Sunday, September 24, 2023  |



Will Madera regrets tactics against Felix Verdejo, vows to bounce back

Felix Verdejo wasted no time in taking out Madera.
Fighters Network

Will Madera has spoken out for the first time since suffering the first loss of his professional career.

The 29-year-old lightweight contender was knocked out in the first round by Felix Verdejo on July 16 in the main event of a Top Rank on ESPN card at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

In the days leading up to the fight, Madera had told The Ring that he was confident of a win over Verdejo.

“I’m a great body puncher, and I think I’ll take the wind out of him and wear him down over the course of the fight,” he stated. “I expect to control the fight from the jump. We’ll see what kind of shape he’s in on fight night.”

Madera now acknowledges his overconfidence cumbered his performance.

“Honestly, I was way too aggressive in that first round,” he recalled. “I have no excuses. Felix fought a tremendous fight, and he capitalized on my mistakes.

“You can’t be making those type of mistakes against a high IQ fighter like Verdejo – I certainly did. I walked right into an uppercut, and that’s what started everything.”

Madera (15-1-3, 8 knockouts) told The Ring that he planned to jump on Verdejo from the opening bell, which is not how he fights. Furthermore, the native of Albany, New York, felt that Puerto Rico’s Verdejo had lost that competitive fire.

“I know that I said I wanted to get off to a better start compared to my previous fights,” Madera conceded. “But I got way too careless. The game plan was to feel him out the first round and wear him down with precise body shots throughout the fight. I didn’t think he had that in him.”

A single father of six children, four boys and two girls, Madera will spend the next several weeks relaxing with them, and then it is back to the gym.

“They were really upset about me losing,” Madera continued. “I want to redeem myself. Hopefully I can get another fight by the fall. I want to work my way back up the ladder. This loss will not change my career. If anything it is going to make me a better fighter.”

If the opportunity comes again, Madera would be interested in another fight with the 27-year-old Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs).

“If I can get work my way back up to the top of the division, then I would love a rematch.”