By Miguel Rivera
Puerto Rican lightweight contender Felix Verdejo held his final training session in Puerto Rico and is leaving for the United States.
Settled in the home of Team Diamante in Trujillo Alto, Verdejo quietly worked a light session to stay on weight ahead of Saturday's match against Mexican puncher Antonio Lozada Jr. - which he hopes will serve as a springboard to the longed-for championship fight that has escaped him in years past.
"I feel very good thanks to God and well focused on what we are doing. I have prepared very well," said Verdejo to Joel Rivera. "I'm ready for the elite fighters of the world. I'm ready and we're going to recover what we've lost."
Verdejo is part of the undercard to Top Rank's big card at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City.
And what awaits him is a somewhat dangerous fight, according to his own coach, Ricky Marquez.
And that opponent is Lozada Jr., 27, a fighter who brings with him the experience of 40 matches, of which he has won 38 and 32 of those by way of the knockout. He has lost twice.
"The most impressive thing about his record are the 32 knockouts," said Márquez. "I trust that we will see the Felix of old.. with ease, speed, what people saw in him from the beginning, and with the confidence of knowing that he is ready, that he is well prepared, and that there are no excuses."
"Part of the benefit of being out all this time is that it has helped him to mature physically and mentally, to understand what is truly important for the rest of his life. That he has to concentrate on his work and take it with the seriousness that corresponds."
Verdejo and Marquez will travel to New York early on Tuesday and on Wednesday they will be part of an open media workout.
His countrymen, Jose Pedraz and Christopher "Pitufo" Diaz will also see action on the card.