Maybe this will play out to be the best thing that has happened to young Felix Verdejo.
Still young Felix Verdejo, 24, turns 25 in May, he had a 38-2 guy in front of him for a comeback fight Saturday night at the MSG Theater, on a TopRank card, but c’mon, it wasn’t a mean 38-2.
Antonio Lozado was made to order for Verdejo, who likely could have hopped right quick into a title crack at 135 if he won.
But after nine rounds, Felix was up on two of three cards, and Lozada could win the bout if he took the tenth. Oh did he…
The Mexican, who was a polite stalker thrughout, as Felix backed up, and worked off the back foot, sought to close it out late. He sent the Puerto Rican to the mat, and we wondered if the youngster would make the final bell. He rose, and looked like he had maybe enough energy to last. But Lozada wanted it, and showed it. He kept on walking down Verdejo, who slid left, then right, tried to hear that final bell. Some power shots, a hook, did it land?…and the doc came running up the stairs to end it. 2:37 of the tenth.
The cards saw Felix up 87-84 and 86-85, on two cards, while the other judge saw the Mexican ahead 86-85.
Jaws were dropped and moods were muted among the Top Rank crew after. Brad Goodman told me “I’m speechless. It’s not like this guy wasn’t tailor made for the kid. I don’t know, maybe we want it more than he does!”
He shook his head. “I’m speechless,” the matchmaker repeated.
“I felt like I was hurting him with every punch that I landed, even the jab. In the last round, I just kept on throwing, landing, and hurting him,” said the winner after. And Felix, I noted that he was so classy after losing, he raised Lozada’s hand in the ring. He wasn’t crushed. Should he have been crushed, should he have behaved like it hurt like hell for him to lose? Did that speak to what Goodman said?
“I knew I had the chance to knock him out. I went for everything in the last round,” Lozada said. “Most people thought I couldn’t win this fight, and I shocked a lot of people.”
Indeed; Verdejo is 23-1, Lozada now 39-2.
It is look deep inside time for Felix. He will not be headlining parade shows soon, maybe ever…Will he be able to change his mind up, maybe tweak his game? Do you think he will. Or naw? Talk to me…