Wednesday, October 24, 2018  |

News

Felix Verdejo, Christopher Diaz to return to action on Feb. 3

Photo by: Naoki Fukuda
23
Dec

Lightweight contender Felix Verdejo finally has an opponent for his Feb. 3 clash.

The unbeaten Verdejo will fight former 130-pound title challenger Oliver Flores, of Nicaragua, in a 10-round bout at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Top Rank Promotions announced Friday morning.

Also fighting on the Top Rank card will be unbeaten featherweight Christopher Diaz. He will square off against Efrain Esquivias.

Both fights will air on UniMas, beginning at 11 p.m. ET/ PT.

Verdejo (22-0, 15 knockouts) has not fought since stopping Juan Jose Martinez at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City on June 11.

The 23-year-old Verdejo was scheduled to fight WBO lightweight titleholder Terry Flanagan on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas but was injured in a motorcycle accident in Puerto Rico on Aug. 6. Verdejo was treated for head trauma and lacerations to his face and left arm.

Verdejo, who is ranked No. 8 by THE RING magazine, is the mandatory challenger to Flanagan, who successfully defended his title last month with an eighth round TKO over Orlando Cruz.

A sellout crowd is expected at in San Juan, which is Verdejo’s hometown.

Flores (27-2-2, 17 KOs) had won four bouts in a row before being stopped in his most recent fight on Dec. 31, 2015, at the hands of then-WBA junior lightweight titleholder Takashi Uchiyama.

Diaz (19-0, 11 KOs) won a hard-fought eight-round unanimous decision over Fernando Vargas in his most recent bout on Nov. 18.

The 22-year-old from nearby Barranquitas has developed a large following on the island and has fought on numerous fight cards with Verdejo.

Esquivias (17-5-1, 10 KOs), a former National Golden Gloves champion, has lost three straight bouts since his upset win over Rafael Marquez in September of 2013.

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

 

 

Struggling to locate a copy of RING magazine? Try here or…

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of RING magazine by clicking the banner or here. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page. On the cover this month: the recently retired all-time great Bernard Hopkins