Sunday, May 28, 2023  |



Xander Zayas stops Marklin Bailey in Puerto Rico homecoming bout

Xander Zayas - Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Fighters Network

It was a homecoming of sorts for welterweight prospect Xander Zayas Friday night and he did not disappoint those in attendance.

Zayas battered Marklin Bailey before stopping him in round 3 at the Cancha Ruben Zayas Montanez in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. With the victory, Zayas improves to 4-0 (3 knockouts).

The 17-year-old Zayas made headlines last March when he became the youngest fighter to sign a promotional deal with Top Rank at age 16.

Growing up in nearby San Juan, the taller Zayas seemed to feed off the cheers from the partisan crowd, going on the attack and putting Bailey on the defensive. Bailey attempted to fight back, but Zayas landed at will, battering him in round 2.

Midway through round 3, Zayas back Bailey up into a corner, letting his hands go, connecting with vicious hooks and crosses to the head and body. Bailey was taking too much punishment, prompting referee Roberto Ramirez, Sr. to step in and stop the fight.

Zayas, who now lives and trains in Sunrise, Fla., is managed by Peter Kahn.

Bailey, who resides in Durham, North Carolina, drops to 6-7, 4 KOs. He has now lost his last six bouts.

In the main event, junior lightweight Angel Aponte (8-0, 4 KOs) of San Juan won by technical knockout after Irving Macias (7-1, 4 KOs) remained on his stool after round 6 of an eight-round bout.

In featherweight action, Yadiel Camacho-Rodriguez (2-0, 2 KOs) of nearby Cidra knocked out Lucky Holt (0-5) of Hannibal, Missouri in the opening round.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring 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,, and He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing