Cleat Geeks

Uppercuts & Count Outs

On the way up…

verdajaoA super talented, 22-year-old lightweight is making serious waves in the division. His name is Félix Verdejo, and he has all the makings of a future world champion.

Physically, he is built for success. He stands 5’ 9” and has a 71.5” reach, which is great length for the lightweight division. He uses his reach to keep his opponents at bay with a nasty jab. Unlike many boxers, Verdejo really stings his opponents with his jab — he doesn’t just flick it out there in order to measure up his opponents and find his range. His footwork is superb, which allows him to get in-and-out on his opponents. He hits them with quick, powerful shots and then disappears before they are able to counter.

felixVerdejo hails from Puerto Rico, and many boxing fans believe he will be the next great Puerto Rican superstar. Miguel Cotto has been the pride of Puerto Rico for quite a while, and he is still a very good fighter. Cotto showed a tremendous amount of heart and skill in his recent loss to Canelo Álvarez, but a loss is a loss, and Cotto is now 35 years old. Taking these things into consideration, most would agree that his career is on a downward trend.

Verdejo will likely become the pride of Puerto Rican boxing moving forward, and he seems perfectly capable of achieving great heights as a future superstar.

He had a very good amateur career, which was highlighted by him winning the 2012 American Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament. In the 2012 Olympic Games, he barely missed earning a medal. Verdejo lost to Vasyl Lomachenko in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympics, but there is no shame in that amateur loss — Lomachenko is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (including 2012) and is considered to be one the greatest amateur boxers of all time. Lomachenko later told Bob Arum, his promoter, that Félix Verdejo was his toughest amateur opponent (according to Yahoo Sports).

felix-jabVerdejo’s professional record speaks for itself. He’s 19-0 with 14 victories coming by way of knockout. He has yet to be tested as a pro, but that will soon change. Verdejo has a fight at the end of this month against William Silva, who is sporting a 23-0 record.

If Verdejo can get past Silva, he will continue to fly up the ranks in the lightweight division. His nickname is “El Diamante,” which seems fitting because he is getting ready to explode onto the boxing scene.


On the way out…

mosely-victory“Sugar” Shane Mosley used to be one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the sport, but that was back in 2001. Those days are well behind him now.

It really shouldn’t be too hard to understand why Mosley is “on the way out” as a fighter. For starters, he’s 44 years old! To put his age into perspective, he’s old enough to be Canelo Álvarez’s father. As a matter of fact, his son, Shane Mosely, Jr., is the same age as Canelo (25).

Looking at Mosely’s career, it’s easy to see when things started to go off the rails. The Ring anointed him as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world back in 2000 and 2001… and then 2002 came around.

shane-mosley_punchHe lost the first fight of his professional career on Jan. 26, 2002 to Vernon Forrest. Before that fight, Mosely had amassed a 38-0 record. After that loss, things really started going south. He retired on June 5, 2012 after suffering a loss to Canelo Álvarez, but then he reversed course and came out of retirement the very next year to fight Pablo César Cano. He beat Cano and then lost his next fight to Anthony Mundine, which prompted his second retirement. Mosley decided to come out of retirement yet again last summer. Mosely has fought 22 times since 2002, and he’s only won half of those fights.

mosely-beltsObviously, Mosely hasn’t been at the top of the food chain for quite some time, but that doesn’t change the fact that he will go down in boxing history as an all-time great. He’s won world championships in three different weight classes. He’s been a lineal champion as a light middleweight. He’s been a lineal champion as a welterweight, twice. His legacy is cemented.

“Sugar” Shane Mosley most likely only has one fight left in him, and many people have speculated that he may end up facing Miguel Cotto for his grand finale. Both boxers are on the back end of their careers (Cotto is 35 and is coming off of a loss to Canelo). If they do make the fight, it will be a rematch. Cotto won their first meeting back in 2007 via unanimous decision. Therefore, Mosley would have plenty of motivation to win this one before he hangs up his gloves… for good this time.

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