Xander Zayas’ impressive ring performance helps set up his next fight…
The 21-year-old Puerto Rican boxer took only five rounds to dispatch 14-year veteran Jorge Fortea in front of an adoring crowd on Saturday at Dodge City Center near Miami.
Zayas (18-0, 12 KOs) earned a knockout stoppage at 1:37 of the fifth round after a crushing left hook to Fortea’s body. The body shot brought a merciful end to the junior middleweight bout, which Zayas dominated from start to finish with vicious body combinations and power shots along the ropes. He landed 27 total body shots on Fortea, two of which forced Fortea to take a knee, once in the first and again in the fifth.
The impressive showcase by Zayas sets up a bout on February 16 against Patrick Teixeira, the No. 2-ranked junior middleweight by the WBO.
“We knew he liked to keep his elbows out,” Zayas said of Fortea. “It was just a matter of time since we got him in the first round. After that, he kind of went into survival mode. February 16, [Madison Square Garden], Patrick Teixeira, you’re next!”
In total, Zayas landed 285 punches to 144 for Fortea. Both of Fortea’s eyes were badly swollen by the third. It was the Spanish fighter’s first loss since he suffered a knockout against Anthony Fowler in March 2021.