The promotion company Top Rank decided to move the first fight of 2024 of the undefeated super welterweight Xander Zayas for June after analyzing this year’s sporting panorama and to give the Puerto Rican boxer a broader preparation space.
Gardy Lopez, director of Athlete Relations at Top Rank, flatly ruled out that Zayas (18-0, 12 KO’s) is ill and added that the plans are for the athlete to have a schedule similar to last year, in which fought for the first time on the traditional card held on the eve of the Puerto Rican National Parade in New York in June.
Zayas, 21, had planned to face the Brazilian Patrick Teixeira on February 16 at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York, as a co-star of the billboard starring O’Shaquie Fosterwho will make his second defense of the super featherweight belt of the World Boxing Council (WBC) before him also Puerto Rican Abraham Nova.
“There’s nothing wrong with Xander. It’s more of a change of plans after seeing how the year is going to go. We’re looking at the big picture. Before his last fight, he had two fights in a row. “We are in no rush with Xander, rather we are looking at 2024 in its entirety,” Lopez expressed in an interview with The new day.
“We are going to give him that extension of time so that he can fight on the Puerto Rican Parade card with the same rival (Teixeira). The plan is for him to fight a total of three times. It’s going to be quite similar to what he did last year,” added Lopez, who explained that he does not rule out the Zayas-Teixeira brawl being the main card of the sports day prior to the Puerto Rican Parade.
Last year, Zayas fought on June 10 against Ronald Cruz, whom he defeated by unanimous decision. On September 15 he defeated by technical knockout Roberto Valenzuela Jr. and closed 2023 with a knockout victory against the Spanish Jorge Fortea on December 9.
Lopez pointed out that Top Rank never officially announced the February 16 fight against Teixeira, although he acknowledged that Zayas challenged the Brazilian after his victory against Fortea. In fact, it was Zayas himself who spoke about the date of February 16.
The news that the Lopez-Teixeira fight would be moved to June was announced by ESPN journalist, Mike Coppingerthrough your X account.
Teixeira, 33, has a record of 33 victories, 24 of them by knockout, and four defeats. He became interim super welterweight champion of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) with a unanimous decision victory over the Dominican Carlos Adames on November 30, 2019. The WBO elevated him to absolute 154-pound champion in December of that year and ordered him to face Brian Castano.
In the brawl against the Argentine, held on February 13, 2021, Teixeira fell by unanimous decision.
“Seeing how the year is going to go for Xander, we understand that June is the perfect time (for him to fight for the first time in 2024),” Lopez stressed.
Puerto Rican “Chary” Chevalier sounds
Lopez neither denied nor confirmed that the confrontation between the Bayamon Bryan “Chary” Chevalier (20-1-1, 16 KO’s) and Andres Cortes (20-0, 11 KO’s) is the one who takes the place in the Zayas-Teixeira fight.
Sources from this newspaper assure that although a contract has not been signed, negotiations are advanced. Chevalier would defend the WBO Intercontinental super featherweight belt (130 pounds).