Unbeaten Puerto Rican native and the poster boy of Puerto Rican Boxing Felix Verdejo returns to the ring Saturday night at Madison Square Garden against Antonio Lozada Jr. It will be his first time stepping into the ring since a lackluster performance against Oliver Flores back in February of 2017. The once highly touted prospect could be in line to face Ray Beltran next to the WBO Lightweight Title.
Verdejo used to be a highly touted fighter and considered by many to be the next big thing out of Puerto Rico. Thought to be the guy to take the torch from Miguel Cotto but he’s now a fighter that’s never lost but has failed to live up to the hype due to injuries. Hand injuries suffered from a motorcycle accident had him sidelined for more then eight months.
When he fought Flores he obviously looked rusty, wasn’t sharp at all and many felt like that could’ve easily been his first loss. The motorcycle accident was a lot to come back from so a bad performance can be understood. Prior to that fight however and before the accident, he didn’t exactly look his best. However, he was still lined up for the WBO Lightweight Title shot even after a career marred by injuries and bad luck.
It has been a rocky ride, to say the least. He was supposed to fight Terry Flanagan but the fight got postponed due to a Flanagan injury. Shortly after that Verdejo suffered an injury of his own and Flanagan opted to move up in weight. Once again his career suffered a setback. If it isn’t one thing it’s another and none, of course, are his fault, injuries happen. Unfortunately the more time he spent away from the sport the more his star has dimmed.
Once compared to his idol Felix “Tito” Trinidad, he now finds himself trying to get back the shine he once had. “El Diamante” as he is called, that’s The Diamond in English, can change the narrative by simply winning. Try to get back to what he once was or he could be looked at as a hype job.
The road to redemption starts Saturday night at Madison Square Garden and as for what the future holds, only time will let us know!!