Seven-division world champion Amanda Serrano made history at the opening bell in her bout Saturday against Danila Ramos without throwing a single punch.
This wouldn’t be enough for Serrano. She had a point to make, and the 35-year-old from Puerto Rico made it with a dominating performance over a game but outgunned Ramos of Brazil.
Serrano (43-2-1, 30 KOs) did what she could to stop Ramos (12-3, 1 KO), but the two saw the fight through its record-smashing 12th round for a unanimous decision with scores of 120-108. Serrano successfully defended three of her world featherweight titles (IBF, WBA, WBO), the sixth defense of her WBO title against the mandatory challenger Ramos. She has never been beaten at featherweight.
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“I went through 12 rounds, and I still have the energy to hold up my belts,” laughed Serrano.
“Thank you for making history with me together,” said Serrano after the fight. “I hope this is just the beginning, the start. I know I have other women are following in my footsteps, good luck to them who choose to fight three minutes.”
Although Ramos lost, credit the 38-year-old for stepping up and joining Serrano in this noteworthy fight to make it possible. Win or lose, Ramos also makes history.
“I’m extremely happy to be here. I went through a lot of suffering, there was a lot of prejudice against women. Now I’m here making history with Amanda,” said Ramos.
Offensive Output On Display By Serrano
After a measured first round, Serrano started moving in on Ramos, doing damage with the lead jab. As the pressure increased through the first half of the fight, Serrano’s tempo and punch rate ratcheted up, forcing Ramos to stay on the move and stay busy to keep Serrano off. Ramos held her own, but Serrano remained in charge on the cards.
In the fourth round, Serrano sent Ramos back to the ropes with a hard left, and this is where Serrano does her damage. Ramos’ swelling left eye showed the effects of Serrano’s offensive effort. Serrano continued to press forward in subsequent rounds, sitting down on hard shots in combination. Ramos could no longer keep Serrano off her.
Serrano wanted to make a point about three-minute rounds opening the door to more knockout wins for women. Ramos wouldn’t let it happen, no matter how hard Serrano tried to get her out of there.
Body shots at the close of the tenth round caused Ramos to wobble and hold. With the point made and Ramos far behind on the cards, it would have been wise for her corner to pull her, but it wasn’t going to happen as long as Ramos stayed on her feet, which she did to the final bell.
Watching ringside were trailblazers of women’s professional boxing, including Laila Ali, Holly Holm, and Christy Salters Martin. Referee Sparkle Lee of New York, a trailblazer in her own right, got the assignment as the third woman in the ring.
“Keep on, keep believing in yourself and the rest is history. I’ve been in this sport for 14 long years, I’ve seen it all,” said Serrano. “The good, the bad, the ugly, the pretty. I’ve been blessed the last few years.
“I’ve struggled in this game. All the women before me struggled, too. My sister (Cindy Serrano), Laila (Ali), Christy (Salters Martin), Holly (Holm). We didn’t get what we deserved. This isn’t the last. I hope the future is bright for all of us.” Serrano thanked her promoter Jake Paul, her team, the sanctioning organizations, and the Florida Commission. Serrano said she planned to celebrate with a burger and a milkshake.
Undercard Results From Florida
Damian Lescaille of Miami Beach, Florida (6-0, 4 KOs) had to stay on the grind against a determined Ray Barlow of Atlanta (7-4, 4 KOs) until he was finally able to get the knockout victory at 2:58 of the eighth round. WBA Continental title co-main. Lescaille landed a straight left, drawing Barlow’s attention off the sharp right hook to the chin that took Barlow down.
The Cuban native said, “I’m proud to be fighting on the undercard of Amanda Serrano, fighting in front of all these great Puerto Rican fans.” Lescaille successfully made the first defense of his WBA Continental Welterweight title. Lescaille earned a $5,000 bonus, given out by MVP Promotions for undercard fighters who score a KO.
Benigno “Tony” Aguilar of Crescent City, Florida (11-0, 4 KOs) and Alexander Rios-Vega of St. Cloud, Florida (7-1, 3 KOs) delivered a bonkers, crowd-pleasing banger of a fight in the lightweight division. Rios delivered the harder shots behind a body attack, with 56 of his 121 landed punches to the body. A fifth-round knockdown by Aguilar swung the decision his way. Scores were 58-55 and 57-56 for Aguilar, and 57-56 for Rios. Aguilar is promoted by Hall of Fame fighter/promoter Christy Salters Martin.
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The crowd was behind the Puerto Rican-born Rios, but the Mexican-American Aguilar would not be denied. “He made it a great fight, tough as hell. Couldn’t ask for a better fight. Much respect. This means the whole world to me,” said Rios.
Hoping to follow her mentor and manager Serrado’s example, super flyweight Krystal Rosado-Ortiz of Puerto Rico (2-0, 1 KO) gave an all-offensive effort in her decision victory over Kata Pap of Hungary (1-1, 1 KO). All three judges gave Rosado-Ortiz the four-round shutout by scores of 40-36.
Rosado-Ortiz, age 21, is a power puncher in the image of her mentor and manager Amanda Serrano. The pair met in Puerto Rico by chance. Rosado-Ortiz impressed Serrano in a sparring session, and their partnership was meant to be.
Cruiserweight Damazion Vanhouter of St. Petersburg, Florida (5-0, 3 KOs) worked hard to get the knockout bonus, dishing out an impressive performance nevertheless in his decision win over Nafys Garner of Sacramento, California (0-1).
Scorecards were 40-36 and 39-37 twice for Vanhouter. “Mazirati” Vanhouter is 18 years old and made his pro debut in March after a pair of pro fights in Mexico. He recently graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA from high school.
Bantamweight Antonio Vargas of Kissimmee, Florida (17-1, 9 KOs) put veteran Tyson Marquez of Sonora, Mexico (47-11-2, 33 KOs) down with a hard right hand in the second round and kept throwing heat through the remaining rounds, hunting the veteran down for a decision victory. Scores were 99-89 for Vargas on all three cards.
Euri Cedeno of the Dominican Republic (6-0-1, 6 KOs) got a spirited challenge from Cuban-born Dayan Depestre of Miami (1-0-1). The middleweights both had solid moments in an action-packed fight. The two young men walked away disappointed with a majority draw, with scorecards of 58-56 apiece and a 57-57 card from respected judge Steve Weisfeld. It was the right call for the pair of promising prospects.
Angel Chavez of San Jose, California (9-0, 7 KOs) won a unanimous decision by scorecards of 60-54 over veteran Sladan Janjanin of Bosnia (37-17, 26 KOs).