BOXRAW Sleeper of the Week: Xander Zayas

Sometimes talent is clear from the beginning. Special fighters can show glimpses of what they’re capable of from a very young age.

Xander Zayas is so far proving to be one of those fighters. The Puerto Rican prospect is aiming to ultimately notch his name in the rich history of champions to come from his home nation during an already bright career.

Despite having only recently turned 18 years of age, Zayas has a wealth of ring experience. He first took to the squared-circle at just six and enjoyed huge success for over a decade in the unpaid ranks.

His honours included 11 US national titles across over 130 amateur bouts. Top Rank wasted no time in snapping him up as a professional, capturing him when he turned 16 to make him their youngest signing for over 50 years. 

A successful debut last October ended within the first round and four further career victories have followed. Most recently, the rising welterweight star secured another quick-fire first-round victory over Orlando Salgado on the day before his 18th birthday.

With an imposing size and stature for his age at 147 pounds, can the Puerto Rican grow into a dominant champion and go on to become a multiple-weight ruler down the line? The early signs have been promising.

Zayas has long excited some of the most prominent names within the Top Rank stable, most notably Bob Arum, following his eye-catching amateur pedigree and early pro potential. The teenage sensation looks set to break on to the scene as one of boxing’s top talents in the coming years.