2012 Puerto Rican Olympian Felix Verdejo (4-0, 3 KOs) scored an explosive second-round technical knockout over Martin Quezada (2-4, 2 KOs) in a scheduled four-round junior lightweight bout at Coliseo Ruben Zayas Montañez in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Verdejo, 19, came out of the corner on fire, boxing aggressively with bounce in his legs, working combinations to the head and body. Quezada tried to keep as brave a posture as he could, but was dropped on a 1-2-left uppercut combination at the bell to end round one.
The minute rest wasn’t enough for Quezada to recover, however. Shortly into round two, a 1-2 combination dropped him again. He rose quickly but the referee waved it off at the 51-second mark.
Verdejo, whose amateur record was an impressive 104-17, made it to the quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympics before losing to eventual gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko, of Ukraine. This was Verdejo’s second straight time fighting in his native Puerto Rico, after debuting in December in Las Vegas during Pacquiao-Marquez IV fight week. He followed that up with a first-round knockout at Madison Square Garden a month later underneath the Orlando Salido-Mikey Garcia WBO featherweight title fight.
Carl Moretti, Vice President of Boxing Operations at Verdejo’s promoter, Top Rank, told RingTV that Verdejo will be back in action on April 13 at Radio City Music Hall in New York underneath the Nonito Donaire-Guillermo Rigondeaux junior featherweight unification bout before returning to action in Puerto Rico on May 18. Plans are also underway to have Verdejo participate in the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York on June 9 before giving him a rest.
The bout was televised on Solo Boxeo by Spanish-language station UniMás.
In the night’s main event, Jonathan “La Bomba” Gonzalez (12-0, 11 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, scored a third-round technical knockout of Joseph Rios (13-8-2, 4 KOs), of San Antonio. Referee Luis Pabon stopped it at the 1:01 mark due to a cut on Rios’ left eye. It was Rios’ first stoppage defeat.
The bout was an exhibition of technical boxing through the first two rounds until a right hook near the end of the second stunned Rios. Sensing an opportunity, Gonzalez picked up the pace in the beginning of the third, landing a solid southpaw left cross that opened up the gash.
Photo: Peter Amador-Top Rank
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to The Ring magazine and GMA News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.