Xander Zayas TKO’s Roberto Valenzuela in fifth round – ‘I’m a contender now’

Lopez vs Gonzalez

Xander Zayas came out on top when he faced Roberto Valenzuela at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday, September 15. The pair squared off in the co-feature on ESPN-televised card, topped by Luis Alberto Lopez’s IBF featherweight title defense against Joet Gonzalez.

The scheduled for 10 rounds junior middleweight bout didn’t go the full distance. Zayas secured the win by TKO, scoring a pair of knockdowns in the opening round and causing a cut on his opponent’s nose in round three along the way. The fight was stopped by referee Mark Nelson at 42 seconds into the fifth round.

With the victory, 21-year-old Xander Zayas of San Juan, Puerto Rico improved to 17-0, 11 KOs. 24-year-old Roberto Valenzuela of Agua Prieta, Mexico dropped to 21-5, 20 KOs.

“I didn’t think he was going to stop bleeding from his nose,” Zayas said post-win. “When I went to my corner, I told my dad [assistant trainer Orlando Garcia] that his nose was really bad. So, we knew that it was a matter of time.”

“I came here to accomplish a goal. I came here to let everybody know at 154 pounds that I’m coming for everything. They said he was a power puncher, and I dominated tonight.”

“I’m a contender now at 154 pounds. Whenever Top Rank gives me the opportunity, I’ll be ready for a world title.”

“All my respect to Roberto. He was a warrior like I knew he was going to be.”

In Australia, the event aired live on Saturday, September 16.

Get Lopez vs Gonzalez full fight card results.

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