Xander Zayas will fulfill a dream when he headlines the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York this summer.

Zayas will take on Brazilian former world titleholder Patrick Teixeira in a 10-round clash on June 8 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The fight will signal the announcement of Zayas as a main-event fighter and the potential start of a long run of fighting on the weekend of New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade.

It will have been 19 years since Miguel Cotto defended his junior welterweight crown against Muhammad Abdullaev as part of the same celebration, so there is some symmetry to Zayas (18-0, 12 KOs) going after his 19th professional win on his fight date.

Zayas will be following in the footsteps of Puerto Rican boxing legends who conquered New York, such as Hector Camacho, Felix Trinidad and Cotto. Now, Zayas hopes it’s his turn to fill a legendary venue and fulfill the potential he showed after making history in 2019 as the youngest fighter, at age 16, to sign with Top Rank.

“Representing Puerto Rico on a date in which Boricua culture is celebrated and honored represents a sacred commitment that I have with my people,” Zayas said. “On June 8, I won’t just be fighting for myself. I’ll be fighting for every Puerto Rican who always perseveres when the going gets tough.”

The bout will mark Zayas’ first fight of 2024, as well as something quite a bit more personal. Headlining a card is something Zayas has dreamed of, along with longtime coach Javier Centeno, since early in his career.

“This is my first main event and my first fight against a former world champion,” Zayas said. “I plan on carrying my flag and making it shine on one of the world’s biggest stages, ‘The Mecca of Boxing.’”

The co-feature will see featherweight Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington take on tough veteran Jose Enrique Vivas in a 10-round fight.

Preliminary bouts include:

Junior middleweight Jahi Tucker (10-1-1, 5 KOs), from Deer Park, New York, will face Quincy LaVallais (17-4-1, 12 KOs) in an eight-round fight.

U.S. Olympian Tiger Johnson (12-0, 6 KOs) will put his perfect record on the line against Tarik Zaina (13-1-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-round fight.

Welterweight Elijah Flores (8-0, 3 KOs) will face Derrick Whitley Jr. (7-4-1) in a six-rounder.Junior lightweight prospect Ofacio Falcon (10-0, 6 KOs) will meet Antonio Dunton El Jr. (5-2-2, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder.

Recent Top Rank signee heavyweight Ali Feliz (1-0, 1 KO) is set to take on Lemir Isom-Riley (4-2, 2 KOs).

Nisa Rodriguez (1-0), will be featured in a women’s middleweight bout against Jordanne Garcia ( 4-3-3), and flyweight Andy Dominguez (10-1, 6 KOs) is scheduled to take on Cristopher Rios (10-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-rounder.

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