Puerto Rican lightweight sensation Felix Verdejo, the 2014 ESPN.com Prospect of the Year, will face late replacement Jose Luis Rodriguez, Top Rank president Carl Moretti told ESPN.com on Wednesday.
Verdejo (20-0, 14 KOs), 22, was due to face Mexico's Daniel Evangelista (18-6-2, 14 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round fight April 16 in a UniMas-televised main event at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, Evangelista withdrew last week because of tendinitis.
Rodriguez (17-6-1, 10 KOs), 29, of Mexico, is 9-0-1 in his past 10 fights since suffering a fifth-round knockout loss to Daniel Dominguez in May 2009.
If Verdejo defeats Rodriguez and comes out of the fight with no injuries, he is due back in the ring in an HBO-televised co-feature at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 11, the eve of the annual Puerto Rican Day parade in the city.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com that Verdejo would face fringe lightweight contender Jose Felix Jr. (33-1-1, 25 KOs) in that fight. It would take place on the undercard of a fight Top Rank is in the process of finalizing between junior lightweight titleholder Roman "Rocky" Martinez and featherweight titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko, who would move up from 126 pounds to challenge Martinez for his 130-pound title.