Home Boxing News Xander Zayas ready to step up, Patrick Teixeira says it’s a bridge...

Xander Zayas ready to step up, Patrick Teixeira says it’s a bridge too far

Xander Zayas and Patrick Teixeira. Photo credit: Top Rank

Junior middleweight Xander Zayas 18-0 (12) is confident he is ready for the next step in his career when he takes on former world title challenger Patrick Teixeira 34-4 (25) at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday night.

Brazilian southpaw Teixeira, 33, is a seasoned campaigner. He holds a 12-round unanimous decision victory over reigning WBC middleweight champion Carlos Adames 23-1 (18) and has shared the ring with Brian Castano 17-1-2 (12) and Magomed Kurbanov 25-1 (13).

Puerto Rican Zayas, still only 21, will be having just his third 10-round bout with his previous two ended in fifth-round victories. Zayas is yet to be extended past the eighth round in his five year pro career.

The matchup pits youth against experience.

“This is something we’ve worked towards doing,” said Zayas. “I want to give thanks to Top Rank, ESPN and MSG for giving me this opportunity. Man, I’m 21 years old and I’m headlining at MSG. It’s something I always dreamed of. I worked hard for it. And now it’s happening.

“On paper, this is the biggest test of my career. I have to pass it with flying colours. I know that. The team knows that. We’re focused on winning Saturday night and then focusing on everything else.

“Somebody is going to have to back down in this fight. And I don’t believe that will be me. I’m ready to go 10 rounds if necessary. I’m willing to go through everything I have to go through to get the victory.”

Teixeira is riding a three-fight knockout streak going into this bout after three losses on the trot. It will be the first time the almost six-foot tall Teixeira has made the 154-pound weight limit in more than three years.

The pressure fighter says his adaptability is overlooked, adding he will be able to make any adjustments necessary during the fight to get the win over Zayas.

“A win in this fight can get me back to where I want to be, headlining in big fights,” said Teixeira through an interpreter.

“Obviously, every fight is different. I know that. So, I prepared differently and used different strategies. I just hope to come out with the win.

“In reality, I adapt myself to my opponent. I like to apply pressure and come forward, but it all depends on what my opponent does.”

In a separate interview with Fight Around the World, Teixeira said his last three bouts in his homeland were designed to keep his tools sharp are he waited for another big fight opportunity.

“I have been preparing very well since my last fight,” the former WBO interim titleholder said. “I had three fights in Brazil, and I waited for the best opportunity. They were fights to keep me active.

“I’m focused on capturing my title again at 154 pounds. I have a great opportunity to be on top again. I want to be champion again.”