On June 10, 2023, Top Rank and ESPN will return to the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. In the main event, former undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez will challenge WBO Super Lightweight Champion Josh Taylor. Shortly before, unbeaten Puerto Rican prospect Xander Zayas will put his perfect record on the line against Ronald “Diablo” Cruz. However, Cruz and Zayas will not only fight for bragging rights, but they will also compete for the second annual Miguel Cotto Award.
“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,” Cotto said.
Cotto was honored with the key to Madison Square Garden last June when Edgar Berlanga fought Roamer Alexis Angulo. Throughout his career, he found great success at this historic venue, fighting the likes of Sergio Martinez, Joshua Clottey and Paul Malignaggi at Madison Square Garden. Now, Zayas will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Puerto Rican legend.
“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,” Zayas said.
“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.”