Junior middleweight phenom Xander Zayas underlined his glistening potential as he dominated Patrick Teixeira in front of his Puerto Rican fans at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. 

Zayas cruised past the former world champion to claim a unanimous decision win after a 10-round main event to kick off Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend.

The 21-year-old won it 100-90, 100-90, 99-91 on the scorecards to extend his perfect professional record to 18-0 as he marches towards the world’s elite.

“A couple weeks ago, we learned that Patrick’s mother passed away,” said Zayas. “And like a warrior, he was here. He came here and put on a show, so I want to give a round of applause to Patrick Teixeira.

“Thank you to all my people in Puerto Rico. Since I was five years old, I dreamed about this. It’s happening, thanks to you guys, and I want to thank you for everything you do for me.

“He was tough. He knew how to survive in there. It was sometimes difficult to find the body, but with the experience, he hid it. I tried to land the hook, and he was ducking underneath. I feel like it was a tough test, but I passed it with flying colours.”

The Shu Shu show rolls on

Bruce ‘Shu Shu’ Carrington, the Brownsville-born featherweight contender, starred in the co-main event as he recorded an eighth-round stoppage win over late stand-in Brayan De Gracia.

De Gracia had been drafted in on less than a week’s notice after Carrington’s original opponent Enrique Vivas faced delays in securing a visa.

Carrington celebrates his win over Brayan De Gracia. Image: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Bruce Carrington celebrates his win over Brayan De Gracia. Image: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Carrington would be unfazed by the late change and wore down a tough De Gracia to make the breakthrough in the fifth when he floored his opponent with a right hand.

The punishment built in the seventh when Carrington dropped De Gracia at the ropes, before an eighth-round assault finally convinced referee Eric Dali to step in and wave off the fight.

The victory lifts Carrington to 12-0 as a professional, with the American watched on by four-weight world champion Naoya Inoue at ringside amid suggestions of a potential meeting further down the line.

“It’s interesting that he’s here,” said Carrington. “He came to watch, and he’s leaving right now. So, obviously, he came to watch me. I’m ringing bells, and I’m making noise. That’s what we plan on continuing to do in our career. I want to make that fight happen some time soon.

“There are some things I could’ve done more. There are some things I could’ve done better on the defensive end. He’s a tough opponent, and I’m super happy that Brayan came in and took the fight on last-minute notice.

“He came to fight. He’s really strong. His knockout ratio shows the power is there, but you know me, I have a lot of experience and know how to get around that, break my opponent down, and do what I do. And that’s how we got the victory.”

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