Sunday, February 05, 2023  |



Jesse Hart, Felix Verdejo top Philadelphia card




Undefeated super middleweight prospect Jesse Hart will face Samuel Miller on Dec. 13 at 2300 Arena in his native Philadelphia to be televised as part of Top Rank Promotions’ “Solo Boxeo Tecate” series on UniMas.

The card will also feature Puerto Rican lightweight prospect Felix Verdejo (15-0, 11 knockouts) in his his Philadelphia debut against Karim El Ouazghari (16-5-2, 4 KOs), of Barcelona, Spain.

The 25-year-old son of former middleweight contender Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, Jesse Hart (15-0, 12 KOs) is coming off last month’s fourth round knockout of Puerto Rico’s Robert Acevedo that followed a sixth-round stoppage of Shujaa El Amin in June.

Trained by his father, the 6-foot-2 Hart will be in his fifth fight of the year against Miller (28-9, 25 KOs), having also unanimously decisioned Derrick Findley in January and Samuel Clarkson in April.

“It feels beyond good, beyond tremendous,” said Hart. “It feels wonderful to be able to perform in front of my hometown fans.”

Eugene Hart posted a career mark of 30-9-1 that included 28 knockouts, a victory over Sugar Ray Seales, a draw and a loss to Bennie Briscoe and setbacks against Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, Willie “The Worm” Monroe, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Vito Antuofermo and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

“My dad had a lot of his big fights at the old Arena in West Philadelphia,” said Hart. “Now I’m in a main fight at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. It’s just wonderful for this to be happening for me.”

Miller, 35, is 4-5 in his past nine bouts, being knocked out four times during that stretch, including in the third round of his last fight against Egor Mekhontsev in September.

Miller’s victories during that time are comprised of three first-round stoppages as well as a third-round knockout of Placido Coneo in August.

A talented A 2012 Olympian,, Verdejo, 21, is coming off last month’s third-round knockout of Sergio Villanueva in Orlando, Fla. and has
fought in Puerto Rico, New York, China and Bethlehem, Pa., since turning pro in Las Vegas.

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.

“We are looking forward to Jesse fighting in front of a sold out hometown crowd,” said Carl Moretti, vice president of boxing operations at Top Rank. “Jesse and Felix Verdejo are two of Top Rank’s best prospects and hopefully, this show will catapult both guys into bigger fights in 2015.”



Middleweights Willie Monroe Jr. (18-1, 6 KOs) and lightweight Petr Petrov (35-4-2, 17 KOs), titlewinners of their respective 2014 “Boxcino” tournament, will be featured in co-main events on Jan. 16 at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

“We are excited to start the year with Willie and Petr on ESPN,” said Artie Pelullo, CEO of Banner Promotions.

“They are coming back to the same venue where they won their titles. This is going to be a big year for both of them and on January 16, 2015, they will continue their quests to become world champions.”

A southpaw, Monroe, 27, is coming off consecutive unanimous decisions wins against previously unbeaten fighters Vitaliy Kopylenko in April and Brandon Adams in May.

Since falling by split decision to Darnell Boone in March 2011, Monroe has won eight consecutive fights, two by stoppage.

Petrov, 31, of Madrid, Spain, has won three straight, his last two victories via knockout, since losing by unanimous decision to Dejan Zlaticanin in April 2013.

Petrov’s past two wins were by fourth-round knockout over Chris Rudd in March and eighth-round stoppage over Fernando Carcamo in May.



Puerto Rican title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos (30-2-2, 20 KOs) had been a consideration for Petrov but has decided to remain in the junior lightweight division, according to Alex Camponovo of Thompson Boxing.

Burgos, 26, of Mexico, is 0-1-2 in his last three bouts and is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Mikey Garcia in a failed bid to earn the WBO’s 130-pound title.

“He’s decided not to face Petrov because that’s not in his division. He didn’t want to go up to 135,” said Camponovo. “We’re looking for something for him at 130 pounds, so hopefully, in the first quarter of 2015, he’ll be busy again.”

Prior to facing Garcia, Burgos had battled to a draw with then-WBO titleholder Roman “Rocky” Martinez in January 2013 as well as a draw with Yakubu Amidu in July 2013.



Three-time Olympian Rau’shee Warren (12-0, 3 KOs) will face an opponent to be determined in a bantamweight bout at Chicago’s UIC Pavillion on Dec. 12, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing announced on Thursday.

Warren, 27, will headline a 14-fight card that will include lightweight Jose Felix Quezada of Chicago, junior middleweight Patryk Szymanski of Warsaw, Poland and junior welterweight Eddie Ramírez of Aurora, Ill. Quezada is 19, Ramirez, 22 and Szymanski, 21.