Félix Verdejo

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Félix Verdejo
Félix Verdejo 1.jpg
Verdejo in 2013
Statistics
Real name Félix Verdejo Sánchez
Nickname(s) El Diamante ("The Diamond")
Rated at Super featherweight
Lightweight
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Reach 71 12 in (182 cm)
Nationality Puerto Rican
Born (1993-05-19) May 19, 1993 (age 24)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 23
Wins 23
Wins by KO 15
Losses 0

Félix Verdejo Sánchez (born May 19, 1993) is a Puerto Rican professional boxer in the lightweight division. He has held the WBO Latino lightweight title since 2015. As an amateur he represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Summer Olympics as a lightweight.[1]

Verdejo is currently ranked number one at lightweight by the WBO.[2]

Amateur career[edit]

Verdejo was the winner at lightweight at the 2012 American Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament.[3] 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.[4]

At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Verdejo defeated Panamanian José Huertas in the first round with a score of 11–5.[5] 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.[6]

Professional career[edit]

Verdejo vs. Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan at CotaiArena in Macau in November 2013

Early career[edit]

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.[7] He also finished second in Yahoo!'s list, which noted that any other year he would have been a "slam dunk winner".[8] 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 lightweight champion[edit]

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.[9][10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17][18] 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).[19] Following this win, WBA ranked Verdejo at #2 lightweight and WBO ranked him #3.[20]

Verdejo fought on the undercard of the title fight between WBO super featherweight champion Martinez vs. Lomachenko at Madison Square Garden 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.[20][21] 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.[22][23][24][25]

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.[26] 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.[27][28] 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.[29]

WBO World Title fight[edit]

Verdejo's next fight will be against Terry Flanagan as Flanagan's mandatory challenger. The fight was originally scheduled for June 10 at Madison Square Garden, but that fight fell apart.[30]

Professional boxing record[edit]

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

Personal life[edit]

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.[31] Verdejo was released from hospital on August 19.[32]

Awards[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ @Claressashields. "News". AIBA. Retrieved 2016-03-11. 
  2. ^ http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/boxeo/nota/_/id/2734078/la-omb-clasifica-primero-a-felix-verdejo-en-135-libras (Spanish)
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ @Claressashields. "News". AIBA. Retrieved 2016-03-11. 
  5. ^ Rosa Rosa, Carlos (July 29, 2012). "Verdejo da el primer triunfo". El Nuevo Día. 
  6. ^ "Rio to witness the highest quality of boxing". Aroundtherings.com. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2016-03-11. 
  7. ^ Jake Donovan (2013-12-30). "BScene Awards: 2013 Prospect of The Year, Felix Verdejo". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  8. ^ Kevin Lole (2013-12-23). "Who is boxing's prospect of the year?". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  9. ^ "Verdejo injures hand, pulls out of Lopez fight". Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  10. ^ "Verdejo at home for April 25 fight vs. Lopez". Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  11. ^ "Lightweight Verdejo to fight Lopez on Feb. 28". Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  12. ^ "Felix Verdejo Stops Marco Antonio Lopez in 5". 2015-04-26. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  13. ^ "Verdejo outclasses Najera to remain unbeaten". Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  14. ^ Christ, Scott (2015-12-12). "truTV FNKO results: Felix Verdejo smashes Josenilson dos Santos in two". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  15. ^ "Felix Verdejo vs. William Silva on February 27th at MSG – Boxing News". 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  16. ^ Sherdog.com. "Felix Verdejo Dominates William Silva". Sherdog. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  17. ^ "Felix Verdejo to face Jose Luis Rodriguez on Saturday – Ring TV". 2016-04-13. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  18. ^ "Verdejo to fight replacement Rodriguez April 16". Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  19. ^ "Felix Verdejo defeats Jose Luis Rodriguez". Boxing News. 17 April 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2016. 
  20. ^ a b "Felix Verdejo vs. Juan Jose Martinez on June 11 on HBO – Boxing News". 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  21. ^ "Lightweight Verdejo to face Martinez in June". Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  22. ^ "Lomachenko KO's Martinez for 130-pound title". Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  23. ^ "Felix Verdejo back on track after fifth-round knockout of Juan Jose Martinez". Boxingjunkie. 2016-06-12. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ "Felix Verdejo-Terry Flanagan Eyed By Arum For Pacquiao Card – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  26. ^ "Felix Verdejo announces return Feb. 3 in Puerto Rico – The Ring". The Ring. 2016-12-06. Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  27. ^ "Felix Verdejo, Christopher Diaz to return to action on Feb. 3 – The Ring". The Ring. 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  28. ^ "Felix Verdejo vs. Oliver Flores Set For February 3, UniMas – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  29. ^ "Felix Verdejo Decisions Flores, First Fight After Motorcycle Accident – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-02-04. 
  30. ^ "Felix Verdejo Says He Will Face Terry Flanagan For WBO Title Next - Boxing News". Boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-05-21. 
  31. ^ "Felix Verdejo in Good Conidtion and Was Conscious, Says Diaz – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  32. ^ "Verdejo out of hospital after motorcycle accident". Retrieved 2016-08-14. 

External links[edit]