Friday, February 03, 2023  |



Felix Verdejo scores highlight-reel KO of Sergio Villanueva


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Undefeated lightweight Felix Verdejo proved in his previous bout he could utilize his boxing skills to win by decision. On Saturday, Verdejo reminded the boxing world that he could still provide a highlight-reel knockout.

Verdejo scored a spectacular third-round knockout against Sergio Villanueva before a packed and partisan crowd at the Bahia Shrine Temple in Orlando, Florida.

The bout topped a Top Rank card and the bout was broadcast live on UniMas.

Verdejo, who won a bronze medal for Puerto Rico in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, was coming off a one-sided eight-round unanimous decision over Oscar Bravo on Aug. 16 in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Verdejo got much-needed experience in that bout against Bravo, proving he could do more than blow out opponents without breaking a sweat.

Villanueva had lost two of three bouts prior to stepping in the ring against Verdejo but he figured to give Verdejo rounds, considering he has only been stopped twice (in Round 7 and Round 8) in his previous 32 bouts.

Villanueva came to fight on Saturday night. He pressed the fight, while Verdejo looked to counter. Verdejo was sparing with his punches, slipping a right or left to the head of Villanueva.

In round 3, Verdejo switched from a conventional stance to that of a southpaw. Verdejo continued to make Villanueva miss, while attempting to counter.

“My corner told me to fight from a southpaw stance,” said Verdejo after the fight. “I was able to catch him.”

After the midway point of the round, Villanueva was able to get on the inside of Verdejo’s guard and tried to throw a punch. Verdejo was able to counter with a well-timed right hook, snapping Villanueva’s head back. Villanueva instantly froze and then fell face-first to the canvas, with the upper part of his body landing on the bottom rope. Villanueva struggled to get up, prompting referee Frank Santore to stop the fight at 1:57 of the round.

Verdejo, who resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico, improves to 15-0, 11 knockouts. Villanueva, from Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, drops to 26-5-2, 13 KOs.


Rodriguez stops Cardona in two

In the “Solo Boxeo Tecate” co-feature bout, super featherweight Gamalier Rodriguez stopped Martin Cardona in the second round of a scheduled eight round bout.

From the opening bell, Rodriguez was the aggressor, putting Cardona on the defensive. With about 30 seconds left in Round 1, Rodriguez dropped Cardona to the canvas with a counter overhand right to the head. Cardona got up and was able to survive the round.

Forty seconds into the Round 2, Rodriguez hurt Cardona with another overhand right hand. Cardona staggered backwards with his back to the ropes, trying to protect himself from the onslaught from Rodriguez. As Cardona attempted to avoid further punishment, referee Sam Burgos saw enough and waved the fight over at 49 seconds.

The Puerto-Rican fighter, who is now unbeaten in his last 18 bouts, improves to 25-2-3, 17 KOs. Cardona, from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, falls to 17-3, 12 KOs.


Diaz stops Camacho

In a scheduled six round swing bout, featherweight Christopher Diaz knocked out Francisco Camacho in Round 4.

Diaz stunned Camacho midway through the first round. Undaunted, Camacho hung in there and was able to connect with a few looping punches.

About 30 seconds into the fourth round, Diaz dropped Camacho with a left hook to the body. Camacho got up, but was dropped again with another left hook to his body. Camacho remained on a knee, spitting out his mouthpiece as referee Sam Burgos counted him out at 55 seconds.

Diaz, from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, goes to 7-0, 5 KOs. Camacho, from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, drops to 2-5-1, 1 KO.


Falcao stops Marcum

Middleweight prospect Esquiva Falcao stopped Austin Marcum in the second round.

Falcao was on the attack, scoring a knockdown in Round 2 with a left hand to the head. Marcum got up, but it was only a matter of time before the Olympic Silver Medalist in the London Games would end the fight. Moments later, Falcao hurt Marcum against the ropes, prompting referee Frank Santore to step in and stop the bout at 1:24.

Falcao, from Vitoria, Brazil, improves to 5-0, 3 KOs. Marcum, from Logan, W.V., falls to 6-6-1, 3 KOs.



Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Salazar covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing