Felix Verdejo ready to return after successful hand surgery and rehab
After weeks of rehab after surgery to his left hand, Felix Verdejo has secured a return date to the ring.
The unbeaten lightweight will fight on Oct. 31 against Josenilson Dos Santos at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida, it was announced on Monday afternoon.
The 10-round bout will headline a ‘Solo Boxeo Tecate’ telecast on UniMas, beginning at 11 p.m. ET/ PT.
Verdejo is one of Top Rank Promotions’ top young fighters. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist has seen his popularity skyrocket among boxing fans in Puerto Rico and along the East Coast of the United States.
Verdejo (18-0, 13 knockouts) was sidelined after his last fight on June 13, a 10-round unanimous decision win over Ivan Najera in New York City.
A week after the fight, Verdejo traveled to Los Angeles to have bone spurs removed from his left hand. The surgery was a success, allowing Verdejo to spend most of the summer conditioning while he rehabbed his hand.
Verdejo was cleared within the last week to do mitt work, as was evident at an open workout Monday in Kissimmee.
“I’m more than happy to return [to action] here, where I’ve always been treated well,” said Verdejo on Monday. “I’ve wished [in the past that] Florida was one of the places I would fight, along with Puerto Rico and New York.
“Thank God my hand is getting better every day. By the 31st, it should be as strong as ever, which is why I’m crazy to return to the ring healthy and ready to continue giving joy to my fans.”
“Fortunately, Felix’s hand has responded very well to the treatment and therapy sessions after the surgery,” said Carl Moretti, vice president of operations for Top Rank. “[Verdejo] returns to the ring on Oct. 31 before thousands of fans, which [his fan base] continues to grow with each fight. Central Florida is the ideal place for his return.”
The 22-year-old Verdejo has already fought three times as a pro in the Orlando area.
Dos Santos (27-3, 17 KOs), who hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil, has lost two of his last three bouts. He has not fought since being knocked out in the sixth round by Paulus Moses in October of last year.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since Oct. of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also 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