VERDEJO LOOKS TO TAKE MANTLE OF PUERTO RICAN BOXING

Felix Verdejo warms up during his Media day public workout. Photo by Peter Amador for Top Rank Boxing

Albert Baker


Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo 18-0 13KO’s steps back into the ring for the first time since June to face Josenilson Dos Santos 25-3 15KO’s of Brasil.

A hand injury forced the rocketing prospect to slow down his pace; prior to the injury he was fighting every two to three months but Verdejo says “I have no pain in my hand. I like to feel 100 percent when I get into the ring, so I waited until my hand was completely healed for this fight.”

Verdejo will be returning to a rabid home crowd in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Roberto Clemente stadium as the main-event of a televised card on TruTV’s Friday Night Knockout series. With knockout power, good looks, and a boxing mad Puerto Rican lineage ready to crown their next star with the recent loss of Miguel Cotto at the hands of Mexican Saul Alvarez. Verdejo, finds himself in a position to make a big splash in another introduction of himself to the televised public.

Top Rank has a history of making the right moves to build the future stars of boxing; and the early prognosis is that Verdejo has the capability to deliver the goods. Verdejo says his inspiration came from a familiar Puerto Rican great saying “It was Felix “Tito” Trinidad who inspired me when I was a very young fighter. He has given me a lot of advice. We are friends and I hope Tito comes to the fight on Friday night.” Fighting frequently in Puerto Rico, New York, and Florida to build recognition in a heavy Puerto Rican demography only serves to cement his name as a future star for one of the sport’s most ardent supporting sects.

Dos Santos, of Brasil has a nice enough record on paper of 25-3 to present the fight as competitive but, Dos Santos has lost two of his last three via knockout and has lost every step up in competition. A spectacular win via knockout for Verdejo could push him into the title mix with a number of names that are politically correct. Verdejo claims he can even move down to 130 where even more big opportunities could present themselves without the politics of boxing getting in the way saying “I feel comfortable at 135 pounds and do not have a problem making that weight. I can make 130 pounds if my promoter Top Rank asks.”

TopRank’s MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout airs on TruTV this Friday at 7pm/PST

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