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William Silva speaks on upcoming fight with Felix Verdejo

William Silva
Chris Farina/Top Rank
Unbeaten Brazilian William Silva tells James Slater how important this fight is for his career

ON February 27th in New York, two unbeaten lightweights will clash in chief support to Terence Crawford’s WBO light-welterweight title defence against Hank Lundy. Puerto Rican sensation Felix Verdejo, 19-0(14) will meet Brazilian William Silva in a match-up that just might result in the fight of the night.

Silva, 23-0 (14) hasn’t attracted the fanfare Verdejo has, yet the 28-year-old was a standout amateur in his homeland – winning gold at the 2004 South American junior championships and a bronze at the 2005 Jose Cheo Aponte tournament, both as a 125-pounder – and Top Rank signed him in July of 2015. And a win over Verdejo will, Silva says, get him one big step closer to challenging for a world title.

Here, the unbeaten contender from Sao Paulo, who is both a tall and physically strong lightweight, speaks exclusively with Boxing News:

Q: First of all, how would you describe your fighting style for those who have not yet seen you box?

William Silva: “I am a quietly confident fighter, who takes advantages of other fighters’ mistakes in the ring. I look for my opportunities and I take advantage of them in a fight. I have a good defence and I have been called a classic boxer.”

Q: What do you think of Verdejo?

W.S: “Verdejo is a great fighter who I know is going to be tough. This is a tough fight for both of us.”

Q: Who are your boxing heroes?

W.S: “I like Julio Cesar Chavez, Diego Corrales and Miguel Cotto. All are true greats.”

Q: Who is your trainer?

W.S: ” My father, Aluisio Silva.”

Q: What was your amateur record?

W.S: “I had 140 amateur fights. I won 135 of them and lost just five.”

Q: You are very tall for a lightweight at 6-foot, 1-inch. Do you make the weight easily enough?

W.S: “I have to do the work to make the weight, so I do it.”

Q: This fight with Verdejo is your Madison Square Garden debut – are you excited and will you box in the U.S from here on in?

W.S: “I am living a childhood dream [fighting at Madison Square Garden] but at the same time, I am feeling very calm. I will fight wherever Top Rank, who I am contracted with, want me to fight.”

Q: How will you defeat Verdejo and what would a win mean for you?

W.S: “I must seize opportunities as they come in the fight. At the same time, I must make no errors during the fight. This fight is very important for my career, I know a win against Verdejo will move me very close to a world title fight [shot]. Brazil needs a new champion to bring joy to the people. I will bring them this. I feel ready for any challenge and I am ready to become a new world champion.”

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