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Felix Verdejo ready to resume fighting

Puerto Rican lightweight Felix Verdejo, the 2014 ESPN.com prospect of the year, will make his delayed 2015 debut on April 25 in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.

Verdejo, 21, will face Mexico's Marco Antonio Lopez in a scheduled 10-round bout for a regional belt in the main event of a UniMas-televised "Solo Boxeo Tecate" card at the Mario Morales Coliseum.

Verdejo (16-0, 12 KOs) initially was scheduled to face Lopez (24-5, 15 KOs), 27, of Mexico, on Feb. 28 in Tampa, but he suffered a left hand injury while training for the fight and it was postponed.

"Thanks to God I feel fully recovered from the injury on my left hand," Verdejo said Monday. "The rest came in handy, but the vacations are over. Despite the rest, I kept running in the mornings. I'm ready to return to the gym to prepare and get ready to bring that title to my people."

Said Ricky Marquez, Verdejo's manager and trainer, "I wanted to make sure that the injury that Felix suffered healed 100 percent for his first 10-round bout. I'm sure 'El Diamante' will be ready to shine and conquer that title on April 25."

Verdejo's previous two bouts were in the United States, and he is looking forward to fighting at home again.

"For me there is nothing better than representing Puerto Rico, honoring my flag and bringing joy to my island," Verdejo said. "I'm more than happy and thankful with Top Rank for the opportunity of fighting for a title in front of my people. I am very grateful [to] the fans on the island for the unconditional support they have always given me, and that's why I wanted to give them my first title fight."

If all goes well for Verdejo, Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN.com that Verdejo's next fight is being planned for June 13 -- during Puerto Rican Day parade weekend in New York -- at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Verdejo would fight in the co-feature and make his HBO debut, with a main event to be determined.