Bruce Carrington meats Jose Enrique Vivas in the main card opener

Puerto Rican prospect Xander Zayas is all set for his first main event, as Top Rank announced today that the 21-year-old super welterweight will meet former interim champion Patrick Teixeira atop a June 8th ESPN show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

This marks the third 10-rounder of Zayas’ (18-0, 12 KO) career, though he needed less than 10 cumulative rounds to dispatch Roberto Valenzuela Jr and Jorge Fortea. He immediately called for a February showdown with Teixeira (34-4, 25 KO) after stopping the latter, which was obviously infeasible for a two-month turnaround, but now gets his wish on his biggest stage to date.

Brazil’s Teixeira, as Scott put it, has had a rocky path. He seemingly flamed out as a prospect when Curtis Stevens clobbered him in 2016, only to grind his way back into the picture and shock then-unbeaten Carlos Adames for the interim WBO belt five fights later. Then came a three-fight skid, a rabbit punch DQ sandwiched between decision losses to the very capable Brian Castano and Magomed Kurbanov.

He’s back on the board after three victories over weak competition in his native Brazil and should give us a good idea of where Zayas fits into the picture at 154.

Zayas said, “Representing Puerto Rico on a date in which Boricua culture is celebrated and honored represents a sacred commitment that I have with my people. On June 8, I won’t just be fighting for myself. I’ll be fighting for each and every Puerto Rican who always perseveres when the going gets tough. This is my first main event and my first fight against a former world champion. And I plan on carrying my flag and making it shine on one of the world’s biggest stages, ‘The Mecca of Boxing.’”

Teixeira said, “It took longer than expected, but this fight is finally here. I can’t wait to get in the ring and put the division on notice. I did it once before when I won my world title against Adames on a Top Rank show, and I’m going to do it again with one of their rising stars. Zayas is a great talent, and everyone there will be supporting him during that important weekend. But my experience will make the difference, and I’ll show that on June 8.”

The co-feature pits former amateur standout Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington (11-0, 7 KO) against Jose Enrique Vivas (23-3, 12 KO). Carrington’s stocks are at an all-time high after smoking Bernardo Torres in February, and while this isn’t a significant step up, it should be fun. Vivas can put on a scrap, even if he did find his ceiling in losses to Ruben Villa, Eduardo Baez, and Joet Gonzalez.

Carrington said, “Vivas should be my toughest opponent to date, but as I do every time I fight in Shu York City, I’m going to put on a crowd-pleasing performance. It’s special to fight in front of the great Puerto Rican fans. I can’t wait for June 8.”

Undercard highlights include Jahi Tucker’s (10-1-1, 5 KO) attempted comeback against veteran Quincy LaVallais (17-4-1, 12 KO) and the latest from a number of unbeatens like Delante “Tiger” Johnson (12-0, 6 KO) and Elijah Flores (8-0, 3 KO).

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