NEW YORK – Quincy LaVallais views his fight against Xander Zayas as much more winnable than oddsmakers have suggested.

DraftKings lists the unbeaten Zayas as a 30-1 favorite over LaVallais in advance of their eight-round junior middleweight match Saturday night. LaVallais considers Zayas more predictable than the outcome of their fight, which ESPN will televise as part of the Edgar Berlanga-Steve Rolls undercard from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.

“I think he’s a good fighter, but he’s not as good as everybody says he is,” LaVallais told following a press conference Thursday at Madison Square Garden. “I have no pressure on me. I just go out there and do what I do, get the win. And I’m gonna surprise a lot of people and get a lot of fans from this fight.”

Whereas Puerto Rico’s Zayas has been promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. as one of boxing’s next big things from the time he made his pro debut in October 2019, the 28-year-old LaVallais has competed mostly in non-televised fights in Louisiana. LaVallais lost his last fight, a six-rounder, to Nicaragua’s Nolberto Casco (6-1, 4 KOs) by unanimous decision October 30 in Nicaragua.

The well-traveled LaVallais (12-2-1, 7 KOs) has taken fights in Colombia, Mexico and Nicaragua just to stay active since he turned pro in December 2016. That’s why the Metairie, Louisiana, native is so appreciative to have been afforded this type of opportunity to knock off a top prospect on a big stage.

“It would mean a lot because I’ve been underground, pretty much fighting in different countries for a good, little minute,” LaVallais said. “And to be on this stage and to win, that’ll mean I’ll keep coming back and a lot of people will know my name. That’ll be great for my family, just knowing that they have somebody out here doing what they gotta do to be successful.”

In the developing Zayas (12-0, 9 KOs), LaVallais sees a talented but flawed fighter, particularly defensively.

“I think he stays open for a lot of shots,” LaVallais said. “He’s very predictable. He’s not as fast as I’ve seen, but you only know that when you get in the ring. When he’s throwing shots, he’s open for a lot of counter punches.”

The 19-year-old Zayas embraces that he is very much a work in progress, despite that he has displayed impressive flashes of promise in most of his fights. The San Juan native believes he has improved defensively in his past two fights and he intends to make a statement Saturday night against an opponent who has questioned Zayas’ upside.

“We’ll see Saturday night,” Zayas told “We’ll see how good I am Saturday night. It comes down to that. Words doesn’t affect me. You know, he could say whatever he would like to say. At the end of the day, it comes down to Saturday night.”

Zayas-LaVallais will be the second of three fights ESPN will air as part of a tripleheader scheduled to start at 10 p.m. ET.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.