Felix Verdejo picked up his second straight win and the first significant win he’s scored since his March 2018 loss to Antonio Lozada Jr, outpointing Bryan Vasquez over 10 rounds in a lightweight bout on the Crawford-Khan undercard.
Verdejo (25-1, 16 KO) won on scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 98-92. BLH had the fight 96-94 and 98-92 for Verdejo, the 25-year-old Puerto Rican who was once seen as the successor to Miguel Cotto as Puerto Rico’s top boxing star, but has sort of fizzled over the last few years.
Reviews of Verdejo’s performance were mixed. While he did deserve the win, there also didn’t seem to be anything particularly special about his performance. ESPN analyst Tim Bradley suggested that Verdejo could use a trainer switch, which may well be the case. But it also just might be that Verdejo is who he is.
Vasquez (37-4, 20 KO) promised to press Verdejo tonight, and he did. If Verdejo were at a point where any resistance would make him give it up, Vasquez’s effort might have been enough to force that this evening. But Verdejo got through some rougher patches and came out the victor. There were some encouraging things to take away from this win, but the old dream that Verdejo is going to be a superstar in boxing just might not be remotely realistic at this point. Can he fight? Sure. Is he great? It doesn’t look like it.
“It’s a big victory for me and my career,” Verdejo said through a translator after the fight. “We knew he was a warrior coming and he was going to test me. I just had to work on my boxing skills.”
Asked what he wants next, he said, “I’m ready for whatever Top Rank throws my way, but I do want to fight the best.”
Verdejo is in a division where Top Rank has name fighters, including Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez, who fights later on this evening. Lomachenko and Verdejo had a terrific fight in the Olympics, where Verdejo actually did challenge Lomachenko, which was rare.