FELIX VERDEJO’S career reboot began on Saturday (January 18). He had his first contest with new trainer Ismael Salas in Verona, New York. The Puerto Rican lightweight outpointed Manuel Rey Rojas over 10 rounds, by scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.

“I give myself a ‘C.’ I want to keep working hard and keep developing because I want to look like an ‘A’ fighter,” Verdejo said. “I have the desire. I have the hunger. I’m going to keep working hard for all the Puerto Ricans and all the Boricuas.”

On the same bill at the Turning Stone Resort Casino Eleider Alvarez knocked out Michael Seals in the seventh round. “During training camp, we practiced [the right hand] over and over. My trainer was mad at me at first because I wasn’t doing what he was asking. Finally, we got the knockout,” Alvarez said. “I was out of the ring for 11 months. I wanted to come back as the fighter that beat [Sergey] Kovalev, and this is what we practiced for.”