Lightweight contender Felix Verdejo will fight Masayoshi Nakatani on Dec. 12, Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told The Athletic. The fight will be the co-main event of a Top Rank card at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs), of Puerto Rico, was injured in a motorcycle accident in August 2016 but returned to the ring six months later and has a record of 5-1 since then, including an impressive first-round TKO victory over Will Madera in July. Japan’s Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs) made his U.S. debut in July 2019 and was the first fighter to take Teofimo Lopez the distance, losing a hard-fought unanimous decision at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Top Rank is still looking for a replacement main event after Miguel Berchelt tested positive for COVID-19 and his fight against Oscar Valdez was postponed. Former featherweight titlist Shakur Stevenson offered to step in for Berchelt and told ESPN on Tuesday that he had asked his team to inquire about the possibility of fighting Valdez on short notice.