Xander Zayas: "I Will Become
A Top Contender In 2023"
Xander Zayas (15-0, 10 KOs) is one month away from his first
fight of 2023. The Puerto Rican junior middleweight phenom
will face nine-year veteran Ronald "Diablo" Cruz in the
eight-round co-feature to the WBO featherweight world title
clash between Robeisy Ramirez and Isaac Dogboe on Saturday,
April 1, at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
Ramirez-Dogboe, Zayas-Cruz and undercard bouts will stream
live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+.
Zayas signed with Top Rank at 16 and has been on the fast
track to stardom ever since. In 2021, the 20-year-old
prospect notched six wins, four of them via stoppage. The
following year, Zayas decisioned Quincy LaVallais in March,
captured the vacant NABO junior middleweight title in August
by knocking out Elias Espadas, and defended that title
against Alexis Salazar in December. Zayasí road to contender
status continues against Cruz (18-2-1, 12, KOs), a Los
Angeles native who has never been stopped and is coming off
a close decision loss to Damian Sosa last August.
Following a recent training session, this is what Zayas had
"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."
"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."
"I respect my opponent, Ronald 'Diablo' Cruz. He is an
experienced rival; he is a former WBC Latino regional champ.
I know he is motivated and excited for this opportunity. He
will bring out the best of me in the ring. Once the bell
rings, Iím there to do a job."