Lightweight contender Felix 'Diamante' Verdejo has acknowledged that his trainer Ismael Salas has helped him rediscover his technical skills.
Now he also recognizes the impact that his physical trainer Cruz Manuel Garcia is having on his career.
After doing a routine of coordination and resistance exercises on the slopes of the grounds of Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan, which Salas oversaw, Verdejo said that he has continued to feel very good physically thanks to the follow-up of preparation that he's had with Garcia.
Better known as Cruz Pensa, the conditioning coach gained fame for having been responsible for the top-notch physical form of Puerto Rican boxing great Felix 'Tito' Trinidad.
“I'm fine thanks to Cruz Pensa. He was the one who was with Tito all those years. I want to be like Tito, who in round twelve had the same form as if he was fighting in the first," Verdejo said to Fernando Reyes.
Indeed, Verdejo was considered at the beginning of his career as the next Trinidad for Puerto Rico. Over time, after colorless victories, the comparisons disappeared.
But with Salas on the ground and Cruz Pensa helping him develop his 'lungs', Verdejo has had a career rebound, as demonstrated in his last fight, when he convinced himself and his promoter, Top Rank, by securing a resounding knockout in the first round over Will Madera.
Encouraged, Verdejo said the future looks promising at 135 pounds.
"Good things are coming in the future," said Verdejo, who made himself available to fight Vasiliy Lomachenko before he signed for his fight against Teofimo Lopez on October 17.
For his part, Verdejo will not be fighting in October, but he will watch very closely as Lomachenko and Lopez collide in a high stakes unification bout.
“I have to watch the fight, because I could end up facing either of them later on. That is what we want: to fight with the champions," Verdejo said.