Xander Zayas vs. Ronald Cruz Added As Co-Feature To Josh
Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez On June 10
Junior middleweight phenom Xander Zayas is set to shine on
the eve of Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City.
Zayas will return in a 10-round re-scheduled battle against
Ronald “Diablo” Cruz Saturday, June 10 at The Theater at
Madison Square Garden. Zayas-Cruz will serve as the
co-feature to the junior welterweight showdown between WBO
and Ring Magazine champion Josh Taylor and former unified
and lineal lightweight king Teofimo Lopez.
Taylor-Lopez and Zayas-Cruz will be broadcast live on ESPN,
ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets are on sale now and can be
purchased at Ticketmaster.com.
Zayas (15-0, 10 KOs), from San Juan, Puerto Rico, is on the
fast track to super stardom. He signed with Top Rank at 16
and has maintained an unblemished record. He is coming off
an impressive 2022 that included eight-round decision wins
over Quincy LaVallais and Alexis Salazar, along with a
fifth-round TKO against Elias Espadas. The 20-year-old was
originally scheduled to face Cruz in the April 1 co-feature
to the Robeisy Ramirez-Isaac Dogboe main event, but a
training injury forced him to withdraw. Zayas is ready to
settle unfinished business on the eve of the Puerto Rican
Day Parade atop an undercard that will feature several of
"I cannot wait to fight at Madison Square Garden in front of
my people on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. This is
a dream come true," Zayas said. "Ronald Cruz is a tough,
durable fighter, and I expect the best version of him on
Cruz (18-2-1, 12, KOs) is a Los Angeles native who has never
been stopped as a pro. After suffering his first loss in
2015, he went 16-0 before drawing against Kevin Ottley in
2021. In his last fight, the eight-year pro went 10
competitive rounds in a unanimous decision loss to Damian
“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 undercard, streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+,
features two all-Puerto Rico battles.
Henry “Moncho” Lebron (17-0, 10 KOs) takes on Christian
Tapia (15-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round junior lightweight tilt.
Lebron is coming off wide decision wins over Andy Vences and
Luis Lebron, while Tapia looks to rebound from a competitive
decision defeat to Cleveland standout Thomas Mattice.
Promising prospect Omar Rosario (10-0, 3 KOs) squares off
against Jan Carlos Rivera (8-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round
junior welterweight bout. Rivera has won four straight
fights since a decision loss inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas
The loaded undercard action also features pair of rising
stars in eight-rounders, both of whom fought on the Shakur
Stevenson-Shuichiro Yoshino bill in Newark, New Jersey.
Brooklyn featherweight prodigy Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington
(7-0, 4 KOs), who knocked out Brandon Chambers in the second
round, makes his third appearance at The Theater at Madison
Polish heavyweight dynamo Damian Knyba (11-0, 7 KOs), who
stopped Curtis Harper in the eighth round, will fight an
opponent to be named.