LAS VEGAS – When Xander Zayas turned pro in 2019, he faced the same problems that all other fighters face. Boxing is a sport you have been doing for me lately and needed to prove yourself over and over again.
He had to find ways to improve as he handled the myriad of out-of-ring demands placed on him, such as gaining weight and dealing with the media.
Zayas, however, had a problem to deal with that most of his peers did not have:
Zayas was only 16 when he turned pro and was still in high school. And so, while many of his Plantation High School peers were thrilled with the homecoming and prom, Zayas had to finish his homework and get to work.
He graduated last year and is now ready for Phase 2 of his career. A welterweight, Zayas has fought with current and former world champions and is making a concerted effort to step up the competition.
He is 6-0 with five knockouts and is considered one of boxing’s brightest prospects. On Saturday (10pm ET, ESPN) at the MGM Grand Conference Center, he will face his toughest challenge as a pro when he meets 6-1 James Martin.
Zayas still has many developments ahead of him, but he has benefited from it from…
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