Verdejo excited for PPV debut

Junior lightweight prospect Felix Verdejo faces Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan on Saturday. Chris Farina/Top Rank

This is how unbeaten junior lightweight Felix Verdejo describes his time spent in and around Macao this week, where on Saturday he'll face Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan as part of the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios undercard.

"I'm calm. I like Macao a lot," Verdejo said. "I'm surprised by how great people are here, they are always laughing."

The Puerto Rican prospect took part in a round table session on Thursday as part of his promotional commitments.

"We're ready and at weight for the fight," Verdejo said. "We haven't seen the competition yet, but we're fully prepared for the match."

Verdejo (8-0, 6 KOs), who will celebrate his one-year anniversary as a professional boxer in December, will be part of a pay-per-view for the first time.

"Honestly, I feel very honored that the company has included me in the pay-per-view," Verdejo said. "That means that they expect and are planning great things for me. I hope that people in Puerto Rico support me by buying the fight so they can see what I have to offer."

As one of the top young faces under the Top Rank banner, which has already added several former Olympians to its roster of fighter, Verdejo is perhaps the most prominent in that group, which also features featherweight Oscar Valdes and super-lightweight Jose Ramirez.

Other Olympic medallists recently signed by Top Rank include the Russian Egor Mekhontsev, Ryota Murata from Japan, Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko and Chinese flyweight Zou Shiming. Of these, Lomachenko was the standout who tore up the rules when he signed up with the condition that he would go for a title in one of his first two professional fights. He won his debut in October and now is preparing himself for a shot at featherweight titlist Orlando Salido.

Verdejo is coming along at a much more measured pace. He saw Saturday's opponent Duanaaymukdahan (8-1, 1 KO) for the first time at Friday's weigh-in.

"All I know about my opponent is that he is strong," Verdejo said. "What I do know is that I have been training hard and I am well prepared to outwit him all the way to China, as we say in Puerto Rico, and bring home another win for my island."

He will be accompanied to the ring for his six-round fight by trainer Ricky Marquez and former world champion Wilfredo Gomez.

"I think I have adapted quicker than I expected, but that's also because I've done what I most enjoy: eat, sleep, and train," Verdejo said.