The co-main event for the evening at the theater of Madison Square Garden featured the man known as the future of Puerto Rican boxing as Felix Verdejo (21-0 with 14 KOs) stepped in to the ring to face Juan Jose Martinez (25-2 with 17 KOs). Even though this was Verdejo’s toughest challenge to this point, it looked like it was an opponent that he could look at little more impressive against. In what looked like a near capacity crowd, Verdejo was expected to finally shine in the bright lights of NYC.
In round one it was actually Martinez that was the aggressive one, coming out moving forward, using the jab and backing up the heavily favored Verdejo. Martinez was hit by really only 1 shot the entire round and we are off with Martinez arguably winning the 1st round. However in round 2, Verdejo caught Martinez with a couple combinations that stopped the constant pursuit of Martinez. Although Martinez continued to come forward, Verdejo clearly won the round.
In round 3, Verdejo started to use his jab more, more importantly, he used his jab to setup some nice crisp right hooks. Martinez started bleeding from the right side of his face and Verdejo started to take over. Round for was the typical activity vs. effectiveness round. Martinez was clearly more active, but Verdejo caught him with the more solid shots. The round could have gone either way, but most had the feeling of a Verdejo round.
Then in the middle of round 5 Verdejo unleash a deadly combination that ended with Martinez staggering against the ropes, Verdejo went in for the kill and about 30 seconds later, Verdejo had finished off the fight as the ref stopped it. Felix Verdejo, the man anointed as the man to carry the torch of Puerto Rican boxing as “The Man” won impressively by TKO at 2:40 of the 5th round.