Junior middleweight phenom Xander Zayas (15-0, 10 KOs) will have an extra source of motivation for his upcoming fight.
The 20-year-old standout will fight Ronald “Diablo” Cruz (18-2-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday, June 10 for the second annual Miguel Cotto Award, which is presented by Top Rank and Madison Square Garden Entertainment. The Miguel Cotto Award celebrates the remarkable career of the legendary four-division world champion and upholds the tradition of hosting a major fight card during Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend. Cotto, who achieved notable wins against Muhammad Abdullaev, Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Joshua Clottey, Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale during this festive weekend, will present the award at The Theater at Madison Square Garden following the June 10 bout.
Zayas-Cruz will be the co-feature to the junior welterweight showdown between WBO and Ring Magazine world champion Josh Taylor and former unified and lineal lightweight king Teofimo Lopez.
Taylor-Lopez and Zayas-Cruz will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Cotto said, “For me, it’s a great honor and a great pleasure that Madison Square Garden and Top Rank have an award with my name to continue the tradition of fight cards during Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend. This award will motivate future generations to deliver their best in each fight.”
“Miguel Cotto has made an immeasurable mark on boxing at ‘The Mecca’ – Madison Square Garden,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, Marquee Events and Operations, Madison Square Garden Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to celebrate Cotto’s warrior legacy during the Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend with the presentation of the second annual award to the winner of the Xander Zayas v. Ronald Cruz fight on Saturday, June 10.”
Zayas said, “I’ve always said that in the world of boxing, Miguel Cotto is my favorite fighter. He is the reason I decided to become a fighter. It’s a total honor and a dream come true to have the opportunity to fight for an award that has his name. This confirms for me that we are on the right path, and it motivates me to keep working hard to continue accomplishing my dreams. I want to unite my Island and all of the Puerto Ricans in the United States in the same way that Miguel did. That is my biggest dream, and I will achieve it.”