in heaven, Lol[/QUOTE] was hoping this comment wouldnt get found :lol1: :lol1: thats the last time i…

Comment by Catrin on 03-15-2018

[QUOTE=Tomasio;18575822]Till this day Verdejo has NOT fought a top 10 contender..His record is full of tomato cans & C grade fighters & against some of those, even tho he won was not impressive & against another in the last rounds…

Comment by Catrin on 03-15-2018

[QUOTE=Pakutu93;18575219]The best fighter in Borinquen is JESUS ROJAS!!![/QUOTE] did you see what McWilliams Arroyo! did to cuadras?

Comment by niceyboo3 on 03-15-2018

Wait isn't he and Ozuna the same person? "El negrito de ojo claro". :boxing:

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (19)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
Ortiz: Solomon A Different Look For However Long He Can Stick Around WBC Prez: Andy Ruiz Was a Victim of The Circumstances Whyte Expects Wilder To Avoid Mandatory, Become Franchise Euro News: Lejarraga vs. Real, Braehmer Withdraws, Lauren is Back Jacobs: I Know Patrick Day Would Want Me To Keep Moving Forward Ellerbe: Gervonta Davis an Event Like Mike Tyson in Late 80s Arum: Joshua's Performance Against Ruiz 'Was A Joke' McCracken: I'd Like Anthony Joshua To Stay Around This Weight David Oliver Joyce vs. Lee Haskins Set, Feb 1 In Belfast Coldwell Reflects on Hopey Price Win on Joshua-Ruiz Card Frank Warren on Andy Ruiz: Heavyweight King To Burger King! Chavez Jr: Roach is Confident That I Can Beat Daniel Jacobs! Jessy Martinez Blasts Out Carlos Huerta in One Round Saturday's Real Main Event and The Future at Lightweight Joshua: Once Wilder-Fury is Over, They Can Start Mentioning Me UFC's White: I've Spoken With Shields' Team About Nunes Fight News: Davis-Gamboa, Conlan-Nikitin II, Golden Contract, More Arum: Ruiz Had No Chance In Joshua Rematch; Buster Douglas Redux Michael Conlan, Vladimir Nikitin - Face To Face in NYC Teofimo Lopez, Richard Commey - Face To Face Crawford, Kavaliauskas - Go Face To Face in NYC Jacobs: Whether Chavez Or Rosado, Won't Deter Me To Do My Job Solomon: I'm Taking Vergil Ortiz To Places He's Never Been Before Jack Catterall Guaranteed WBO 140 Title Shot Next Luis Hernandez Inks Promotional Pact With Golden Boy Robert Guerrero Wants Big Names: Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia Hearn: Many Options, But Joshua Wants To Box Back in UK Joe Hughes Talks European Title Fight, Scoring, Career and More Whyte Reclaims WBC Interim-Title, In Line For Wilder-Fury Winner Ellerbe: Gamboa Has Wanted Gervonta Davis Fight For Long Time Vergil Ortiz Wants Crawford, Garcia or Thurman in 2020 Arum: If Lopez Wins, We're Planning Loma-Lopez For March/April Alamo vs. Castaneda Clash Of Unbeatens Set For February Andrew Moloney To Enforce Mandatory Status For Kal Yafai Shot Mickey Bey Ready For Redemption in Kambosos Clash at MSG Kavaliauskas: When I Beat Crawford - I'm One of World's Best! Daniel Dubois Gifts Gloves To Kids at Dale Youth Club Mikey Garcia Hopes To Secure Manny Pacquiao Clash Next CompuBox Review: Joshua's Evolution, Klitschko Comparison Conlan Views Nikitin Rematch as Best Christmas Present
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement