- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Hot-shot junior lightweight prospect Felix Verdejo, a 2012 Puerto Rican Olympian, is set for his first pro bout in his home country.
He's been added to the Feb. 2 card in Bayamon, which is headlined by the return of former featherweight titlist Juan Manuel Lopez, who takes on Aldimar Silva Santos in the 10-round main event at 128 pounds. Verdejo will face Jose Santiago (2-3, 2 KOs) in a scheduled four-rounder at a maximum of 132 pounds.
Verdejo (2-0, 1 KO) was added to the card after coming through his fight unscathed this past Saturday night in New York on the Mikey Garcia-Orlando Salido undercard. Verdejo destroyed Tomi Archambault in 21 seconds, landing just two punches in the fight -- a left to the body and a left hook upstairs that drilled the overmatched Archambault.
But the crowd -- with a lot of Puerto Ricans -- loved it. Since Verdejo took zero punches, adding him to the Feb. 2 card was a no-brainer for co-promoters Top Rank and PR Best Boxing.
Verdejo turned pro in December on a Las Vegas card during the high-profile Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV fight week. Top Rank then took him to New York so the Puerto Rican fans could get a look at him, and now
Verdejo is having his first fight in Puerto Rico.
That's the way to build the profile of a top prospect.