This is the way that Xander Zayas preferred to share a stage with Robeisy Ramirez.
Both boxers will appear in separate bouts as part of an ESPN-televised doubleheader this Saturday from the Charles F. Dodge Center In Pembroke Pines, Florida. Ramirez gets his first pro fight in the greater Miami area in a WBO featherweight title defense versus Rafael Espinoza, while Zayas’ televised co-feature versus Spain’s Jorge Fortea comes less than 30 minutes from his adopted hometown of Sunrise, Florida.
“Robeisy is a great guy and I’m honored to be able to share this card with him,” Zayas told BoxingScene.com. “We were supposed to be part of the same show earlier this year but it didn’t happen. So to be able to close out the year down here in our second home is amazing.”
Zayas (17-0, 11KOs) was previously due to appear on the April 1 ESPN+ show that saw Ramirez (13-1, 8KOs) outpoint Isaac Dogboe to win the WBO featherweight title. However, an injury forced the Puerto Rican prospect off of the show and left him out of the ring for six months.
This Saturday will now mark his third fight in six months since his triumphant return in June. Zayas outpointed Ronald Cruz following the second-longest inactive period of young career that night. He then stopped Roberto Valenzuela Jr. in the fifth round of their September 15 clash, just days after his 21st birthday.
Zayas now has the long-sought opportunity to share the stage with a fighter he’s long admired.
“He’s one of the fighters I’ve always looked up to. He’s a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and has already established himself as one of the best featherweights in the world,” insists Zayas. “He’s proven after that minor setback in his pro career.
“Even after that loss, he immediately came back and started beating all these guys who were supposed to be stronger, more experienced and he’s looked amazing doing it. December 9 won’t be any exception.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox