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Xander Zayas Impressive On Lopez-Campa Card

Xander Zayas Impressive On Lopez-Campa Card
Mikey Williams/Top Rank


Xander Zayas Impressive On Lopez-Campa Card

In the co-feature of Saturday night’s Top Rank Boxing/ESPN card in Las Vegas, junior middleweight prospect Xander Zayas dropped Elias Espadas twice en route to a one-sided fifth-round knockout.

Zayas (14-0, 10 KOs), a 19-year-old Puerto Rican from Sunrise, Florida, dominated from the outset. He dropped Espadas (22-5, 15 KOs), 31, of Mexico, with a clean left hook on the chin barely a minute into the fight and spent the rest of the fight stalking Espadas and working him over with a wide variety of punches.

Espadas caught him a few times, but nothing that bothered Zayas, who was warned for a low blows in the fourth round by referee Russell Mora.

Zayas spent the rest of the fight focusing on Espadas’ head. Early in the fifth round he landed a jab followed by a powerful right hand on the chin and Espadas went down to his rear end against the ropes.

Espadas, whose four-fight winning streak ended, beat the count and he seemed OK, but Mora elected to wave it off at 23 seconds.

“I promise it wasn’t intentional,” Zayas said of the low blows. “I wasn’t trying to hit him low. I guess the punches were just landing there. Referee, I want to thank him. He gave me a chance. I just listened to the corner and they told me, ‘Hey, forget about the body.’ Let’s get these head shots and then we’ll start working the body. And that’s what we did in round four on.”

The fight was originally scheduled to be on the Edgar Berlanga-Roamer Alexis Angulo undercard on June 11 in New York but it was postponed when Zayas withdrew due to a viral infection.

Zayas was in the ring for the first time since March, when he scored an 8 round decision win over Quincy LaVallais at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Since 2000, award-winning reporter Dan Rafael has covered boxing full time and been ringside for thousands of fights, first for five years at USA Today and then for 15 years at ESPN, where he wrote and appeared on various television, radio and streaming programs. In 2013, Dan was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America with the Nat Fleischer award for career excellence in boxing journalism. Dan brings his great insight to the Big Fight Weekend site, podcast and more!

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