Felix Verdejo Dominates William Silva

By Joseph Santoliquito Feb 27, 2016
NEW YORK, NY -- They stopped Felix Verdejo entering the side doors of the Madison Square Garden Theater. The Puerto Rican superstar just smiled, took off his gold headphones and gladly complied with the security guard’s directions as he walked through the metal detector Saturday night.

Apparently the doormen weren’t completely aware of who Verdejo is. They will. Soon, anyone who follows boxing will instantly recognize the slick, polished lightweight’s face.

Verdejo stayed in the pocket, occasionally venturing out of his safety to hurl big looping shots at the previously undefeated William Silva (23-1, 14 KOs) to win a unanimous 10-round decision.

The judges saw the same easy decision. Judge John McKaie had it 99-91 for Verdejo, while judges Alan Rubenstein and Robin Taylor each scored it 100-90 for the 22-year-old Puerto Rican. Verdejo landed 106 of 421 total punches, broken down to 39-244 jabs and 67-177 power shots, to Silva’s paltry output of 45 of 325 total punches landed (11-206 jabs; 34-119 power punches).

“I feel very good to win the fight, but he moved a lot,” Verdejo said. “I had to do what I had to do to win. This was a great learning experience for me in my career.”

In the fifth round, Verdejo (20-0, 14 KOs) climbed out of his cocoon to sting Silva a few times. There were times where Verdejo missed by a wide margin. But he was the one attacking, the one willing to take risks, while Silva seemed content to survive and be on his guard for Verdejo’s power. There was one instance inside a minute of the sixth, when Verdejo threw wildly and missed. If he would have connected, Silva’s head would have been launched into the upper tier of the Theater.

Verdejo got a little too caught up with head hunting. When he was up on his toes, flicking his jab, he was in a rhythm. Silva didn’t do much to help himself. He threw one punch at a time. In the seventh, there was a smattering of boos from the sold-out Theater, yearning for more action.

There was one sequence in the eighth when Silva had Verdejo against the ropes, and arguably won the round. By then, however, he was considerably behind. In the ninth, Verdejo landed a couple of thudding counter right uppercuts. But Silva was too slick for Verdejo to land anything substantial.

On the undercard, welterweight Emmanuel Taylor (19-4, 13 KOs) stopped Wilfredo Acuna (16-18, 12 KOs) at 2:59 of the sixth round. Acuna entered the fight 2-11 over his last 13 fights and it was questionable that he shouldn’t have been in there in the first place.

In a schedule 10-round cruiserweight weight, Sean Monaghan (27-0, 17 KOs) remained undefeated by stopping Janne Forsman (21-4, 13 KOs) at 1:34 of the fifth round.

In what was a spirited fight for the time it lasted, featherweight Christopher Diaz (15-0, 10 KOs) dusted Angel Luna (11-2-1, 6 KOs) at 2:42 of the fourth round in the scheduled eight-rounder. In an eight-round super lightweight fight, Julian Rodriguez (12-0, 9 KOs) won a unanimous decision over King Daluz (12-3-2, 2 KOs). Super Lightweight Jean Carlos Torres (4-0, 3 KOs) stopped Miguel Gloria (1-2) at :20 of the third round in a scheduled four-round fight.

Joseph Santoliquito is the president of the Boxing Writer's Association of America and a frequent contributor to Sherdog.com's mixed martial arts and boxing coverage. His archive can be found here.

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