Saturday, December 09, 2023  |


Felix Verdejo returns; Stiverne-Wilder agreement reached?

Fighters Network
Felix Verdejo (right) poses with Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto at a recent press conference. Many believe that Verdejo will be Puerto Rico's next star. Photo by Chris Farina-Top Rank.

Felix Verdejo (right) poses with Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto at a recent press conference. Many believe that Verdejo will be Puerto Rico’s next star. Photo by Chris Farina-Top Rank.


Undefeated lightweight Felix Verdejo will make his Philadelphia debut against Karim El Ouazghari on Dec. 13, Top Rank Promotions announced on Tuesday.

A talented 21-year-old from Puerto Rico, Verdejo (15-0, 11 knockouts) will face El Ouazghari (16-5-2, 4 KOs) of Barcelona, Spain, in the main event at the 2300 Arena to be televised on UniMas’ “Solo Boxeo Tecate.”

A 2012 Olympian, Verdejo has fought in Puerto Rico, New York, Florida, China and Bethlehem, Pa., since turning pro in Las Vegas. Verdejo is coming off a third-round knockout against Sergio Villanueva on Oct. 4 in Orlando, Fla.

El Ouazghari, 34, has gone 1-3 in his past four fights, being stopped twice. He was knocked out in the fifth round of his last fight by Stephen Ormond in April.

Also on the Verdejo-El Ouazghari will be super middleweight Jesse Hart, 25, against an opponent to be determined.

Hart is trained by his father, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, a former middleweight contender.

“Felix Verdejo and Jesse Hart are two of the best young prospects in the Top Rank stable,” said Carl Moretti, vice president of boxing operations at Top Rank, the event’s co-promoter with J Russell Peltz. “We are sure the fight fans of Philadelphia will feel the same after watching their performances.”

Note: Quotes taken from a release



The manager of heavyweight Deontay Wilder corroborated an assertion by WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman that “a definitive agreement” has been reached for a bout against titleholder Bermane Stiverne. Sulaiman’s release stated that a purse bid has been canceled, adding that the fight will “take place as soon as possible.”

No date or location has been determined and neither Golden Boy Promotions, on behalf of Wilder, nor Stiverne’s promoter, Don King, have made an announcement on the match-up.

But Jay Deas, Wilder’s co-manager with Shelly Finkel, said Finkel and Wilder’s advisor, Al Haymon, informed him of the development “a couple of days ago.”

“I read that Mauricio stated that the parties had come to an agreement and that there wouldn’t be a purse bid, and then I heard from Al and Shelly that negotiations are going well, and that they hoped to be able to announce some specifics next week,” said Deas.

“They’re still going over some items but there will be no purse bid. They’ve got an agreement and now, it’s just a matter of wrapping up the particulars. That was a couple of days ago.”

Note: Sulaiman’s quotes taken form a release



Sharif Bogere expects to see fear in the eyes of Fernando Garcia during today’s weigh-in. Then again, Bogere said he always sees anxiety in his opponents.

“I just can’t wait to step on the scales and then after that, the staredown,” said Bogere, 26, who’s is 5-1 with five knockouts in his past six fights. “There will be nerves. It always happens. That’s why I can’t wait until the staredown.”

Nicknamed “The Lion,” Bogere (25-1, 17 knockouts) will be after his third straight victory against Garcia (30-6-2, 18 KOs) at the Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Mass on a “Golden Boy Live!” show to be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes.

In his lone setback in March 2013, Bogere lost by unanimous decision to WBA lightweight beltholder Richar Abril. Bogere-Garcia is being contested at a contracted weight of 137 pounds.

“I’m down to weight. I’m going to be right at about 137,” said Bogere, who is coming off a third-round stoppage win over Miguel Zamudio in June. “I just can’t wait to get on the scale and feel fresh again. I’m really feeling my energy.”

Entitled “Monster Brawl,” the card is being headlined by a welterweight bout between Danny O’Connor, a southpaw from Framingham, Mass., and Andrew Farmer of Front Royal, Va. In the televised opener, Irish standout Jason Quigley will meet Thomas Gifford in a four-round middleweight bout.

Also, light heavyweight D’Mitrius Ballard of Washington, D.C., will fight an opponent to be determined, and the six-round swing bout matches Mark DeLuca and Ryan Davis.

In other bouts, super middleweight Paul Gonsalves will meet Sergio Cabrera, welterweight Michael McLaughlin takes on Wayne Harnoise, and unbeaten heavyweight Julian Pollard faces John Orr. In the opening bout, Washington, D.C. lightweight Lamont Roach Jr. of Washington will battle Jose Sanchez.



RING light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson is nicknamed “Superman” and his Haitian countryman, Schiller Hyppolite (13-1, 9 KOs) calls himself, “Batman.”

A 28-year-old super middleweight who, like, Stevenson, lives in Montreal, Canada, Hyppolite has won eight consecutive fights, seven of them by stoppage, since falling by split decision to Francy Ntetu in November 2012.

“I was undisciplined when I lost that fight. I was not doing well at that time but I had an opportunity to spar for a month with Tavoris Cloud and that changed my life. I started doing what I was supposed to be doing to accomplish my goals in the ring,” said Hyppolite.

“That changed everything and now I work hard every day in the gym. I’m definitely ‘The Next One’ out of Canada. I work so hard that I can’t see why I won’t be the next great fighter from up here.”

Promoted by Camille Estephan of Eye of the Tiger Management, Hyppolite will headline a Nov. 21 card against Alan Campa (10-1, 7 KOs) at Colisee Cardin, Sorel-Tracy, in Quebec, Canada.

Hyppolite said he not only follows Stevenson but Haitians WBC heavyweight titleholder Bermane Stiverne and former RING light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal as well.

“I’m glad to be with other Haitian fighters here who have done so well in boxing. Today, when people hear about a Haitian boxer, they know he’s a good fighter. I figure in a year, a year-and-a-half, I will be fighting for a world title,” said Hyppolite.

“I know that Camille will get me a world title shot as long as I keep winning and improving. I don’t really care which world champion I fight but if I had a choice, I’d want to fight [RING 168-pound champion] Andre Ward because he’s the best super middleweight in the world right now.”