Nicaraguan lightweight Oliver "Trombita" Flores’ strong performance this past Friday evening against undefeated, No. 1 ranked Felix "El Diamente" Verdejo, fought in front of more than 7,000 fans in Verdejo’s hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico, truly embodied the spirit of Flores’ promoter, Havoc Boxing.
Known throughout boxing for its flashy, totally unique looking boxing "uniforms" - trunks and jackets - that are famously worn by present and past world champions such as Danny "Swift" Garcia, Danny "Miracle Man" Jacobs, Paulie "Magic Man" Malignaggi and others, Havoc Boxing is also a boxing promotional company on the rise.
While Havoc Boxing may not be a major player, at least not right now, it does feature a growing stable of gifted boxers such as Flores, the former world super featherweight title challenger who many fell deserved a far better fate than his controversial 10-round decision loss (94-96, 91-99, 92-92), which was turned in by the three Puerto Rican judges at ringside.
Flores (27-3-2, 17 KOs) was a live underdog who gave prohibitive favorite Verdejo (23-0, 15 KOs) all he could handle and much more. Verdejo even drew the wrath of his hometown fans for not engaging Flores, who came on strong in the second half of the fight, bloodying the 2012 Puerto Rican Olympian’s nose in the eighth round and seriously hurting him in the 10th. The World Boxing Organization (WBO) Latino lightweight champion left the ring at Roberto Clemente Coliseum to a chorus of boos.
Headlines describing the fight used phrases like "escaped with victory" and "struggles to win" to describe Verdejo’s tainted victory. One boxing writer had Flores winning six rounds to four, claiming Verdejo simply didn’t do enough to win any other rounds.
"We’re so proud of Oliver," Havoc Boxing CEO Rob Diaz said. "We thought he won the fight but it’s tough fighting a national hero in his backyard with three of his countrymen as judges. Those who made excuses for Verdejo claiming he wasn’t at his best because of his eight-month layoff, we reminded that Oliver hadn’t fought in more than a year because a few fights we had lined up fell out. After the fight, so many Puerto Rican fans congratulated us, saying Oliver was robbed, and that he deserved a rematch. Verdejo is looking for an opponent for his Puerto Rican Day eve fight (June 10) at Madison Square Garden. We’re certainly open to a rematch but I doubt they’ll risk fighting Oliver again.
"Flores is what Havoc Boxing Promotions is all about. We’re still building our stable of fighters but people in the boxing industry should know by now that our fighters come to fight. They’re all willing to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere, as long as it’s a fair deal for us."
In addition to Flores, Havoc also promotes 22-year-old Dominican Republic featherweight prospect Yohan "La Fiera" Vasquez (19-1, 16 KOs), who is ranked No. 14 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), as well as a pair of Colombian fighters, super bantamweight Wilner Soto (16-1, 8 KOs) and cruiserweight Santander "Cha Cha" Silgado (27-4, 21 KOs), who fought for the WBA world title in Russia and was ranked among the top 15 in the WBA and World Boxing Council (WBC) a few years ago.
"We’re rebuilding the Havoc Boxing brand to also showcase our promotional division," Diaz continued. "We have some talented, hungry fighters who we keep as busy as possible, moving them into position for major fights, like Flores versus Verdejo, including two world title shots so far. We’re getting close to crowning our first world champion. Havoc Boxing is much more than boxing’s best design and merchandising company. The future is Havoc!"