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Felix Verdejo to face Will Madera in July 16 ESPN main event

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The 27-year-old Verdejo has his opponent for next week.

Terence Crawford v Amir Khan Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Puerto Rican lightweight Felix Verdejo, once expected to be a top star but still nowhere near it after nearly eight years in the pro game, is set to return July 16, and now he has his opponent for an ESPN main event.

Verdejo (26-1, 16 KO) will be facing Will Madera (15-0-3, 8 KO), according to ESPN.com. It will be a 10-round bout, and Verdejo’s second under acclaimed trainer Ismael Salas, following a Jan. 18 decision win over Manny Rojas.

Verdejo will be the favorite here, as he has been in every pro fight he’s had. Madera is a 29-year-old fighter from Albany, New York, unbeaten on small cards, but with a trio of draws. You may have seen him on ShoBox in Feb. 2019, where he scored a minor upset over Thomas Mattice via eight-round decision. It was a competitive but deserved win where Madera started fast and then hold on for the victory.

The July 16 ESPN event was originally supposed to feature Eleider Alvarez vs Joe Smith Jr in a light heavyweight main event, with Andrew Cancio in the co-feature, but has been totally reshuffled due to Alvarez coming up with an injury, and Cancio having two (2) opponents turned down by Nevada.

Miguel Marriaga will be in the co-feature now, but still doesn’t have an opponent named.