Former junior middleweight titleholder Patrick Teixeira isn’t pulling any punches when he assesses the power of uber-prospect Xander Zayas: He simply doesn’t think he hits all that hard.

Teixeira will find out if it’s true on Saturday, when he is scheduled to fight Puerto Rico’s Zayas at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City. The bout, broadcast on ESPN, will mark Zayas’ first time headlining a New York card – and on the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in The Big Apple.

Brazil’s Teixeira (34-4, 25 KOs), who is on a three-fight win streak after losing three on the bounce before that, will look to spoil the homecoming for Zayas (18-0, 12 KOs).

At 33, Teixeira is 12 years older than Zayas, who turned professional at just 16. This will be Zayas’ third bout scheduled for 10 rounds, and despite his previous two fights not going the distance, Teixeira has reservations about the potency in the prodigy’s mitts.

“Xander has an intelligent style, he can box, he is fast, but he doesn’t have a lot of power,” said Teixeira, the former WBO junior middleweight titleholder, via a translator. “After seeing his fights, he doesn’t have a lot of power. Some of the fighters he fought haven’t been at a high level, and others have been easy to knock out.”

Regardless, Zayas enters with a 66 percent knockout ratio and is on a two-fight knockout streak. Teixeira has a slightly higher knockout percentage (73 percent) but has only been stopped once, by Curtis Stevens in 2016.

Teixeira defeated Carlos Adames in 2019 to become a world titlist and later lost his belt to Argentine slugger Brian Castano, so he has faced his fair share of formidable punchers.

“I don’t think so,” said Teixeira when discussing whether he thinks Zayas is overlooking him. “I think he respects me. I think he is focused on this fight and knows it is difficult.”

Thanks in part to Teixeira, Brazilian boxing is in a good place. Robson Conceição won a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics and has fought for a world title three times as a pro. He will make his fourth attempt on July 6 against O’Shaquie Foster, the WBC junior lightweight champion. Beatriz Ferreira recently won the women’s IBF lightweight title and was the 2020 Olympic silver medalist, and Hebert Conceição won a gold medal in the 2020 Olympics. Despite these successes, Teixeira believes there is still work to be done.

“I think we are going through a good moment in boxing,” Teixeira said. “But we need more. Boxing is small here. We need more events, we need more appearances on television to be seen.”

A victory over one of the top prospects in the sport could help give more exposure to boxing, Teixeira agreed.

“Yes, I think it would help. Each victory from a Brazilian in the United States is important for us,” Teixeira said. “It is important for boxing in Brazil, it helps create confidence, and it shows the hard work that we do can take us wherever we want.”