Former blue-chip prospect and current cautionary tale Felix Verdejo will make his first appearance since falling to Antonio Lozada in March next month, facing Yardley Armenta Cruz in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico on November 10th.
Verdejo (23-1, 15 KO) represented Puerto Rico in Athens and looked poised to become the territory’s next big star, earning numerous accolades as he rose through the ranks. Persistent injuries, general inactivity, and weak competition slowed his momentum to a crawl, however, and after missing out on a title shot against Terry Flanagan, “Diamante” was thoroughly battered by Lozada.
Cruz (24-11, 14 KO) has been knocked out by a who’s who of fighters at or around lightweight, including Mark Magsayo, Alberto Machado, Ryan Martin, Mario Barrios, and most recently Richard Commey. This is basically a time attack for Verdejo to see how he compares.
The lightweight division has gotten pretty damn crowded, meaning Verdejo will have to put on some truly special performances to reassert himself as someone worth following. Let’s see if he’s got what it takes.