NONE of the injuries sustained by Felix Verdejo in his recent motorcycle accident are perceived to be “a threat to the life or career” of the undefeated Puerto Rican contender, said Top Rank representative Gardy Lopez to El Nuevo Dia in Puerto Rico.
Verdejo’s accident came as a shock to his family, friends and fans, and all waited eagerly for an update that would hopefully prove to be favorable.
While the situation seems to be stable, reports of his injuries have varied widely, ranging from only a few scratches on his face and body, to the fighter suffering multiple cuts on his head that needed stitches, and head trauma requiring additional testing.
Notwithstanding the ambiguity of these accounts, WBO President Paco Valcarcel has decided to pump the brakes on the mandate for Top Rank and Frank Warren to reach an agreement to match current WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan against Verdejo, the number one contender. “Everything is on hold. But we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We need to wait and see what happens,” said Valcarcel according to Carlos Narvaez at El Vocero.
Top Rank chief Bob Arum seemed eager to schedule the fight as the supporting feature to Manny Pacquiao’s November 5th event but all sides will now be forced to play the waiting game until more is known about Verdejo’s prognosis.
As previously reported by Boxing News’ George Gigney, Flanagan’s team was actively working on a unification fight against WBC Champion Dejan Zlaticanin as recently as last week.
With the WBO’s announcement that the Flanagan-Verdejo order is now on hold, the Zlaticanin fight now seems poised to re-enter the picture as a serious possibility for the Manchester native.
The lightweight division has been making waves of late and fans are expecting it to shake out over the coming months with multiple match-ups consisting of the top fighters in the weight class either being made or seriously discussed.
The September 24th bout between Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares will undoubtedly prompt the crowning of the new king of the division, with Flanagan firmly at his heels if he were to win a fight this fall against either Zlaticanin or a recovered Verdejo.
Bring into the mix a re-invigorated Mikey Garcia, undefeated Cuban standout Rances Barthelemy, and possible moves up in weight by Vasyl Lomachenko, and brawlers like Orlando Salido and Roman Martinez, and you have one of the most intriguing divisions in all of boxing.
Fans of the weight class will relish these next eighteen months but, for the moment, let us all wish Felix Verdejo a speedy recovery and safe return to the ring.