Xander Zayas Tapped for 2023 Debut on Lopez-Taylor June 10 Card

Junior middleweight prospect Xander Zayas will make his 2023 debut on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade against Ronald Cruz June 10 in New York City.

The fight is a 10-round contest at the Hulu Theater and serves as the co-feature Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez. Orginally planned for April, Zayas was forced to withdraw due to injury and is anxious to begin his 2023 goal to transition to contender status.

“I am working extremely hard in the gym because I want 2023 to be the year in which I position myself as one of the top contenders in the division,” Zayas explained. “I know what I want, and I know what it will cost me to achieve it, but each of the sacrifices I make every day in the gym are paying off, and I do it with the intention of looking better every time I get into the ring.

“That motivates me. I strive to be better every single day because every time I step into the ring, I do it with the intention of raising the flag of my Island even higher.”

The Cruz bout will be Zayas’ fourth at Madison Square Garden and second consecutive, following a eight-round decision win over Alexis Salazar Flores last December. It will be his first during Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend, picking up a tradition started by Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto over a decade earlier.

“I cannot wait to fight at Madison Square Garden in front of my people on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade,” Zayas continued. “This is a dream come true. Ronald Cruz is a tough, durable fighter, and I expect the best version of him on June 10.”

Cruz, a former WBC Latino super welterweight title-holder, is looking to return to the win column after a 10-round unanimous decision setback to Damian Sosa last August. The 31-year old has never been stopped in 21 fights and view Zayas as the biggest opportunity on his career.

“I’m beyond excited to be fighting Xander Zayas,” Cruz said. “My whole life I’ve been waiting for this opportunity to test myself against top opposition on the biggest of stages. I look forward to starting a new rivalry, El Salvador against Puerto Rico. June 10, you will have two hungry lions battling it out. I can’t wait.”

The fight and Taylor-Lopez will air live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET. Additional undercard bouts will air on ESPN+.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: