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Top Rank signs 16-year-old prospect Xander Zayas

Arum says Zayas is “mature beyond his years.”

Manny Pacquiao & Jeff Horne Press Conference Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

This afternoon news broke that Top Rank has just signed Xander Zayas, a 16-year-old welterweight, to a multi-year contract. And in over 50 years as an entity, Zayas has become the youngest fighter ever signed by the promotional company (a couple of months younger than Gabriel Flores Jr., who Top Rank signed in 2016).

Speaking on the signing of Zayas, Arum said:

“Xander Zayas is a tremendous young fighter who is mature beyond his years,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said in announcing the signing on Thursday. “He has everything it takes to one day become an international boxing superstar.”

Zayas is a Puerto Rican native who has since moved to Plantation, Florida. He’s compiled 11 Puerto Rican and U.S. national titles while maintaining a 118-14 amateur record. He’ll continues to fight in the amateur ranks until he turns 17 in September, when he’s expected to make his professional debut.

“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,” Zayas said. “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.”

For now Zayas will be in action next month, fighting for Team USA at the Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament in Botevgard, Bulgaria.

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