Thursday’s Top Rank on ESPN card has become the second disrupted card of the week, with Felix Verdejo facing Will Madera at the MGM Grand Conference Center, Las Vegas.
The bill topper was scheduled to be the return of Miguel Marriaga in Las Vegas, but the Colombian’s ten round Featherweight bout against Yap was abandoned, with Yap weighing in a near nine pounds over the agreed 128 pound limit at 136.7 pounds.
Marriaga has been frustrated yet again in 2020, after seeing a World title shot against Shakur Stevenson also taken away from him due to the COVID-19 pandemic taking hold.
This cancellation is hot on the heels of Tuesday’s main event between Jamel Herring and Jonathan Oquendo for the WBO Super Featherweight title, which had to be shelved due to a positive Coronavirus test returned by Herring. Herring has since taken to Social Media to prove that a follow up test came back negative.
Thursday’s show goes ahead regardless with Verdejo’s clash with Madera elevated to main event status in a ten round Lightweight contest.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) July 15, 2020
Puerto Rico’s Felix Verdejo (26-1, 16 KOs) was once touted for big things, as a former amateur standout having competed at the 2012 London Olympics where he was stopped in his quest for a medal by the superlative Vasyl Lomachenko in the last eight.
His professional career has plateaued though somewhat since a shock 2018 defeat. The 27-year-old was stunned by Antonio Lozada Jr back in March 2018, when ahead on two scorecards going into the tenth and final round.
He was then dropped and stopped with less than 30 seconds of the contest remaining.
Verdejo was due to challenge the then WBO Lightweight champion, Terry Flanagan in London in 2017, but the Manchester man pulled out with a leg injury.
The former WBO Latino titlist was due to face Lozada Jr as a replacement opponent, but he suffered an injury himself, meaning that when he finally faced the Mexican, he had been away from the ring for some 13 months.
He is unbeaten in three starts since his sole career defeat, and “El Diamanté” has gone the full ten rounds in his last two outings.
Opposing Verdejo will be the undefeated New Yorker, Will Madera (15-0-3, 8 KOs). Madera has three draws on his slate over six, eight and ten rounds, and has fought limited and nondescript opposition across the USA and Canada.
His most recent appearance was in January this year, with a second round stoppage Edgar Ramirez. Verdejo will be looking to shine here, and a stoppage win is surely the aim.
Appearing on the undercard is Dallas-based Mexican, Alexis del Bosque (17-5, 9 KOs) who is on a four-fight winning streak since a split decision loss to Damon Allen over eight rounds in March 2018.
He meets John Vincent Moralde (23-3, 13 KOs), who was defeated by now WBO Super Featherweight champion Jamel Herring in September 2018.
Bosque was scheduled to face Joseph Ardono on June 23, however his opponent pulled out through illness on the undercard of Andrew Moloney’s shock World title defeat to Joshua Franco.
Heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson (4-0, 4 KOs), who sparred Tyson Fury in the lead up to his victory over Deontay Wilder in February, returns after his proposed bout on the undercard of Carlos Takam’s victory over Jerry Forrest last week was postponed.
Elsewhere, unbeaten Lightweight Martino Jules (9-0, 2 KOs) tackles Tajikistan’s Aleem Jumakhonov (8-2-2 4 KOs).
Undefeated Californian Welterweight Ector Madera (6-0, 3 KOs) faces Adrian Valdovinos (5-0-1, 4 KOs), whilst Puerto Rico’s Felix Verdejo (26-1, 16 KOs) clashes with Will Madera (15-0-3, 8 KOs) in a Lightweight battle.
At 168lbs, Genc Pilana (8-1-1, 4 KOs) faces Texan Raphael Igbokwe (14-2, 6 KOs) and Kenny Davis (2-2-1) meets Eduardo Sanchez (2-2) at 135lbs.