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Felix Verdejo’s solid win continues tradition of impressive boxing pedigree

The blue-chip prospect from San Juan stayed on course for the stardom he’s been preordained for with a fifth-round TKO of Mexico’s Juan Jose Martinez

The fistic pedigree of Puerto Rico is almost unthinkably robust for an island smaller than Connecticut in both size and population. The US territory has produced heaps of world champions since boxing was legalized there in 1927, among them Carlos Ortiz, Edwin Rosario, Esteban DeJesus, Wilfred Benitez, Wilfredo Gomez, Felix Trinidad and dozens more.

The most recent exponent of that proud tradition was Miguel Cotto, who two years ago became the only Puerto Rican fighter to capture world titles in four weight classes when he retired Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden to win the lineal middleweight championship. That marked Cotto’s ninth appearance at the hallowed Manhattan arena where he routinely headlined during the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day parade, selling more than 150,000 combined tickets.

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