Nothing like a stoppage to perk em up, get em back on your parade float.
Felix Verdejo has looked fine, I thought, quite competent a professional his last couple times out. But if he's to be a star, carry the pride flag as the “It” boxer from Puerto Rico, “fine” isn't sufficient.
On Saturday night at the Madison Square Garden Theater, the 23 year old Verdejo looked like he was a bit re energized, like he'd undergone a mental reset. In round five, after, yes, a good deal of lateral and backward movement which irks some of those who want him to be a predatory bomber type, he hurt Mexican foe Juan Jose Martinez with a right.
He smelled blood and then drew it. Verdejo hopped to action, basted the 23-3 Mexican, wildly, missing many as he sought to end it ASAP. Martinez slipped shots but didn't answer back, and the ref hopped in with 22 seconds remaining.
Verdejo's stock, which had slipped, nosed up and he went to 22-0. He keeps the WBO Latino lightweight crown.
He and Vasyl Lomachenko didn't sell out the joint but HBO analyst Max Kellerman was moved to say Top Rank's young gun is “a hot ticket again.”
Blow by blow man noted Jim Lampley noted he missed a bunch in his final flurry and Roy Jones cited Rome needing time to flourish.
Agreed…I think we can all embrace more patience, come back and re examine the kid in five fights, and he might then be where you want him to be now.
I have an idea for his next fight; a step up test against Hank Lundy.