The blue-chip prospect from San Juan abode on direction for the fame hes been preordained for with a fifth-round TKO of Mexicos Juan Jose Martinez
The fistic pedigree of Puerto Rico is almost unthinkably robust for the purposes of an island smaller than Connecticut in both sizing and person. The US territory has caused slews of world champions since boxing was legalized there in 1927, among other issues Carlos Ortz, Edwin Rosario, Esteban DeJess, Wilfred Bentez, Wilfredo Gmez, Flix Trinidad and dozens more.
The most recent proponent of that proud tradition was Miguel Cotto, who two years ago grew the only Puerto Rican fighter to capture nature deeds in four weight first-class when he retired Sergio Martnez at Madison Square Garden to prevail the lineal middleweight championship. That distinguished Cottos ninth appearance at the venerate Manhattan arena where he regularly headlined during the course of its weekend of the Puerto Rican Day parade, selling more than 150,000 combined tickets.
But with the 35 -year-old Cotto in the final deed of a decorated profession after giving the belt to Canelo lvarez last-place descend, it shows his successor as Puerto Ricos biggest starring may be on the horizon in the lithe form of Flix Verdejo.
The blue-chip prospect from San Juan remained on route for the fame hes been preordained for Saturday with a fifth-round TKO of Mexicos Juan Jos Martinez at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. The 23 -year-old lightweight closed the prove by connecting on 24 of 40 power hits in the final round, including a heat-seeking claim that communicated his antagonist careening into the ropes, stimulating the referee, Michael Ortega, to occur at the 2:47 mark.
Verdejo( 22 -0, 15 KOs) has examined the place since Top Rank signed him to a lucrative bonus out of the London Olympics: a handsome boxer-puncher with a megawatt smile, magnetic temperament and geniu to burn. Yet hed participated Saturdays contended his third on HBO coming off a pair of uneven actions that realise him pushed the interval, inducing inquiries over his feel of importance and finishing kicking. Hed even acknowledged to a relapse of hunger and concentration around those jaunts, which only elevated the bets of Saturdays bout.
I came here knowing my profession is highly dependent on this battle, Verdejo said subsequently through a translator. We had a lot of push. We civilized with mas of devotion in the gym, and I came to give it all in the ring as I did tonight.
I failed focus, distractions that every young man has, but now were concentrates on my career.
While Verdejos strifes had come in trying to crack the code against defensive-minded boxers, Martinez was a volume puncher whose style offered endless a chance for the Puerto Rican to counter. Simply gave, “hes been” made to order.
Now, as Verdejo closes in on a world name fire with the grooming process almost complete, often will journey on whether Verdejo can handle the pressure of being earmarked as the next Puerto Rican star.
I want to fight the best, he said. Thats all I want.
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