Xander Zayas: “I Have 10 Rounds To Do Damage!”

Photo Courtesy: Top Rank

Zayas returns against Brazilian former world champion Patrick Teixeira on Saturday, June 8 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden LIVE on ESPN

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.   — The Xander Zayas era is about to begin.

The 21-year-old junior middleweight phenom will face Brazilian former world champion Patrick Teixeira in the 10-round main event on Saturday, June 8, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Zayas looks to kick off Puerto Rican Day Parade Weekend by taking on his stiffest test to date.

In the 10-round featherweight co-feature, Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington (11-0, 7 KOs), the latest fistic prodigy from Brownsville, Brooklyn, aims to extend his knockout streak against Mexico’s Jose Enrique Vivas (23-3, 12 KOs).

Zayas-Teixeira and Carrington-Vivas will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. Sky Sports will broadcast the event in the UK & Ireland.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com.

Zayas (18-0, 12 KOs) signed with Top Rank at 16 and debuted as a pro in October 2019. He won his first regional belt with a fifth-round TKO win against Elias Espadas in August 2022 before vanquishing Alexis Salazar following eight rounds that December. In 2023, he beat Ronald Cruz via eight-round decision during Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend and stopped Roberto Valenzuela Jr. in five in September. Zayas ended the year that December by tallying a fifth-round stoppage against Jorge Fortea. Teixeira (34-4, 25 KOs) returns to the United States following three consecutive knockout wins in his home country.

Following a recent training session in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this is what Zayas had to say:

“Patrick Teixeira is a former world champion. He has a lot of experience. He has fought great fighters, and he’s very hungry to return to the top of the sport. So, I have to go in there very prepared because I know he will also be prepared.”

“In this fight, I have to be intelligent. I have to follow the game plan. I have to block out all the emotions that will be a part of that night. Obviously, it’s an important night for Puerto Ricans. But we’re going to have to block that out. We’re going to have to be patient and work little by little. I have 10 rounds to do the damage that I want to do and to put on a great show.”

“I’m excited to get in there with him. I’m excited to explore the things that I’ve seen on video. I’m excited to explore the game plan we have for him. And I’m excited to showcase why my era will begin on June 8.”

“It’s a dream come true to headline at Madison Square Garden. I’ve been asking for this for some time. I was waiting for my turn because we take things step by step, as I’ve done my whole career. But it’s something that, at 21 years of age, is impressive. I still can’t believe it. But at the same time, I try to take it as just another fight and remain focused.”

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