Sport: Top Rank signs highly touted 16-year-old prospect Xander Zayas - PressFrom - US
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SportTop Rank signs highly touted 16-year-old prospect Xander Zayas

21:25  14 march  2019
21:25  14 march  2019 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

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Top Rank signs highly touted 16-year-old prospect Xander Zayas© Provided by Oath Inc. Highly regarded boxer Xander Zayas, 16, poses in front of a photo of promoter Bob Arum and the late former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali after signing a promotional deal with Top Rank. (Mikey Williams/Top Rank) Top Rank, which already has a deep pool of elite prospects 21 years and younger, added a fresh face to its lineup on Thursday when it announced the signing of highly regarded 16-year-old welterweight Xander Zayas.

Zayas, who is 118-14 in the amateurs and will fight for Team USA next month at the Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria, will turn professional in September.

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A native of Puerto Rico, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum couldn’t say enough good things about Zayas.

“Xander Zayas is a tremendous young fighter who is mature beyond his years,” said Arum. “He has everything it takes to one day become an international boxing superstar.”

Top Rank had a built-in advantage in landing Zayas, whose middle name is Yarob which leads to the nickname “XYZ.” His manager, Peter Kahn, works closest with Top Rank, but more importantly, Zayas is a fan of former world champion Miguel Cotto, who fought most of his career with Top Rank.

Because of that, Zayas’ goal was to join the promotional company that has promoted many of the sport’s greats over the last 50-plus years, including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Cotto, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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“Growing up watching my idol, Miguel Cotto, it has always been a dream of mine to fight for Top Rank, and today that dream has come true,” Zayas said. “Although I am 16 years old, I have been boxing since I was 5 years old, and I understand the magnitude of what it means to be promoted by the best promotional company in the world. I know I have a long road ahead and will remain focused and hungry while I work hard every day to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a world champion. It was a surreal experience to meet with Bob Arum, as he provided me with his wisdom and advice as I begin my career. It was a humbling experience, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity.”

Zayas, who is a junior in high school, elected to turn pro because he’s too young to box in the 2020 Olympics.

He won the U.S. National Championships at 125 pounds in 2017 and at 152 pounds in 2018. He was named the tournament’s most outstanding boxer in 2018.

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