As previously reported on, Top Rank has not given up hope on Puerto Rican lightweight Felix Verdejo.

Earlier this month at the MGM Grand's Conference Center in Las Vegas, Verdejo was knocked out by Japan's Masayoshi Nakatani.

Verdejo started the fight well, as he knocked down Nakatani in the first and fourth rounds.

Nakatani recovered, rallied, and then dropped Verdejo twice in the ninth for the stoppage.

"Right now we have asked Felix to rest and spend the holiday season with his family," said Carl Moretti, Vice President of Top Rank, to Carlos Narvaez.

"I think he had a great fight and very entertaining against a solid opponent. Felix knocked him down twice, something that nobody had done.... not even Teófimo López. So I think we should not look for the negative in this. Having knocked down this opponent shows that he can compete at this level."

Verdejo was one of the names that Top Rank had shuffled for a future card in June at Madison Square Garden where they also plan to have undefeated Edgar Berlanga in action.

"I think Felix.. maybe we could say that he made a tactical error. Things like that happen in boxing and more so when you face an opponent on that level," Moretti said.

Verdejo was mentioned as one of the possible names to be matched up against López and former world champion Vassily Lomachenko. But that will be on hold.

"The only immediate thing we can say is that he cannot fight Teofimo immediately. It is obvious that this is no longer a possibility. His defeat with Nakatani does not surprise us because this was a very even fight. We were more surprised by his loss with Antonio Lozada. But this time it was a very competitive fight," Moretti added.

With the loss, Verdejo, 27, saw his record drop to 27-2 and 17KO's, while Nakatani, who had lost a unanimous decision a year ago to Teófimo López, improved his record to 19-1 and 13KO's.