At 21, Xander Zayas doesn’t have to fight like a world champion at this point in his career.

What he accomplished Saturday night by effectively pitching a shutout on a former world champion, by filling the Madison Square Garden Theater on a New York holiday weekend and by flashing his aggression and precision in an abundance of spots was encouraging.

With Puerto Rico’s support and Zayas’ attention to discipline, what he did in defeating Patrick Teixeira, 100-90, 100-90, 99-91, and going 10 rounds for the first time was another positive step forward for the young fighter with main-attraction appeal.

“Before you go 12, you’ve gotta go 10. I’m ready for any fighter they put in front of me,” Zayas (19-0, 12 KOs) said.

OK, in a division that includes massive southpaw Sebastian Fundora, three-division champion Terence Crawford and former unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., saying that’s biting off more than Zayas can chew for now.

He was wise to “call out” a list of contenders – and not champions – for his next fights, including Erickson Lubin and Top Rank’s recently signed Vito Mielnicki Jr.

Surprisingly, Teixeira (34-5, 25 KOs) was just the first pro southpaw Zayas has faced since turning pro at age 16. He was right. He needs the rounds. He needs some patience to allow his development to occur.

“Man, (Teixeira) was tough. It was difficult to find the body. He knew how to survive, ducking the hook, hiding the body,” Zayas said. “Practice makes perfection.”

Zayas, ranked the No. 5 junior-middleweight by the WBO and No. 7 by the WBC, didn’t balk from the start at Teixeira’s veteran knowledge and southpaw stance, immediately landing a defining uppercut in the first round and peppering the former WBO champion with a few good rights.

Zayas’ speed and punching precision paced him through the early rounds, like when he backed up a left to the body by landing a clean left to the face. Unbothered by Teixeira’s cleanest punches, Zayas made the Brazilian deal with his power shots, boosting the morale of the Puerto Rican Day parade crowd who’ve gathered in New York this weekend.

Teixeira’s awkward, herky-jerky style in the fifth defused Zayas’ pursuit of ending the bout by the end of the sixth by making the veteran elusive and calming Zayas’ power activity.

Brazil’s Teixeira, 33, previously met one of Top Rank’s best young fighters, and defeated current world champion Carlos Adames for the WBO interim belt in 2019 in Las Vegas.

Zayas wasn’t going to let history repeat itself, increasing his aggression in the sixth to bury some hurtful blows toward Teixeira’s body and forcing his will upon the creative veteran.

“Finding my distance was the key today,” Zayas said.