Xander Zayas Readies for Title Aspirations Post-Valenzuela Bout

September 15, 2023
From: Spartacus

At just 21 years of age, Puerto Rican super-welterweight sensation Xander Zayas is poised for greatness, with eyes firmly set on a world title shot. With an immaculate professional record of 16-0, with 10 of those wins coming by knockout, Zayas is now preparing for his high-stakes battle against Roberto Valenzuela Jr. Scheduled to unfold in the early hours of Saturday morning at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, the fight will be broadcast live on Sky Sports. 

Zayas is not just another name in the boxing world; he is a phenomenon in the making. His last fight in June, an impressive unanimous decision win against Ronald Cruz, was a spectacle at Madison Square Garden. It served as the undercard for the scintillating bout between Teofimo Lopez and Josh Taylor. Speaking of that remarkable experience, Zayas said, “Being involved in the Puerto Rican Day weekend was an amazing experience for me, something that I always dreamed of, and being the co-main event to such an amazing fight, Teofimo Lopez versus Josh Taylor, was something special.”

As Zayas readies himself for the impending showdown against the 21-4 (20 KOs) Mexican Roberto Valenzuela Jr., he brings along not just his boxing prowess but an astute understanding of the intricacies of the game. “If the game plan is to box or the game plan is to go fire with fire, I’m ready to do whatever it takes to get that victory,” he asserted in the build-up to the much-anticipated fight. 

While Zayas acknowledges the risk that Valenzuela’s powerful punch brings to the equation, he remains steadfast in his strategy. “In every fight you have to be cautious. A punch can change a fight. If they get you right, if they get the timing right of the punch, they will knock you out,” he said. His key to victory? “We’ll be cautious about his power. Being smart, following the game plan and having fun in there are going to be key components for my victory.”

The young boxer harbours dreams that transcend beyond his immediate goals. With aspirations of bringing a title fight to Madison Square Garden and his home island of Puerto Rico, Zayas hopes to headline a show on a Puerto Rican Day weekend event. “That’s every Puerto Rican’s dream. That’s something that I really want to do. I want to be able to win a world title in Madison Square Garden. Hopefully on a Puerto Rican Day weekend, or if not, win it in my island of Puerto Rico,” Zayas elaborated.

Zayas’ name often gets mentioned in the same breath as legendary Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto, a comparison he finds flattering yet humbling. “It’s an honour for me. I respect all the Puerto Rican legends that came before me, but I don’t see myself wanting to compare with other people. I want to be myself. I want to be Xander Zayas,” he stated, emphasising his unique trajectory in the sport.

The super-welterweight division is currently buzzing with change. Undisputed champion Jermell Charlo is set to move up to the super-middleweight class for a colossal clash against Canelo Alvarez. This significant step has implications for the entire division, something Zayas keenly notes. “We know for a fact that Charlo is going to vacate a couple of titles because they’re going to make him do it once he steps in the ring with Canelo. So that will give the division a bit more freedom to have more fights, to have title shots, title eliminators, and overall it’s going to open the division,” Zayas observed.

Given such fluid dynamics, is Zayas ready for a potential world title fight? His answer is a resounding affirmation. “I know what I can do. I know I’m ready for every opponent that they put in front of me,” he said. As someone who has shown rigorous dedication and a steadfast commitment to mastering his craft, Zayas believes that he is on the cusp of a monumental milestone in his career. “I train hard, I have the dedication, I have the hard work. Now it’s just a matter of time,” he concluded.

As the Corpus Christi night sky gives way to the early Saturday dawn, a young Puerto Rican prodigy is all set to set the ring ablaze. With a unique blend of skill, intelligence, and raw power, Xander Zayas aims not merely to win but to etch his name in the annals of boxing history. A win against Valenzuela is not just another notch on his belt; it’s a crucial step toward fulfilling a destiny brimming with championship aspirations. So when the bell rings this Saturday, remember the name—Xander Zayas—for it might soon be synonymous with greatness.

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