Undefeated Felix “Diamante” Verdejo, Emmanuel “Manny” Rodriguez and John Karl Sosa will be honored by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) as the Puerto Rican WBO Boxing Prospects Right Now in an event that which also will honor three young amateur boxers.
The award show, that the WBO will be held for the first time in 2014 and is expected to take place every year, is this Wednesday, January 29, at 10:00 a.m. at the Restaurante El Zipperle in Hato Rey, San Juan.
“We had a vote with journalists of the leading media in Puerto Rico and of a 12 unbeaten prospects of the island with 10 or less fights, were elected Felix Verdejo, Emmanuel Rodriguez and John Karl Sosa as the top prospects today”, WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel said. “With these activities we are looking to motivate these young fighters to keep as a good fighters, but also in their lives out of the ring and become examples for society and children”.
Verdejo (10-0, 7 KOs), considered one of the top prospects in boxing today, coming off a big win by KO in the first round last Saturday, January 25, in New York, over Lauro Alcantar. The 20 year old junior lightweight is a 2012 London Olympic Games Puerto Rican boxer who made his professional debut in 2012 and in 2013 made eight bouts, wining six by knockout and two by decision. The super flyweight Rodriguez (8-0, 5 KOs) is a gold medalist at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and silver at the 2010 World Junior Amateur Boxing Championship. He also debuted in 2012 and in 2013 won his five fights, three of them by the KO. The 21 year old Rodriguez beat world title challenger David Quijano in his last fight. Sosa (8-0, 6 KOs), a 21 year old junior welterweight, won by KO over Alexis Peña in his last bout last year in Dallas. Sosa debuted in 2012 and last year won his four fights, two by knockout.
Meanwhile, the WBO will award the amateur boxers Kiria Tapia, Danielito Zorrilla and Henry Lebron.
“We added three amateur boxers in this event because we want them to continue focused and also because we know that many of these young fighters are the future medalists and representatives of Puerto Rico in the World”, Valcarcel said.
Tapia, who fight at 132 pounds, is the main figure of female boxing in Puerto Rico. She won gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, and has won multiple gold medals in international championships. Zorrilla, a 140 pounds fighter, was the Puerto Rico National Champion in 2012 and won a gold medals in the International Olympic Cup and the International José “Cheo” Aponte Tournament, also won bronze at the Pan American Championships in Chile and participated at the Elite World Championship in Kazakhstan. Lebron is a youth who fight at 123 pounds and was the Puerto Rico National Champion in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He won a gold medal at the Pan American Junior Championships in Ecuador and bronze at the World Junior Boxing Championships in Ukraine.
The six fighters will be awarded by the WBO with a cash prize, clothes and training equipment, and a plaque to commemorate the feat.