Top Rank signs 16-year-old Xander Zayas to promotional deal
Xander Zayas, one of the top amateur boxers today, has signed a multi-year promotional deal with Top Rank.
Zayas, who was born in Puerto Rico and now resides in Plantation, Florida, is an 11-time Puerto Rican and United States amateur champion. He is slated to make his professional debut as a welterweight in September.
At the age of 16, Zayas becomes the youngest fighter to sign a promotional deal with Las Vegas-based company.
Zayas, who has accumulated an amateur record of 118-14, will represent Team USA next month at the Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament in Botevgard, Bulgaria.
Zayas hopes to match the success of his idol Miguel Cotto.
“Growing up watching my idol, Miguel Cotto, it was always a dream of mine to fight for Top Rank,” said Zayas, who will be trained by Javier Centeno in Davie, Florida. “That dreams come true. Although I’m years old, I have been boxing since I was five years old, and I understand the magnitude of what it means to be promoted by the best promotional company in the world.”
“I know I have a long road ahead and will remain focused and hungry while I work hard every day to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a world champion. It was a surreal experience to meet with Bob Arum, as he provided me with his wisdom and advice as I begin my career. It was a humbling experience, and I am truly grateful for this experience.”
Arum believes Zayas will a superstar in the sport.
“Xander Zayas is a tremendous young fighter who is mature beyond his years,” said Arum. “He has everything it takes to one day become an international superstar.”
Zayas will be managed by Peter Kahn, who also manages lightweight contenders Emmanuel Tagoe, George Kambosos, and Saul Rodriguez. Kahn also manages welterweight contender Chris Van Heerden.
“Xander is a special fighter,” said Kahn. “He is wise beyond his years and understands what it means to be a part of Top Rank as he embarks on his professional career as the youngest fighter to ever be signed by the company. Xander has all the tools to be a world champion, and now it’s up to him to go to work and begin his journey as a professional fighter.”
Zayas elected to turn pro because he would have been too young to participate at the 2020 Olympics. He will graduate from high school in 2020.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.