Xander Zayas Defeats Patrick Teixeira by Unanimous Decision

Xander Zayas is proving he’s a contender…

The 21-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer, touted as a contender since he was a teenager, dominated Patrick Teixeira in a unanimous decision victory on Saturday night in New York City to remain undefeated as a junior middleweight prospect.

Zayas (19-0, 12 KOs) also helped establish his boxing future in a different way at Hulu Theater inside Madison Square Garden. The native of San Juan was fighting on the weekend of the Puerto Rico Day Parade, a tradition for fighters from the island to be stars of the show at the Garden. Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad are among those who’ve made this tradition memorable.

Zayas, who signed with Top Rank when he was 16 and made his pro debut six weeks after his 17th birthday, marched forward from the start with attacks to the body.

He landed 10 body punches in the second round and another nine in the third, while Teixeira managed just three during those six minutes. That put Zayas in full control, and by the end of the fight, he had landed 76 body punches to 12 for Teixeira.

Zayas’ overall advantage in punches landed was 204-63, and he was threatening from start to finish.

But Teixeira (34-5, 25 KOs), who held the WBO junior middleweight world championship in 2021, stood tough and made it to the final bell.

Zayas moved his attack upstairs in Round 8 and snapped Teixeira’s head back several times with hooks and uppercuts. By the end of the ninth, the face of the 33-year-old Brazilian was bloody, and he was in survival mode, moving away from Zayas and throwing little offense back at the young fighter. Teixeira’s movement and toughness enabled him to make it to the end.

Two of the three judges scored every round for Zayas, while the third gave Teixeira one round.

“Thank you to the people of Puerto Rico,” Zayas said afterward. “Since I’m 5 years old, I’ve been dreaming about this.”

Xander Zayas Defeats Jorge Fortea to Set Up Bout Against Patrick Teixeira

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.

Xander ZayasAlthough it probably felt a lot longer to Fortea.

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.

Jose Pedraza to Fight Keyshawn Davis in 10-Round Lightweight Bout in December

Jose Pedraza has secured his next opponent…

The 34-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer and former two-weight world champion has agreed to fight Keyshawn Davis in a 10-round lightweight bout on December 9 in Pembroke Pines, Florida, according to ESPN.

Jose Pedraza Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs) is winless in his past three bouts, all of which took place at 140 pounds. A draw with Richard Commey was sandwiched in between close decision losses to junior welterweight contenders Jose Ramirez and Arnold Barboza.

Pedraza last competed at 135 pounds in May 2019.

The slick southpaw was a titleholder at 130 and 135 pounds. Both of his title defeats came against the sport’s elite. Pedraza lost his 130-pound title via TKO to Gervonta Davis in 2017.

The following year, Pedraza dropped his 135-pound title via decision to Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Davis, an Olympic silver medalist, will be stepping way up in competition for his first bout against a former champion. The 135-pound bout will take place on the ESPN undercard of a featherweight title fight between WBO titleholder Robeisy Ramirez and Rafael Espinoza, sources said.

Davis, 24, is coming off the toughest fight of his career, a majority-decision victory over Nahir Albright earlier this month.

The matchup with Pedraza will be the fourth fight for Davis (10-0, 6 KOs) this year as the prospect looks to become a contender with a victory over the 34-year-old gatekeeper.

Davis, one of the sport’s best prospects, competed at the Olympics in 2021. The Norfolk, Virginia, native is trained by Brian McIntyre, who also guides Terence Crawford.

Junior middleweight prospect Xander Zayas will also fight on the undercard, sources said.