For the past 16 months, Felix Verdejo has been the victim of bad luck, but now looks to bounce back next year at Madison Square Garden.
The undefeated Puerto Rican boxer will make his return to the ring on the March 17 ESPN boxing card at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. It will be the first time Verdejo has fought since February when he defeated Oliver Flores via unanimous decision.
Verdejo's career has been on a downward spiral since the second half of 2016. Verdejo was the mandatory challenger to the WBO lightweight title and was in negotiations to fight Terry Flanagan for the title, but a motorcycle accident forced Verdejo out of action for the remainder of the year.
After the win over Flores, Verdejo was set to fight Flanagan earlier this year, but Flanagan suffered an injury which canceled the fight. Verdejo was going to fight in September on ESPN, but Verdejo got injured again. Verdejo's constant injury problems and lack of any progression in his career forced the WBO to not only take away Verdejo's mandatory challenger status, but also drop Verdejo to almost out of the governing body's top 10 in its lightweight rankings.
Ricky Marquez, Verdejo's manager, told El Nuevo Dia that there are better things in store for the 24-year-old boxer and that he has learned from his past mistakes.
"There are situations that happen, injuries occur. But thank God he has learned from those experiences and he's working in the manner that he should: quietly and doing what needs to be done. 2018 will be much better," Marquez said.
The March 17 card will be headlined by the vacant WBC junior welterweight championship match between Jose Ramirez and Amir Imam.