Xander Zayas goals to take his profession to new heights in New York on Saturday

Xander Zayas is just not one to draw back from staying busy and creating as a fighter. It’s a successful method so far as he continues solidifying his standing as a legit prospect.

Zayas continues to be formidable and goal-oriented, which incorporates carrying on the custom of nice Puerto Rico fighters left earlier than him.

The unbeaten junior middleweight will face Quincy LaVallais Saturday evening at Madison Sq. Backyard’s Hulu Theatre at in New York Metropolis. The eight-round bout will precede the principle occasion bout between unbeaten tremendous middleweight Edgar Berlanga and once-beaten Steve Rolls.

Each fights will air reside on ESPN (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).

At Friday’s weigh-in, each fighters weighed in at 152.6 kilos

Zayas (12-0, 9 knockouts), who’s initially from San Juan, Puerto Rico and now resides in Dawn, Florida, stopped Alessio Mastronunzio within the opening spherical of his final bout on December 11. He has now stopped 4 of his final 5 opponents.

The 19-year-old was very energetic final yr, combating a complete of six occasions. Zayas faces an opponent in Lavallais (12-2-1, 7 KOs) who will likely be bodily greater than him, however he’s as much as the problem.

“I’m tremendous excited,” stated Zayas earlier this week. “It’s my first combat of the yr. It’s an eight-rounder towards a fantastic opponent. That’s what we have been on the lookout for. I’m able to placed on a present Saturday evening.

“After an excellent yr in 2021, my targets this yr are to have a minimum of 4 fights, hold shifting up in opposition, and end the yr combating in 10-rounders. I might like to win a regional title and end the yr within the top-15 of the junior middleweight division.”

Zayas made information even earlier than turning professional, changing into the youngest fighter to signal an expert cope with High Rank. He was 16 when he signed with High Rank, later making his professional debut in October 2019 on the age of 17.

Having made his debut at Madison Sq. Backyard in his win over Mastronunzio, Zayas needs to combat usually on the ‘Mecca of Boxing.’ Having watched the likes of Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto combat at Madison Sq. Backyard has impressed Zayas to not solely depart an impression on the game however to comply with within the footsteps of those nice champions from Puerto Rico.

“Being again in New York Metropolis is one thing that excites me and motivates me on the similar time,” stated Zayas, who’s managed by Peter Kahn. “Combating as soon as once more at Madison Sq. Backyard and because the co-feature feels superb. That is such a fantastic alternative. I’m tremendous grateful for all the pieces High Rank and my group has achieved for me.

“Within the not-so-distant future, Madison Sq. Backyard will likely be my second dwelling, similar to it was for Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad. I wish to fill Madison Sq. Backyard up and convey plenty of glory to my folks from Puerto Rico and New York Metropolis. I wish to give my followers a fantastic present.”

First issues first, Zayas has to care for enterprise Saturday evening towards LaVallais. The combat towards LaVallais will mark Zaya’s fourth combat as a junior middleweight after largely annihilating opposition at 147 kilos.

Zayas offers LaVallais his due, however believes the perfect model of himself will come out additional alongside in his profession.

“It’s an excellent combat,” stated Zayas. “I wouldn’t say it’s the largest problem but as a result of the largest problem is but to come back. It’s one other stepping stone. I’ve bought to placed on a present. I’ve bought to make a press release and present the world that I’m right here to remain.

“All of it begins with the group and the household. I’ve a fantastic group and a fantastic household. I do know what I’m right here to do. I do know what my goals are. I’ve to remain targeted, hold successful, and hold shifting ahead. That’s what retains me actually grounded.”

Additionally at Friday’s weigh-in, Edgar Berlanga weighed 167.4 kilos. Steve Rolls weighed in at 167.8 kilos. Within the opening bout of the ESPN telecast, junior welterweights John Bauza (140.2 kilos) and Tony Luis (140.8 kilos) collide in an eight-round bout.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has coated boxing in Southern California and overseas since 2000. Francisco additionally covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He may be reached by electronic mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing


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