Boxing Notebook: Verdejo Defeated; Ramirez Crowned Champ • Latino Sports


Boxing Notebook: Verdejo Defeated; Ramirez Crowned Champ


New York: Verdejo May Be Out-  After another lackluster performance, Felix Verdejo the promising lightweight from San Juan,who was supposed to be the next Miguel Cotto, was stopped at 2:37 of the 10th and final round Saturday night at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Though he was ahead on the judges scorecards before going down against Antonio Lozada Jr. (39-2, 33 KOs) of Tijuana, it was seen on the ESPN/Top Top Rank televised card that Verdejo is a defeated fighter.

Defeated and regarding as to where does the 24-year old, a  former amateur standout, go from here? Despite the scores, Verdejo (23-1, 15 KOs) sustained his first loss and is a defeated fighter after a comeback. He missed  13 months due to injuries and was severely hurt from injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident in Puerto Rico last year.

A source at Top Rank said, “He is not the same fighter and appears he doesn’t want it.” While other reports state that Verdejo, who was going to be promoted like Cotto, has lacked with the training and playing with disaster in Puerto Rico. Take it as you read it but it sounds like this is a damaged fighter who once was on his way to stardom.

That same Top Rank official said this could have been Verdejos’ last fight under their banner. Verdejo could not be reached for comment as he was sent to a hospital for observation. The same source said that Verdejo is under contract with Top Rank and this week a meeting will be set to discuss his future.with his managers and with promoter Bob Arum.

Verdejo circled the ring and despite generating points from the judges it was obvious there was no impact with his jab and punches. This was a promising and potential superstar with Top Rank and the promotion was planning to provide a similar marketing approach as they did with Miguel Cotto.

But the events of the past year have culminated as a result of this latest loss. It wasn’t a good feeling seeing Verdejo go down in the final minutes of the fight and the vast supporters in the Garden Theater stood in disbelief.

It also resembled the sudden and quick fall of another Top Rank fighter. Recall Juan Manuel “JuanMa, the former world champion in two weight classes, who represented Puerto Rico as an amateur standout, also had a quick decline.

The difference? Felix Verdejo never achieved that championship status and this first loss could be his final hurrah. A sad story of a fighter for sure and how fortunes can quickly change for a fighter in the sport.

Ramirez and Iman: Possible fight of the year candidate and a slugfest that went the distance is how to describe the slugfest for 12-rounds that went the right way for Jose Ramirez who became the newest champion among a long list of Latino fighters. One punch after another and Amir Imam fought the 12th-round with one eye after getting hit early by a Ramirez punch. The unanimous decision gave Ramirez, a 2012 Olympian, the vacant 140-pound WBC title that was vacated by Terence Crawford who moved up to 147.

The title fight was the 2,000th in the 55-year old history of the World Boxing Council. The fight did not disappoint with action from the first round. Arum is looking to get the title unified and there are a number of options with Ramirez Including a possible fight with mandatory challenger, undefeated Regis Prograis.

‘“I came here to see Ramirez and of course here to make my case and get the belt,” said Profrais who watched Ramirez from ringside.

Prograis is property of promoter Lou DiBella and the PBC management group, hence with boxing politics there would have to be some intense movement to get that fight signed and a venue that will be acceptable for both sides.  Arum did say he met with DiBella earlier this week and talks would be ongoing.

One judge had the fight 115-113, another 117-111 and a third 120-108 for Ramirez, who was trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach and used the inside approach. That last score for Ramirez meant he took every round but as subjective as ringside scoring can be, Imam took at least five rounds.

Said Ramirez, 22-,0, 16 KOs, an immigrant from Mexico, “Amir is a great fighter and he came well prepared. That’s why we gave the fans a great fight.”

More Of The Undercard :  Christopher Diaz the promising Top Rank Super Featherweight from Barranquitas Puerto Rico remained undefeated at 23-0-15 KOs after his opponent Braulio Rodriguez of La Romana Dominican Republic could not continue at 0:28 of round four because of a bad right hand that was diagnosed after the fight as broken. At time of the stoppage judges at ringside had the fight 2-1 for Diaz.  The scheduled 10-round bout was the first fight for Rodriguez since December of 2016.

In a bout scheduled for eight rounds lightweight Jose Pedraza of Cidra Puerto Rico improved to 23-1,12 KOs in taking the unanimous decision over Jose Luis Rodriguez, 26-12.1 of Monterrey Mexico. Pedraza was the skilled fighter in using the jab and connecting on his punches that scored points with the judges at ringside.

And 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KO’s) won the vacant WBC interim light heavyweight title with a 12-round decision over Mehdi Amar, 34-6-2, 16 KOs.

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