Xander Zayas is excited to fight on Puerto Rican Day Parade card in NYC

Xander Zayas fights for idol, Miguel Cotto trophy, Saturday

Xander Zayas is hoping that fighting on the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day parade becomes a regular ritual in his life. Zayas, who is making his fourth appearance at Madison Square Garden, and his first time fighting on the famed weekend, Zayas is eager to make a strong impression as he faces Ronald Cruz, in a ten-round junior middleweight co-main event, on ESPN, Saturday, June 10th.

ProBox TV News caught up with Zayas who explained what this moment means for him.

“Every time I [fight] I try to put [forth] a performance that people will remember for the rest of my career,” said Zayas to ProBox TV News. “This is going to be a little more special since it is going to be Puerto Rican Day weekend, and there will be a lot of Puerto Rican fans out there, but I will definitely try to steal the show, and close out the fight with a banger.”

Zayas also has made an impression on the New York fight fans, especially with his fights at Madison Square Garden, as he has seemingly developed a deep connection to Puerto Rican fight fans of New York City. Though it is too soon to proclaim him the next star of the sport, his humble nature, mixed with his enthusiasm to fight for the fans reminds many of days gone, and great Puerto Rican boxers such as Felix “Tito” Trinidad, and Miguel Cotto.

Zayas signed with Top Rank Inc., at the age of sixteen, a few months young than the previous record holder, Gabriel Flores Jr., of Stockton, California, who also signed with Top Rank Inc., at sixteen years old. Zayas has grown up in front of the fight fans eyes and reflected on this candidly with ProBox TV News.

“In 2019, if you look back I was signing my first contract,” Zayas on his historic deal with Top Rank Inc. “Now I am on the verge of becoming a contender, and soon, a world champion. I am excited for what the future holds, and I have enjoyed every bit of the ride.”

The situation Zayas is faced with is a unique and modern one. He has grown up and developed in front of the eyes of the fans. He is maturing at press conferences rather than colleges. We see this often in the NBA, but not so much in the sport of boxing. This might be a challenge for many, but it is a challenge Zayas is embracing.

“There are a lot of people who came into the sport as already a grown man or a grown woman, but for me, it is a bit different since [the fans] have seen me since I was seventeen years old. They are going to see me now that I am twenty. They are going to see me when I am twenty-four, they are going to see me when I am twenty-eight, [they will see me] when I am on the verge of retiring. The whole journey. For the fans, [Zayas’ career] is going to be a little more personal.”

As for what is at stake at this fight, besides a win, and advancing his career. Zayas will be fighting for the Miguel Cotto trophy, something that might not mean as much to the viewer, but means a lot to Zayas since Cotto is one of his major inspirations.

“I will be fighting for the Miguel Cotto Trophy,” said Zayas. “It is the second anniversary [of the trophy]. Last year, Edgar Berlanga won it. It is an honor for me to be fighting for it, as the co-main event. It is a trophy that means so much to me since I look up to Miguel Cotto so much, someone that I admire, and someone I consider my friend."