By Miguel Rivera
As BoxingScene.com first reported, unbeaten Puerto Rican fighter Félix 'El Diamante' Verdejo suffered a hard setback after his scheduled world title fight was pushed back due to unforeseen reasons.
The 135-pound champion of the World Boxing Organization (WBO), Terry Flanagan, announced on Monday morning in an email sent by his promoter Frank Warren, that he was withdrawing from the planned defense due to a leg injury.
Verdejo is the mandatory challenger to the title, and it was scheduled to take place on September 16th at the Copper Box in London.
The fight has been pushed back several times. They were scheduled to fight each other last fall, but the contest was postponed after Verdejo suffered several injuries in a motorbike accident in Puerto Rico.
WBO president Francisco 'Paco' Valcárcel received confirmation of the injury from Flanagan's handlers, but makes it clear that the champion must present medical evidence to the sanctioning body.
Verdejo, the WBO Latino champion with an unbeaten record of 23-0 and 15KO's, barely fought once in the last year. His last fight was against the Nicaraguan Oliver Flores, where the Puerto Rican boxer had more than his fair share of issues in winning a decision this past February in the Coliseo Roberto Clemente de San Juan.
Flanagan, who has an undefeated record of 33-0 and 13KO's, defended his title in April in Manchester, beating Petr Petrov by decision.
"We requested a medical certification [of the injury] as required by the protocol. I spoke with Flanagan today and they are supposed to send that document to us tomorrow (Tuesday), "said Valcárcel to Carlos Narvaez.
"Flanagan will return to the doctor on Tuesday. He only informed me that it was a leg injury, but he did not say which one had the injury, so we have to see the medical certificate. We need to see the diagnosis. The fight contract says that if there is an injury, the promoter must reschedule the fight."