Puerto Rico’s next superstar hopes to break through with a statement-making performance under the desert sun.
Xander Zayas, the 19-year-old puncher from San Juan, will step up in class when he meets Jose Luis Sanchez in a six-round junior middleweight bout this Friday, September 10 at the AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.
Zayas-Sanchez and an eight-round lightweight battle between the unbeaten Raymond “Danger” Muratalla and Ecuador’s Jose Angulo will be part of the undercard of Oscar Valdez’s WBC super featherweight world title defense against unbeaten Brazilian Robson Conceição.
The undercard, which also includes WBO flyweight world champion Junto Nakatani’s title defense against Angel “Tito” Acosta, will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT. ESPN+ will also stream Valdez-Conceição and a 10-round junior lightweight showdown between Gabriel Flores Jr. and Luis Alberto Lopez starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, limited tickets priced at $25 are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting Etix.com.
Zayas (9-0, 7 KOs) has emerged as one of the sport’s top prospects since debuting as a 17-year-old in October 2019. He fought four times in 2020 and has already fought three times in 2021. He shut out James Martin over six rounds in February, blasted out Demarcus Layton in 56 seconds in April, and followed that up with a third-round demolition over Irish veteran Larry Fryers in June. The Fryers fight was Zayas’ welterweight finale, as he’s testing the junior middleweight waters versus Albuquerque native Sanchez (11-1-1, 4 KOs), who is coming off a draw in May against respected spoiler Adrian Granados. Sanchez has not lost since 2013.
Muratalla (12-0, 10 KOs), a Robert Garcia-trained Southern California native, has notched seven consecutive knockout wins. The 24-year-old shined a pair of times last year inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble and stood out in May on the Josh Taylor-Jose Ramirez undercard with a fifth-round knockout over 30-fight veteran Jose Gallegos. Angulo (14-2, 7 KOs) has won two straight fights since a majority decision defeat to then-unbeaten prospect Alejandro Guerrero.
In other undercard action on ESPN+:
2016 Mexican Olympian Lindolfo Delgado (12-0, 11 KOs), who made his Top Rank debut June 19 with a unanimous decision over Salvador Briceno, returns against Miguel Zamudio (45-16-1, 28 KOs) in an eight-rounder at junior welterweight.
René Telléz Girón (15-1, 9 KOs), who owns a December 2019 knockout victory over top prospect Karlos Balderas, will face Texas native Eduardo Garza (15-4-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-rounder at junior lightweight. Giron has fought once since the Balderas triumph, knocking out Guadalupe Acosta Rodriguez last November in seven rounds.
Mexican junior welterweight knockout artist Omar “Pollo” Aguilar (21-0, 20 KOs) will step up in class against Paraguay’s Carlos Manuel Portillo (22-3, 17 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Aguilar has 15 first-round knockouts on his ledger and has not been extended past three rounds since December 2018.
Tucson’s Jose “Fosforito” Ramirez will make his official pro debut against fellow Arizona native Miguel Ceballos (2-0, 2 KOs) in a four-rounder at junior featherweight.