Félix Verdejo

Félix Verdejo Sánchez (born May 19, 1993) is a Puerto Rican professional boxer who competes as a lightweight. As an amateur he represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympics.[1]

Félix Verdejo
Verdejo in 2018
Statistics
Real nameFélix Verdejo Sánchez
Nickname(s)El Diamante ("The Diamond")
Weight(s)Lightweight
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Reach72 in (183 cm)
NationalityPuerto Rican
Born (1993-05-19) May 19, 1993
San Juan, Puerto Rico
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights26
Wins25
Wins by KO16
Losses1

Amateur career

Verdejo was the winner at lightweight at the 2012 American Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament.[2] Qualification was assured when Verdejo defeated a Mexican rival in the quarter-finals since the top-4 finishers qualified for the 2012 Olympics in his weight class.[3]

At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Verdejo defeated Panamanian José Huertas in the first round with a score of 11–5.[4] Then he defeated Tunisian Ahmed Mejri with a 16–7 score before losing to Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine in the quarterfinals 14–9.

Verdejo was also a Panamerican Youth Champion.[5]

Professional career

Early career

In October 2012, a 19 year old Verdejo became a professional by joining Top Rank, signing for an undisclosed amount that reportedly included a bonification $600,000 dollars.

Verdejo won the "New Hispanic Promise" category of the 2013 Premios Juventud on July 18 of that year. After closing his 2013 campaign, Verdejo was voted "Prospect of the Year" by BoxingScene and Top Rank.[6] He also finished second in Yahoo!'s list, which noted that any other year he would have been a "slam dunk winner".[7] In his first fight of 2014, Verdejo faced undefeated Lauro Alcantar, winning by knockout in only 21 seconds. Verdejo continued his success throughout 2014, going 7–0 with 6 KO, making his career record 16–0 (KO 12). ESPN.com would go on to name Verdejo 'Prospect of the Year' for 2014.

WBO Latino champion

Verdejo would get his first chance to claim his first title, it was announced in January 2015. Top Rank announced Mexican Marco Antonio López (24–5, 15 KOs) as his opponent in a scheduled 8 round bout for February 28, however this was later changed to a 10-round bout and took place on April 25, due to verdejo injuring his hand.[8][9] The fight was contested for the vacant WBO Latino lightweight title, which was only at stake for Verdejo as Lopez weight 4 pounds over the lightweight limit.[10] The fight took place in Puerto Rico as Verdejo claimed the vacat title via a fifth-round technical knockout. At the time of stoppage, all three judges had it 40–36 in favour of Verdejo.[11]

Verdejo made his first defence against undefeated American Ivan Najera (16–0, 8 KOs) on June 13 at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City. Verdejo, making his HBO debut, defeated Najera in a wide unanimous decision to retain the title. Verdejo scored two knockdowns and outpointed Najera with two judges scoring the bout 100–88 and one judge had it 99–89. Verdejo connected with 40% of his punches thrown compared to 30% from Najera.[12]

On December 11, Verdejo made a second successive defence of his WBO Latino title in Puerto Rico against Brazilian Josenilson Dos Santos (27–3, 17 KOs). In round two, Verdejo hit a big right hand that dropped dos Santos, although dos Santos beat the count, referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. stopped the fight after a count was given.[13]

Verdejo started off 2016 with a defence against undefeated Brazilian William Silva (23–0, 14 KOs) on the undercard of Crawford-Lundy on February 27, 2016 at the Madison Square Garden Theater.[14] The fight was televised on HBO. Verdejo landed 106 of 421 total punches as he cruised to a one sided 10 round unanimous decision win against Silva who connected 45 of 325 total punches. Two judges had it 100–90 for Verdejo and the third judge had it 99–91.[15]

Verdejo would next fight two months later, returning to Puerto Rico against 29 year old Mexican Jose Luis Rodriguez (18–8, 11 KOs), who was on a four fight win streak, on April 16 in a 10-round bout at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente. Verdejo was originally supposed to fight Daniel Evangelista (18–6–2, 14 KOs), who withdrew from the fight due to tendonitis.[16][17] Verdejo won a one sided 10 round unanimous decision win over Rodriguez. He won the fight by the judges scoring it 99–91, 99–91 and 98–92. Verdejo used his power and speed advantage to punish Rodriguez with big shots to the head and body throughout the ten rounds. With this win, Verdejo was guaranteed a return to HBO at the Madison Square Garden Theater on June 11 against lightweight contender Jose Felix Jr. (33–1–1, 25 KOs).[18] Following this win, WBA ranked Verdejo at #2 lightweight and WBO ranked him #3.[19]

Verdejo fought on the undercard of the title fight between WBO super featherweight champion Martinez vs. Lomachenko at Madison Square Garden Theater in New York on June 11, 2016. He defended his Latino title against 2nd tier Mexican boxer Juan Jose Martinez (25–2, 17 KOs), who had won six fights in a row since a seventh-round technical decision loss to Rey Bautista in September 2014. Verdejo was supposed to fight Felix Jr. however a deal could not be made, according to Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti, Felix asked for about 'four times the money available' for Verdejo's opponent.[19][20] Verdejo, who had been criticized for his previous two decision wins, stopped Martinez in five rounds to retain his title. Verdejo was the aggressor, out-landing Martinez 90 to 36 and connected on 51 percent of his power shots. In Round 5, Martinez had a cut above his right eye and with 20 seconds remaining, Verdejo pinned Martinez against the ropes, before referee Michael Ortega jumped in at 2:40 and stopped the fight. Verdejo told his translator after the bout that he 'wants to fight the best'. Bob Arum spoke of the possibility of a world title fight between Verdejo and WBO champion Terry Flanagan for early November, however this would no longer be the case due to Verdejo suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident.[21][22][23][24]

On December 6, 2016 Verdejo announced that he was close to returning to the ring, slated to be for February 3, 2017 in his native Puerto Rico.[25] Weeks later Top Rank confirmed that he would indeed fight on that date against former super featherweight title challenger Oliver Flores (27–2–2, 17 KOs) at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan. Flores is coming off a stoppage loss in December 2015 to then WBA junior lightweight champion Takashi Uchiyama. The fight will aired live on UniMas.[26][27] Verdejo won the fight via a 10-round unanimous decision. The three judges scored the fight 99–91, 98–92, 96–94 all in favor or Verdejo. With the win Verdejo landed a shot at the WBO lightweight title.[28]

World title mix

On June 12, 2017 the WBO president Francisco Valcarcel received word that promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren were working closely together to come to an agreement for a fight to take place between Verdejo and undefeated WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan. Some sources claimed the fight would take place on September 9 in Manchester.[29] There was a hold up in the negotiations due to Verdejo being offered $175,000, however his representatives were looking for him to earn in the region of $450,000 having to travel to Flanagan's home country to challenge for the title.[30] A deal was finally reached for the fight to take place onSeptember 16, 2017 at the Copper Box Arena in London. WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders was confirmed to take part on the same card. The fight would also mark the fight time Flanagan would fight in London.[31] On July 17, Warren emailed Top Rank to make them aware that Flanagan had suffered a leg injury, thus postponing the fight.[32] The WBO requested that medical evidence had to be sent to them. Flanagan's team confirmed the evidence would be sent the next day.[33]

On August 5, 2017 Top Rank revealed that Verdejo would stay busy and fight on the September 22 undercard of Gilberto Ramírez vs. Jesse Hart in Tucson, Arizona.[34] On August 14, Top Rank announced that Verdejo would fight Mexican boxer Antonio Lozada Jr. (37-2, 31 KOs) at the Convention Center in a 10 round bout.[35] It would have marked the first time Lozada Jr. would ever fight professionally outside of Mexico, however Verdejo picked up an injury in training, forcing him to pull out of the fight.[36]

In December 2017, WBO president Francisco Valcarcel stated that Verdejo would need to work his way back into the mandatory position. With Flanagan moving to light welterweight and vacating his WBO lightweight title, the WBO ordered their number #1 Ray Beltrán to fight #3 Paulus Moses for the vacant title.[37]

Career from 2018

On December 22, 2017 it was announced that Verdejo would return to the ring after 13 months inactivity at the Madison Square Garden Theater on March 17, 2018.[38] A week later, Antonio Lozada Jr. was lined up to fight Verdejo. Lozada was scheduled to fight Verdejo in February 2017. In January 2018, Lozada signed the deal to make the fight official.[39][40] Verdejo suffered his first loss as a professional, being stopped in round 10. Despite the ring rust, having not fought in over a year, going into the final round Verdejo was ahead 87-84 and 86-85 on two scorecards with Lozada ahead 86-85 on the remaining scorecard. In round 10, Lozada knocked Verdejo down once. After Verdejo beat the count and got to his feet, Lozada began to unload more shots which led to referee Eddie Claudio stopping the fight at 2:37 of the round.[41][42]

Following his first professional career defeat, Verdejo took eight months out and returned to the ring in Puerto Rico on November 10, 2018 against Mexican journeyman Yardley Armenta Cruz. The fight took place at the Mario Quijote Morales Coliseum in Guaynabo. Verdejo returned to winning ways after stopping Cruz in round 2. It was a left hook which sent him down and he was unable to recover.[43]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
26 fights 25 wins 1 loss
By knockout 15 1
By decision 10 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
26 Win 25–1 Bryan Vásquez UD 10 Apr 20, 2019 Madison Square Garden Theater, New York City, New York, U.S.
25 Win 24–1 Yardley Armenta Cruz KO 2 (10), 0:24 Nov 10, 2018 Mario Morales Coliseum, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
24 Loss 23–1 Antonio Lozada Jr. TKO 10 (10), 2:37 Mar 17, 2018 Madison Square Garden Theater, New York City, New York, U.S.
23 Win 23–0 Oliver Flores UD 10 Feb 3, 2017 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBO Latino lightweight title
22 Win 22–0 Juan José Martínez TKO 5 (10), 2:40 Jun 11, 2016 Madison Square Garden Theater, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBO Latino lightweight title
21 Win 21–0 José Luis Rodríguez UD 10 Apr 16, 2016 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBO Latino lightweight title
20 Win 20–0 William Silva UD 10 Feb 27, 2016 Madison Square Garden Theater, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBO Latino lightweight title
19 Win 19–0 Josenilson Dos Santos KO 2 (10), 2:26 Dec 11, 2015 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBO Latino lightweight title
18 Win 18–0 Iván Najera UD 10 Jun 13, 2015 Madison Square Garden Theater, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBO Latino lightweight title
17 Win 17–0 Marco Antonio López TKO 5 (10), 1:45 Apr 25, 2015 Mario Morales Coliseum, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico Won vacant WBO Latino lightweight title
16 Win 16–0 Karim El Ouazghari TKO 4 (8), 1:27 Dec 13, 2014 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
15 Win 15–0 Sergio Villanueva KO 3 (8), 1:57 Oct 4, 2014 Bahía Shriners Events Center, Orlando, Florida, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 Oscar Bravo UD 8 Aug 16, 2014 Héctor Solá Bezares Coliseum, Caguas, Puerto Rico
13 Win 13–0 Engelberto Valenzuela KO 1 (6), 1:17 Jun 7, 2014 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 Iván Zavala KO 1 (6), 1:14 Apr 19, 2014 Bahía Shriners Events Center, Orlando, Florida, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 Juan Santiago TKO 3 (6), 1:26 Mar 22, 2014 Roger Mendoza Coliseum, Caguas, Puerto Rico
10 Win 10–0 Lauro Alcantar KO 1 (6), 0:21 Jan 25, 2014 Madison Square Garden Theater, New York City, New York, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan UD 6 Nov 24, 2013 The Venetian Macao, Macau, SAR
8 Win 8–0 Gary Eyer TKO 2 (6), 2:53 Oct 6, 2013 Amway Center, Orlando, Florida, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 Guillermo Delgadillo UD 6 Aug 10, 2013 Sands Casino Resort, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 Corben Page TKO 4 (6), 1:48 May 18, 2013 Rubén Zayas Montañez Coliseum, Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico
5 Win 5–0 Steve Gutierrez TKO 1 (4), 1:51 Apr 13, 2013 Radio City Music Hall, New York City, New York, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 Martin Quezada TKO 2 (4), 0:51 Mar 23, 2013 Coliseo Rubén Zayas Montañez, Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico
3 Win 3–0 José Santiago TKO 3 (4), 0:26 Feb 2, 2013 Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
2 Win 2–0 Tomi Archambault KO 1 (4), 0:21 Jan 19, 2013 Madison Square Garden Theater, New York City, New York, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 Leonardo Chavez UD 4 Dec 6, 2012 The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Professional debut

Personal life

Verdejo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and has two brothers and two sisters. Verdejo, the only boxer in the family, started boxing when he was nine years old.

On August 7, 2016, Verdejo was involved in a motorcycle accident while traveling from Fajardo to Carolina, Puerto Rico. At first listed in critical condition, he recuperated quickly at a local hospital. He was with a companion, who was uninjured. He suffered a head injury and small lacerations.[44] Verdejo was released from hospital on August 19.[45]

Awards

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2013 Premios Lo Nuestro New Hispanic Promise Won

References

  1. @Claressashields. "News". AIBA. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  2. Puerto Rico boxing team at the 2012 London Olympics. "Puerto Rico boxing team at the 2012 London Olympics". ProBoxing-Fans.com. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  3. @Claressashields. "News". AIBA. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  4. Rosa Rosa, Carlos (July 29, 2012). "Verdejo da el primer triunfo". El Nuevo Día.
  5. "Rio to witness the highest quality of boxing". Aroundtherings.com. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  6. Jake Donovan (2013-12-30). "BScene Awards: 2013 Prospect of The Year, Felix Verdejo". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  7. Kevin Lole (2013-12-23). "Who is boxing's prospect of the year?". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  8. "Verdejo injures hand, pulls out of Lopez fight". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  9. "Verdejo at home for April 25 fight vs. Lopez". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  10. "Lightweight Verdejo to fight Lopez on Feb. 28". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  11. "Felix Verdejo Stops Marco Antonio Lopez in 5". 2015-04-26. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  12. "Verdejo outclasses Najera to remain unbeaten". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  13. Christ, Scott (2015-12-12). "truTV FNKO results: Felix Verdejo smashes Josenilson dos Santos in two". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  14. "Felix Verdejo vs. William Silva on February 27th at MSG – Boxing News". 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  15. Sherdog.com. "Felix Verdejo Dominates William Silva". Sherdog. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  16. "Felix Verdejo to face Jose Luis Rodriguez on Saturday – Ring TV". 2016-04-13. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  17. "Verdejo to fight replacement Rodriguez April 16". Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  18. "Felix Verdejo defeats Jose Luis Rodriguez". Boxing News. 17 April 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  19. "Felix Verdejo vs. Juan Jose Martinez on June 11 on HBO – Boxing News". 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  20. "Lightweight Verdejo to face Martinez in June". Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  21. "Lomachenko KO's Martinez for 130-pound title". Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  22. "Felix Verdejo back on track after fifth-round knockout of Juan Jose Martinez". Boxingjunkie. 2016-06-12. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  23. Graham, Bryan Armen (2016-06-12). "Félix Verdejo's solid win continues tradition of impressive boxing pedigree". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  24. "Felix Verdejo-Terry Flanagan Eyed By Arum For Pacquiao Card – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  25. "Felix Verdejo announces return Feb. 3 in Puerto Rico – The Ring". The Ring. 2016-12-06. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  26. "Felix Verdejo, Christopher Diaz to return to action on Feb. 3 – The Ring". The Ring. 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  27. "Felix Verdejo vs. Oliver Flores Set For February 3, UniMas – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  28. "Felix Verdejo Decisions Flores, First Fight After Motorcycle Accident – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  29. "Terry Flanagan vs. Felix Verdejo Deal is Very Close, Says WBO Prez - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  30. "Felix Verdejo, Terry Flanagan Financial Issue Being Worked Out - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  31. "Flanagan vs. Verdejo Deal Reached For September 16 - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  32. "Flanagan Suffers Leg Injury; 9/16 Fight Versus Verdejo Postponed - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  33. "WBO Wants Evidence of Flanagan's Injury For Verdejo Withdrawal - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-07-18.
  34. "Felix Verdejo Return Targeted For Top Rank's Tucson Card, 9/22 - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  35. "Felix Verdejo vs. Antonio Lozada Set For Ramirez-Hart, 9/22 - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  36. "Verdejo injured training, out for Sept. 22 bout". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  37. "WBO: Felix Verdejo Must Rebuild His Career, Earn Title Shot". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  38. "Christopher Diaz Confident Felix Verdejo Can Get Back on Track". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  39. "Felix Verdejo Turns The Page, Looks For a Fresh Start in 2018". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  40. "Lozada Very Motivated To Shock Felix Verdejo on March 17". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  41. "Gvozdyk dominates Amar; Conlan wins by KO". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  42. "Antonio Lozada Drops, Stops Felix Verdejo in Tenth Round". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  43. "Felix Verdejo Returns in Style, Crushes Cruz in Two Rounds". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  44. "Felix Verdejo in Good Conidtion and Was Conscious, Says Diaz – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  45. "Verdejo out of hospital after motorcycle accident". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Jose A Gonzalez
WBO Latino lightweight champion
April 25, 2015 – June 2017
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Antonio Moran
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