It wasn’t until recently that Xander Zayas was allowed to hit his local bar and get himself a drink. The newly turned 21-year-old might be incredibly young, but he believes that age is essentially nothing more than a number.
Once viewed as an interesting prospect to keep an eye on, Zayas bypassed the learning stage and solidified himself as a true contender. His resume might be bereft of any big names, but the manner in which he’s gone about his business has turned a few heads, including the WBO sanctioning body.
Currently, the Puerto Rican native is ranked number two, trailing only Josh Kelly. Of course, Tim Tszyu is the proud owner of the WBO crown. So far, the Aussie has been willing to take on all-comers. It’s unknown when a showdown between Zayas and Tszyu could become a reality but Zayas is confident that he’ll get his shot sooner rather than later.
“We are really close,” Zayas told Sean Zittel of FightHype.com. “We’re knocking on the door.”
Before he continues to fantasize about a world title opportunity, Zayas can’t take his eyes off the prize. In just a few more weeks, Jorge Fortea will do his best to knock Zayas off his high horse.
Candidly, Fortea, who’s on a three-fight win streak since getting brutally stopped against Anthony Fowler, isn’t being given much of a chance. Still, things have to play out in the ring and Zayas admits that he can’t afford a slip-up so close to his end goal.
To a large extent, Tszyu has officially replaced Jermell Charlo as the best fighter at 154 pounds. Recently, he made his believers smile after winning a lopsided decision over Brian Mendoza.
Zayas is a soft-spoken young kid and isn’t interested in back-and-forth trash talk. With that said, he did acknowledge that he isn’t willing to take a backseat to anyone, including Tszyu.
“All respect to Tim Tszyu but this is my time. I’m coming to take over.”