by Rey Colon
The president of the World Boxing Organization, Francisco 'Paco' Valcarcel, has made it clear that undefeated lightweight Felix Verdejo (23-0 and 15 KO's) will have to rebuild his career to make up for lost time in order to get in line for another world title opportunity.
Verdejo was ranked at number one under the WBO at 135 pounds for a very long time - but now he sits at in the sixth position - and should have fought for the belt a few months ago but various reasons - due to injuries of then champion Terry Flanagan and also several mishaps suffered by Verdejo - the fight was never held in 2016 or 2017.
"Verdejo has to rebuild his career and return again. He was number one for a very long time and could have fought for the title, he never did it and now he has to rebuild his career," Paco said.
For the past two years, the former 2012 London Olympian, who is promoted by Las Vegas based Top Rank, has suffered highs and lows due to personal setbacks including a motorbike accident last year, minor injuries and a couple of lackluster in-ring performances that raised red flags even with his training team and manager Ricky Marquez.
A few days ago, Marquez revealed that Verdejo will likely return to the ring on March 17 at the Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York against an opponent to be determined.
Meanwhile, tough Mexican contender Raymundo Beltrán (34-7-1 and 21 KO's), who is currently rated in the top spot by the WBO, and Namibian fighter Paulus Moses (40-3 and 25 KO's), who is third in the rankings, will collide in the ring on February 18 for the vacant title that Flanagan dropped a few months ago.
Incidentally, Flanagan has a fight nearly complete with Maurice Hooker for the vacant WBO world title at 140-pounds.
Rey Colon covers boxing for thesportpress.com