Rising Puerto Rican lightweight star Felix Verdejo was released from the hospital on Friday night, five days after suffering minor injuries in a motorcycle accident near his home in San Juan.
Verdejo, a 2012 Olympian and the 2014 ESPN.com prospect of the year, crashed his dirt bike on a San Juan highway Sunday when he lost control as he tried to avoid a bump in the road.
Verdejo, 23, who was wearing an open-face helmet, suffered cuts, bruises and scratches to his forehead, face, arms and legs as well as other parts of his body. He realized it could have been much worse.
"I have definitely learned a big lesson," Verdejo said. "I'm not perfect. I'll keep growing as a person and today I'm more committed than ever (to) my people and my career. I want to thank Puerto Rico and all the boxing fans for all the messages of support during this difficult time for worrying about me and for putting me in your prayers. Thanks to God, I'm ready to keep on fighting -- with scars that will make me remember this learning experience.
"I feel more mature, focused and anxious to bring to my island the happiness of a world title."
Verdejo (22-0, 15 KOs) was in line for a mandatory 135-pound world title shot in his next bout against England's Terry Flanagan (31-0, 12 KOs). Top Rank hoped to make a deal to put the fight on its Nov. 5 card in Las Vegas as the pay-per-view co-feature to the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas welterweight world title bout.
Top Rank and Frank Warren, who promotes Flanagan, had been in talks to make the match but they were put on hold after Verdejo's accident.
"A painful and costly accident that will hopefully provide Felix and all young athletes life-long lasting lessons," said Carl Moretti, vice president of Top Rank, which promotes Verdejo. "We sincerely appreciate the support and love he has received from his island and the boxing community."