Xander Zayas cleared up any doubts for the Prospect of the Year award | Boxing

Xander Zayas to

took his last chance to remove any doubts about his bid for the Prospect of the Year award in rented .

The young Puerto Rican fighter won his sixth victory of 2021 on Saturday by knocking out Italian Alessio Mastronunzio in the first round of the undercard, starring Vasyl Lomachenko and Ghanaian Richard Commey, at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Zayas, who improved his record to 12-0, 9KO’s, dropped Mastronunzio (9-2, 3KO’s) in the first 10 seconds and then stepped on the gas until referee Danny Schiavone stopped the fight at 2:52 of the episode.

“I told you that I came here to make a statement. That’s what I did, “Zayas said at the end of the fight.” I’m the prospect of the year. I hope everyone knows who the 2021 prospect is. “

This was Zayas’ first brawl in the Big Apple’s boxing mecca and his eight-round debut at 154 pounds.

With this triumph, the 19-year-old prospect closes the year at the peak of his young career.

In the main event, Lomachenko defeated Commey by unanimous decision before more than eight thousand fans at the legendary New York City Arena in a 12-round fight.

The former world champion in three different divisions got the judges’ cards in his favor of 119-108, 119-108 and 117-110.

Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) dropped Commey with a left hand coming off a clinch in the seventh round. Then, he saluted Commey’s corner to stop the fight, but he didn’t obey. Commey somehow survived when Lomachenko landed several punches to the head and body.

“I saw his situation. It was very difficult for him,” Lomachenko said. “That’s why I said, ‘Hey, stop the fight.’ He’s a true warrior. He has a big heart and we went ahead and showed people 12 great rounds.”

For his part, Commey (30-4, 27KO’s) said he took his eyes off Lomachenko “for a second” and received the blow. “I just took my eyes off him and that was it. It is what it is. He is a great fighter. I did what I have to do. I’m fine. I’m not bad. Nothing happened to me”.

Lomachenko has now won two lightweight fights since losing his belts to Teofimo Lopez in October 2020. He hopes to become undisputed lightweight champion, a crown currently held by Australian George Kambosos Jr.

“I said before that I don’t like to talk about myself. We have a lot of great fighters in this division. We have a lot of top-level fighters. So we can put together a lot of great fights in the future,” he said.

In the co-main event, Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (11-0, 11 KOs) knocked out Ukrainian puncher Oleksandr Teslenko (17-2, 13 KOs) in the second round.