By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Newly crowned WBO flyweight champ Sho Kimura (16-1-2, 9 KOs), 112, retained his belt as he kept boring in, bloodied ex-Olympian Toshiyuki Igarashi (23-3-3, 12 KOs), 112, and scored a well-received TKO at 2:34 of the ninth round on Sunday in Tokyo, Japan. Having upset two-time Olympic champ Shiming Zou to capture the WBO belt in Shanghai last July, Kimura successfully scored his first defense over the more experienced mandatory challenger.

Igarashi, recently a frequent bleeder from his scar tissues, had red ribbon streaming from a cut over the left eyebrow in the third and from another over the right optic in the sixth. He was forced to go on fighting in a bloody mess. Kimura, 29, recklessly kept going forward with roundhouse shots, while Igarashi, 33, only kept circling and retreating without throwing effective punches to the onrushing champ.

Kimura showed his best in the eighth, when he caught the fading challenger with wild left hooks and looping right hooks to have him retreating to the ropes. The fatal ninth saw Kimura fully open his engine and batter him to the ropes with a flurry of punches, when the referee Katsuhiko Nakamura (Japan) wisely waved it off to save the loser. Prior to the stoppage, the official tallies were lopsided: Adalaide Bird (US) 80-72, Luis Ruiz (Puerto Rico) and Takeshi Shimakawa (Japan) both 79-73, all in favor of the defending champ.

Igarashi was a sole representative in boxing from Japan for the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. He turned professional in Teiken Gym, the oldest stable here which has produced many champions, in 2006. The fast-handed southpaw once nicknamed “Supersonic” wrested the WBC flyweight belt by outspeeding and outfighting Filipino Sonny Boy Jaro and defended it against Argentine Nestor Narvaes, the younger brother of Omar, in 2012. But he, in his second defense, yielded it to a veteran compatriot with a fluctuating career Akira Yaegashi by an upset verdict 2013. He apparently made a mistake as he failed to utilize his potential speed on hand and foot but too recklessly swapped punches toe-to-toe only to be outpunched by the much shorter Yaegashi. Since then, four years and eight months passed for Igarashi to enter the squared circle in order to regain the world throne this time.

Sho Kimura, less talented than Igarashi on amateur credentials, began to learn boxing at the age of fifteen and only briefly boxed some contests in high school. He resumed boxing at 22, when he tasted a bitter defeat, a first round knockout by Shosuke Oji in his pro debut in 2013. Since then, Sho kept winning including a couple of draws. Technically not so superb, nor so power-punching, Kimura was only one of those club fighters. But his manager/trainer Masayuki Ariyoshi of Aoki Gym opened a way for Sho to acquire the vacant WBO Asia Pacific flyweight belt by eking out a majority decision over compatriot Masahiro Sakamoto in November of the previous year.

Rated by the WBO, Kimura was fortunately given an opportunity to face Chinese hero Shiming Zou with his WBO 112-pound belt on the line this July. Before his departure for Shanghai no one in Japan expected him to bring back the world belt by dethroning such a formidable champ as Zou, two-time Olympic gold medalist. But so did he. Trailing on points (94-96, 93-97 for Zou and 96-94 for Kimura), Sho made a do-or-die attack to the fading champ, desperately battered the Chinese and finally wore him down en route to an eleventh-round TKO loss. He’s truly a Cinderella man.

Even after his unexpected coronation Sho lives alone in a small apartment, works to deliver liquor from 7 AM to 3 PM and then regularly train at the Aoki Gym afterward.

The man who gave him only a defeat, Shosuke Oji (who retired after one pro fight with Kimura), was a southpaw. Kimura wasn’t good at fighting a southpaw opponent. After he decided to fight the southpaw mandatory challenger Igarashi, Kimura went abroad to train at Hong Kong and Thailand, where he had some 300 sparring sessions exclusively with southpaw partners. His efforts paid off well.

The badly bleeding and crestfallen loser Igarashi declared a farewell to boxing after this bitter defeat, saying, “I’m happy to be able to fight for the world championship in the end of my career. I already decided before the fight that I’ll hang up gloves if beaten.”

Boxing is sometimes a miniature of life. A year ago Sho Kimura was never expected to be a world champion, but once he took an opportunity in Shanghai, he opened the door for fame and fortune by himself. Having defeated a couple of excellent Olympians Zou and Igarashi, he thus became a different person with good confidence in himself.



Full Report: Kimura stops Olympian Igarashi

Date:  Saturday, April 1, 2017

WBO Vacant NABO Jr. Lightweight Championship

Location: Complejo Ferial de Ponce, Ponce, PR

Promoter:   Promociones Miguel Cotto  / Miguel Cotto – H2 Promotions / Hector Soto

Supervisor:  Adolfo Flores Monge

Referee: José H. Rivera

Judges:  Luis Ruiz, Nelson Vazquez, Gerardo Martinez

Results:   The NABO Jr. Lightweight Championship Title was won by Alberto “El Explosivo” Machado against Juan Jose “Piket” Martinez by KO in the first round.  


Date:  Friday, February 17, 2017

WBO Junior Flyweight Elimination Bout

Location: Colisseum Roger Mendoza in Caguas

Promoter: Cotto Promotions

Supervisor:  Francisco Valcarcel, Esq.

Referee:  Roberto Ramirez Jr.

Judges:  Cesar Ramos, Nelson Vazquez, Luis Ruiz

Results:  The WBO Junior Flyweight Elimination Bout was won by Angel Acosta.  Jafet Uutoni lost his world title eliminator against Angel Acosta on  a tenth round technical knockout after the referee stopped the fight 1:01 into the round.


IMG_0192 Por Jonathan Gaudier / Prensa OMB –

SAN JUAN, PR Por segundo año consecutivo, la Organización Mundial de Boxeo y su Presidente Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel, en unión al Campeón Latino ligero de la OMB, Félix ‘El Diamante’ Verdejo llevaron alegría a los niños y niñas de la comunidad del desaparecido Residencial Las Gladiolas, obsequiándoles bicicletas, juguetes y equipo deportivo. Esto, como parte de su exitoso programa mundial “WBO Kids Drug Free”.  

“Es un compromiso que Félix (Verdejo) tiene con su comunidad y es un momento de alegría que él quiere compartir con su gente”, dijo el Lcdo. Valcárcel. “Nosotros estamos apoyando a nuestro Campeón Latino durante esta semana de los Tres Reyes Magos, junto al héroe de la comunidad, Félix Verdejo”.  

La actividad, que contó con la presencia de decenas de niños de la comunidad de Las Gladiolas, fue amenizada por Francisco Valcárcel y Félix Verdejo. “Estoy muy agradecido con Dios y con la OMB por permitirnos llevar estos regalos a los niños de mi comunidad”, indicó ‘El Diamante’ Verdejo. “Esto no es solo venir y entregar regalos, esto va más allá. Necesitamos que estos niños hagan caso a lo que dicen sus padre y dejarse guiar por el camino correcto. Todo esto con el fin de ser un ciudadano de bien en el futuro”.  

Entretanto, Ricky Márquez manifestó que, “somos facilitadores y estamos muy contentos con la iniciativa de Félix (Verdejo), junto al compromiso de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo por esta gran aportación como parte del programa ‘Niñez libre de Drogas’. Félix es un muchacho puertorriqueño que reúne las cualidades que todo padre desearía tengan sus hijo. Un joven responsable, disciplinado, humilde y cariñoso. El que lo vean como un modelo a seguir es una responsabilidad muy grande y sé que continuará por ese camino”.  

La OMB, los boxeadores y los amigos del boxeo compartieron en un ambiente de fiesta junto a los niños, otorgando varias bicicletas, juegos de mesa, juguetes, artículos deportivos y artículos escolares.  

Mientras, el Campeón Mundial junior ligero de la OMB, Román ‘Rocky’ Martínez, mencionó que, “esto es algo muy bonito que hace la Organización Mundial de Boxeo con los niños y jóvenes más necesitados. El deporte salva a la juventud del vicio y de las calles. Debemos seguir llevando el mensaje y seguir apoyando la obra de la OMB”.  

En la actividad dijeron presente los ex campeones mundiales Alfredo ‘El Salsero’ Escalera y José ‘Carita’ López, los prospectos Jean Carlos ‘Lobo’ Torres y Daniel Alicea, la boxeadora aficionada y Medallista de Oro Kiria Tapia, los jueces César Ramos, Luis Ruiz, Nelson Vázquez, Idalia Parra y Hernando Steidel, los árbitro Roberto Ramírez y Melva Santos.   

En adición a Valcárcel, por parte de la OMB estuvieron en la actividad el Secretario General Lcdo. José Izquierdo, el Tesorero Adolfo Flores Monge, el Presidente del Comité de Quejas y Agravios Lcdo. Alberto Rodríguez y el árbitro José H. Rivera.  

IMG_0259  IMG_0273

IMG_0340  IMG_0277 


By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Boxing Beat

19-year-old unbeaten Japanese, Kosei Tanaka (5-0, 2 KOs), 105, very impressively acquired the vacant WBO 105-pound belt as he kept outspeeding and outpunching Mexican Julian Yedras (24-2, 13 KOs), 105, to win a unanimous decision over twelve fast rounds on Saturday in Komaki, Japan.

The official tallies read: Salven Lagumbay (Philippines) and Sawang Thaweekoon (Thailand) both 117-111, and Luis Ruiz (Puerto Rico) 115-113, all in favor of Tanaka, who thus won the world throne in his fifth pro bout. The referee was Samuel Viruet (US) who also moved so well as the busy-moving contestants. Tanaka, whose amateur mark was 46-5, 18 stoppages, displayed fast jabs, quick combinations and effective left hooks, and maintained the initiative despite the game Mexican’s occasional retaliation. Tanaka proved a real thing with such a fine performance as he looked like a young and small Sugar Ray Leonard. 

Tanaka, an sophomore of Chukyo University, appeared sophomoric, utilizing various skills against the more experienced but one-dimensional Mexican such as shifty footwork, sharp flicker-jabbing, looping or short left hooking, well-timed countering and occasional infighting. Tanaka, much more skillful than Yedras, was an enfant terrible. The reporter hesitates to abuse a word of “genius” since, if doing so, there are so many geniuses here in Japan as three-class world champ Hiroki Ioka, two-time titlist Naoya Inoue, etc. But Tanaka is more than a vastly talented youngster by winning the crowd’s applause not only with his coronation but with his spectacular performance.

We, in Japan, now see nine world champions excluding Japan-based foreign titleholders such as Jorge Linares, but, only in terms of hand speed, Tanaka might be one of the best as he displayed lightening combinations to the game but slower Mexican, who said after the fight, “Tanaka was very fast and was too elusive with his lateral movement for me to catch up with. The chico (young kid) was splendid on speed, power and heart. I’m happy to have fought such a good boxer.” It is truly rare to hear such a straightforward admiration on a winner from a loser.

Tanaka, from the outset, showed his superior speed as he threw whiplash jabs and left-right combinations to the still cautious Mexican hombre. His mobility was reminiscent of Muhammad Ali in his rematch with Ken Norton. The second round witnessed the Japanese boy penetrate Yedras’ tight guard with a solid left-right combo to have him reeling to the ropes.

It was Tanaka that swept the first three rounds with a fine display of remarkable hand speed with good precision and power. Some 4,500 supporters in attendance at Park Arena Komaki were worried about his proper distribution of stamina, as he appeared to have started fireworks by consuming too much energy at the earlier stage.

As expected from his too hot opening attack, Tanaka’s vaunted footwork temporarily stopped midway in round four, when the shorter Mexican came forward and came close to him with a flurry of punches even on the block of the Japanese youngster, who recklessly responded to his rallies in the close range. It’s Yedras’ round.

Tanaka, however, won back the fifth session as he very furiously retaliated with a two-fisted attack, but seemingly spent too much energy—as if it had been a six-round competition—just to win a point even though his countering right uppercut had the knees almost buckled. The kid often caught the onrushing Mexican puncher with looping left hooks to the temple that apparently hurt Yedras, who nonetheless kept stalking the footworker.

Tanaka, in round six, recklessly mixed it up in the close quarter and Yedras maintained the pressure with incessant short punches to the face and to the midsection, while the youngster attempted to swap punches toe-to-toe with him without using his feet. Yedras was apparently in command. The crowd was afraid that the tide had turned then and there, and Yedras would take back the initiative from then onward.

It was, however, in the seventh that Tanaka showed his best as he courageously attacked the Mexican willing mixer with much faster combinations upstairs and downstairs. His jabs and one-two-left hook combinations were all effective enough to hurt the Mexican, who still refused to go down and tried to fight back with his best effort. It was a very furious round, which might be a good candidate of Round of the Year.

When Yedras returned to his corner, we saw he had the right cheek badly swollen with a lump due to his absorption of punishment. But he looked still mentally strong and willing to fight on.

The eighth was also hard-fought by the aggressive contestants, who exchanged hot rallies. Tanaka, with better precision, had the upper hand and almost stunned Yedras with a strong left-right combination. The Mexican warrior, however, landed a vicious right counter that shook up the Japanese prospect. Two judges favored Tanaka, while one gave a point to Yedras.

After the eighth round was over, the Tanaka adherents realized that there would be still no less than four more rounds though he had already consumed too much stamina due to his feverishly high pace. The worriers might be expecting Tanaka would be slowing down and Yedras would catch him with solid body shots as his Mexican cornermen incessantly kept yelling, “Abajo (downstairs)!”.

This reporter hereby becomes a Peeping Tom onto the interim scoresheet, though the open scoring system wasn’t applied to this bout. That’s 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 in favor of Tanaka.

Amazingly did Tanaka turn loose in the ninth and keep punching almost entirely for three minutes. Where’s his energy from? From his youth? Yedras, of course, fought back hard but Tanaka’s faster combinations and hit-and-run tactics kept him from catching the busy and elusive target. Tanaka seemingly welcomed a second wind, as he accelerated freely punching and moving without feeling any fatigue.

Then we realized that Tanaka, a 19-year-young kid, wasn’t a Bernard Hopkins or a Japanese baseball player working in the US, Ichiro Suzuki, both of whom are 41 years of age. Kosei’s storage of abundant stamina was so astounding that the partisan crowd then expected Tanaka would maintain such a high pace and win the game.

Then tenth was spectacular enough since Tanaka’s footwork prevailed as fast as in the first three rounds and he served as a Sugar Ray Leonard in playing tag in a game of children. Busily jabbing and circling around the flat-footed Mexican, who was still aggressive and willing to mix it up, Tanaka finely displayed hit-and-run tactics to impress the crowd.

The eleventh witnessed Tanaka become a typical speedster, throwing flashy hand punches very fast but without putting his weight behind punches. He looked to have dominated this round only with his hand speed, and two judges gave this round to Tanaka, while another to Yedras who threw power punches even with low precision.

“With three more minutes you’ll be champion,” cried his chief second and father Hitoshi to encourage his son. Tanaka furiously commenced the final session with all his energy, as Yedras did. It’s a total war with the game warriors. It’s Tanaka that whipped Yedras from all angles so furiously as if he would finish him to bring home the bacon. But his too furious last surge had Tanaka slowing down in the last thirty seconds, when Yedras was courageous enough to fight back with his heart. When the final bell sounded, people really appreciated the good game from the bottom of heart.

After the official verdict announced his coronation Tanaka jubilantly said in the ring, “I’ve arrived at this place I had been aiming at for a long time since my childhood. I really thank for your people’s continually warm supports.”

Kosei Tanaka had a unique career. His father Hitoshi used to be a black belt of judo and Japanese national arm wrestling champion. He made his son learn karate at the age of three with his elder brother by two years, Ryosei, a student of Komazawa University, who is still amateur and national titlist for four years in a row. Kosei, when twelve, started learning how to box from his father, who has kept coaching his son since. Tanaka family was like Danny Garcia’s though Hitoshi isn’t as eloquent as Danny’s dad Angel.

To make a long story short, Kosei acquired national high school championship four times and turned professional under the tutelage of Kiyoshi Hatanaka, the first world champ ever produced in Nagoya area.

Tanaka, in November 2013, successfully made a pro debut by defeating WBO#6 Oscar Reknafa by a lopsided 6-round decision in Nagoya. Nicknamed “Knockout Dream Boy”, Kosei won a unanimous nod over WBA#13 Ronelle Ferreras in March 2014. His third bout saw a first-round knockout over OPBF#3 ranked Philippine champ Crison Omayao in July 2014. Tanaka, as the mandatory challenger, had an ambitious shot at WBO#2 OPBF 105-pound titlist and impressively dethroned him via tenth round TKO in October of the previous year. Literally that’s all as for his pre-history of coronation.

Chukyo University has produced many excellent young athletes such as Koji Murofuse (Olympic gold medalist in the shot put), Mao Asada (Olympic silver medalist in the figure skating), etc. Kosei Tanaka is one of those who have raised the Alma Mater’s reputation. Kosei is a little different from other boxers dependent on blood and guts since he often describes himself as a thinking boxer.

His manager/promoter Kiyoshi Hatanaka’s overall record was 25-2-1, 15 KOs, as he only suffered a couple of setbacks at the hand of as many Mexicans—Gilberto Roman and Daniel Zaragoza—each with a world championship at stake in 1988 and 1991 respectively. Tanaka avenged his manager’s setbacks to the Mexicans with his impressive victory.

Leon Panoncillo, the WBO supervisor, said, “Tanaka is the pride of our organization. He’s much better than we had expected. We hope he will grow up to be multiple-class champion since he is really talented. I love his tremendous hand speed in combination punching and his strong heart as well.”

The third man Samuel Viruet expressed his impression on the newly crowned champ, saying, “Tanaka boxed like a Bruce Lee, feinting, jabbing and shuffling. It’s fun watching him fight like that as the third man.”

This reporter hereby has to amend the list of “World Champions in Fewest Fights” that was previously compiled by historian Bob Yalen and yours truly by adding the Knockout Dream Boy.


Tanaka always writes an autograph of “KOsei” which means, in Japanese, “Do Knockout!” This is just for your reference.

Tanaka became the fourth of the youngest world champions out of Japan, as shown by an attached list.


Tanaka is also the fifth world titlist ever produced from Nagoya area in Japan.


In the end, this record-keeper hereby lists up our current world champions in Japan.


There are more episodes on Kosei Tanaka’s coronation, but should this reporter write them all, this writing wouldn’t finish within days. We just say we have had another good champion here in Japan.

Promoter: Hatanaka Promotions.
WBO supervisor: Leon Panoncillo (US).

Date:   Saturday, May 30, 2015


Location: Park Arena, Komaki, Alchi, Japan

Promoter: Hatanaka Promotions / Kiyoshi Hatanaka

Supervisor:   Leon Panoncillo

Referee:  Samuel Viruet

Judges:  Salven Lugumbay (117-111); Luis Ruiz (115-113);  Sawaeng Thaweekoon (117-111)

Results:   The Japanese, Kosei Tanaka acquired the vacant WBO Mini Flyweight Championship Title (105-pound) as he kept outspeeding and outpunching Mexican Julian Yedras, to win a unanimous decision over twelve fast rounds in Komaki, Japan.



SAN JUAN, PR- Comenzando con fuerza el año 2015, la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB) y su Presidente Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel, junto al súper prospecto Félix ‘El Diamante’ Verdejo, llevaron su exitoso programa mundial ‘WBO Kids Drug Free’ a la comunidad del desaparecido residencial Las Gladiolas en San Juan, Puerto Rico, para llevar regalos y alegría a los niños y jóvenes.

La actividad fue amenizada por el Lcdo. Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel y por la Presidenta de la Asociación de Residentes Gladiolas Renace, Mirta Colón Pellecier.

“La comunidad de Las Gladiolas es una establecida, que aunque sus edificios no están aquí, esa comunidad existe y sigue luchando por regresar al lugar donde nacieron y crecieron. (Félix) Verdejo se ha dado a la tarea de llevar un poco de alegría a los chicos de esta comunidad de donde él salió, y nosotros con nuestro programa ‘WBO Kids Drug Free’, en unión a los amigos de Burger King, estamos apoyándolo y respaldándolo en ese esfuerzo. La idea principal es que en esta época navideña, estos niños puedan recibir sus regalitos de la mano de uno de sus ídolos, como lo es Verdejo”, dijo el Presidente de la OMB, Francisco Valcárcel.

Los niños y jóvenes recibieron los regalos y compartieron con los ex campeones mundiales Víctor ‘Luvi’ Calleja y Samuel ‘El Torbellino’ Serrano, el varias veces contendor mundial Wilfredo Rivera, el contendor peso completo Víctor Bisbal, el clasificado #14 por la OMB en el peso ligero Rey ‘El Maestro’ Ojeda, el prospecto peso súper wélter John Karl Sosa y el ex olímpico peso súper mediano Enrique ‘Kikín’ Collazo.

“Esto es algo muy especial para mí. Recuerdo cuando yo era niño y venían grandes figuras del deporte a traernos un poco de alegría. Ahora me tocó el turno de llevar esa alegría a los niños del lugar donde yo crecí. Hay que seguir apoyando a estos niños para que sigan por el buen camino y se conviertan en hombre y mujeres de bien”, manifestó el clasificado #14 por la OMB en las 130 libras, Félix Verdejo. “Me siento muy contento y para mí es un orgullo contar con el apoyo de la OMB. Con la ayuda de Dios, seguiré por el buen camino y haciendo las cosas como las tenemos que hacer. Esto me motiva más a seguir esforzándome día a día para darle lo mejor a mi país”.

Además de Valcárcel y los boxeadores, dijeron presente en la actividad los entrenadores Ricky Márquez, Ángel Rosario, Álex Caraballo y José García, el manejador Orlando Piñero, los jueces César Ramos, Nelson Vázquez, Luis Ruiz, Gerardo Martínez e Idalia Parra, los árbitros José H. Rivera y Melba Santos.

Por parte de la OMB estuvieron presentes los miembros del Comité Ejecutivo, Lcdo. José Izquierdo II, Secretario General, Lcdo. Alberto Rodríguez, Presidente del Comité de Quejas y Agravios y Adolfo Flores Monge, Tesorero.







Cerrando un espectacular año 2014, la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), presidida por el puertorriqueño Francisco “Paco” Valcárcel, y su exitoso programa mundial WBO Kids Drug Free llegó al pueblo de Salinas, Puerto Rico, para compartir y obsequiar juguetes, bicicletas y equipo deportivo a los niños y jóvenes del Gimnasio Ángel “Cholo” Espada.

La secretaria ejecutiva la OMB, Diana Meléndez, junto al contendor mundial y entrenador Víctor “La Mole” Bisbal, estuvieron a cargo de presentar la actividad.

“Continuando con el compromiso de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo, nuestro presidente Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel y el programa mundial WBO Kids Drug Free hoy cerramos este año 2014 llevando nuestro apoyo a un excelente grupo de jóvenes comprometidos del gimnasio Ángel ‘Cholo’ Espada en Salinas. Nuestro enfoque es apoyar y motivar a estos jóvenes para que puedan continuar con esta pasión por el deporte y se mantengan libre de vicios”, manifestó la Meléndez.

Los niños y jóvenes recibieron los regalos y compartieron con los ex campeones mundiales Ángel ‘Cholo’ Espada, Víctor ‘Luvi’ Calleja, Álex ‘El Nene’ Sánchez y John John Molina, el contendor mundial Orlando ‘El Fenómeno’ Cruz, el prospecto peso súper ligero John Karl Sosa, el medallista de oro de los Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe 2010, Gerardo Bisbal y la integrante de la Selección Nacional de Boxeo Aficionado de Puerto Rico y medallista de bronce en los Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe Veracruz 2014, Mercedes Alicea.

“Estoy muy contento de estar presente en esta actividad repleta de jóvenes talentosos y con deseos de triunfar en la vida. La OMB sigue llevando el mensaje para motivar a estos jóvenes y niños a seguir por el camino correcto”, dijo Orlando Cruz.

Mientras tanto, el ex campeón mundial de la OMB en el peso mínimo, Álex ‘El Nene’ Sánchez dijo, “seguir aportando para que nuestra niñez pueda continuar levantándose y creciendo en el deporte, es parte de nuestra labor. La Organización Mundial de Boxeo sigue con su compromiso genuino para que nuestra juventud se mantenga en la ruta del éxito y ahí siempre estaré para poner de mi parte”.

Además de Meléndez y los boxeadores, dijeron presente en la actividad, los entrenadores Félix Pagán Pintor y Álex Caraballo, el manejador Orlando Piñeiro, los jueces César Ramos y Luis Ruiz, y los árbitros José Hiram Rivera y Ramón Peña.












San Juan, Puerto Rico.- El olímpico de 2012 y actual boxeador profesional Félix “Diamante” Verdejo fue reconocido ayer con la dedicatoria del 12mo Invitacional de Atletismo Infantil Cupey Track, auspiciado por la OMB y su exitoso programa “Kids Drug Free”, que se llevó a cabo en el Complejo Deportivo de Cupey Alto.

Sobre 300 niños de unos 40 clubes de atletismo de Puerto Rico y dos de Santa Cruz participaron de la actividad, que además de Verdejo (5-0, 4 KOs), también se le dedicó a la semifondista y olímpica de 2012 Beverly Ramos, como orgullos jóvenes del deporte puertorriqueño.

Estoy muy agradecido por este homenaje y seguiremos adelante siempre haciendo las cosas bien”, dijo Verdejo, quien reaparecerá en el cuadrilátero el próximo 18 de mayo en Trujillo Alto.



En el evento, que reunió a niños y niñas entre las edades de 8 y 13 años, se compitió carreras de 60, 80, 600, 800, 1,000, y 1,200 metros; 60 y 80 metros con vallas; 800 y 1,000 metros en marcha; Salto Largo, Salto Alto, Bala, Turbo Jab, Bola de Béisbol, y los Relevos de 4 x 60 metros y de 4 x 100 metros en ambas ramas. Los atletas infantiles fueron premiados con medallas a los primeros tres lugares por evento y en metálico a los más destacados por categoría. También se entregaron trofeos a los primeros tres equipos en puntuación.



Además de Verdejo, estuvieron presentes los clasificados mundiales César Seda Jr., Luis Orlando del Valle, y también los púgiles profesionales Christopher Rivera y Juan Hernández, y los aficionados Yankiel Rivera, José A. Pérez, Yabdiel Muñoz, Joshua Valentín, Pedro Acosta y Luis Castro, junto al entrenador Ricky Márquez.

De parte de la OMB estuvieron los miembros del Comité Ejecutivo, el presidente del Comité de Quejas, Alberto Rodríguez, el Tesorero Adolfo Flores Monge y el Asesor Administrativo Manuel Marrero Hueca. También participó el árbitro José H. Rivera y el juez Luis Ruiz.