Felix "Diamante" Verdejo breathes some relief because he finally has a date and an opponent for his return to the ring.
The Puerto Rican boxer will be part of the card that his promoter Top Rank will present on July 16 at the "Bubble" inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That night Verdejo (26-1, 16 KO) will face Will Madera (15-0-3, 8 KO) at an agreed weight of 136 pounds.
"I am calm and happy because I am going to fight. I've been training in Las Vegas for quite some time. I left (Puerto Rico) with a goal to fight again and it was given to us,” Verdejo said to Carlos Gonzalez before starting a training session with head trainer Ismael Salas.
“Madera is a strong fighter and a little aggressive. I don't underestimate anyone, so I'm ready for him and for anyone. I focus on having to work and obviously succeed. I will do my fight against Madera to demonstrate what I know, which is what people expect of me."
Verdejo returned to Las Vegas in May with no date set to fight. However, he assured that he has made an effort to polish his skills and enter the ring in optimal condition.
“The condition that has been built up in my body helps me to be more aggressive and throw more punches. Being in better condition helps with the confidence that one feels by being better prepared. I have been training for a long time,” Verdejo said.
"There have been drastic changes [due to the COVID-19 protocols]. You have to walk with a mask on everywhere, wash your hands constantly and use the hand sanitizer. These are things that one has become accustomed to for the good of one's health and the health of others. I have followed the protocols to the letter. I usually go from home to the gym and sometimes on the weekends I go for a walk, but I avoid touching my face."