By Miguel Rivera

Ricky Marquez, the trainer of Puerto Rican lightweight contender Felix "Diamante" Verdejo, reacted to some of the critics who blasted his boxer's performance against Costa Rican Bryan Vasquez.

This past Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Verdejo had to overcome some difficulties and a cut below his left eye to win a ten rounds unanimous decision.

The judges gave the fight to Verdejo with scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 97-93.

Verdejo's career was on the line in that fight, with his promoter Top Rank likely to dump him if he lost.

Now Verdejo is hoping to secure a world title shot at 135-pounds.

Last year, Verdejo suffered the first loss of his career when he was stopped by Antonio Lozada in the same venue.

To make improvements, he added conditioning coach Memo Heredia and veteran trainer Evangelista Cotto to his team. 

"It's a fact that Felix did not fight as we expected and we accept the constructive criticism [the critics] want to make," Marquez stated.

"We can not cover the sky with our hands, but we had before us a opponent that we knew was uncomfortable, crafty and difficult to look good against because of his skills, experience and movements, and I told that to the press a few days before the fight.

[Vasquez's] three losses in 40 fights had been against three world champions and even so Felix dominated him in at least eight of the ten rounds, but he did not follow some instructions and in short he looked lower than the Felix we know. Now we will continue working because there is always room for improvement."