Amanda Serrano, bidding to be the rising tide that lifts all ships, wanting to give a grand account of herself to raise the profile of women’s boxing, tangled with Jazmin Rivas of Mexico at Barclays Center on Saturday.
She wanted to take out Rivas, give the masses their pound of fish, but her foe wasn’t cooperative. Midway through, Serrano realized Rivas had a solid beard.
So Serrano clicked into boxing gear, stayed smart and busy and while she didn’t blow them away with a grand exhibition of controlled violence, she earned the judges’ love: Serrano got a UD10, 97-93, 98-92, 99-91.
Repping Brooklyn and Puerto Rico, Serrano promised that she’d do her best to prove to doubters that the women could bring the entertainment, and that women’s boxing should get a piece of that pie ladies enjoy in MMA.
The WBO junior feather champ Serrano came in with a 30-1-1 mark and Rivas was 35-9-1.
In the first, the lefty stance Serrano came out winging right away. Her left to the body was nasty. She was the aggressor, as Rivas hurled left hooks, used her legs, and knew not to stand her ground or she’d risk being dropped and stopped. In the second, more power from Serrano. Jabs, lead hooks, lefts underneath, constant aggression from BK. Rivas fought off her back foot, gamely. To the third…fast and hard hands came from Serrano, whose sister Cindy, the elder, also holds a crown. Rivas was busy to start the third. She led more, threw more combos, had a solid round.
To the fourth; more Serrano as the aggressor, more forward movement, more body work investiture. Same in fifth—this was a steady as she goes showing, very consistent and focused from the PR-born hitter. To 6—Rivas was not winded from eating body shots, a credit to her durability. Serrano moved more, looked to freshen up the angles some, to maybe lure Rivas into getting off balance, get her with a shot she didn’t see. In round 7, we saw Serrano back up more, shift it up, again. She was moving, boxing, being smart, understanding now she’d not blow Rivas away with power.
In the eighth, more smart boxing from sis Serrano. To 9—Rivas pressed, still with wind, bless her. In round ten, they both stepped it up. There was trading, and Serrano especially wanted to close hard for the locals. They traded for a spell at the close and the crowd told them they appreciated it. To the cards we’d go…
Serrano is 27, while Rivas is listed at 28, though she debuted as a pro in 2001, and that would have made her 13 then, so only her mom’s delivery doc knows for sure.
Quotes from both:
“We knew she was going to come to fight. She's a Mexican fighter who's very tough and experienced. I had to show her my power and my skills.
“She's definitely a really good fighter. I was glad to get 10-rounds in and I hope the fans enjoyed the fight.
“We wanted the knockout but I was ready for 10-rounds. People who think I'm just a brawler saw that I'm a great boxer today.
“We picked a tough opponent because we wanted to showcase that I can beat good fighters and take a punch if I have to. I can do everything in the ring. We wanted the toughest fighter out there and she came to fight.
“She hit hard but I hit her harder. I could hear her breathing in between rounds and I knew I had her. It was a great night for women's boxing and I hope it keeps getting bigger and bigger.
“We want the best. My goal is to drop to 118 and win a title in my fifth division. I want to fight other champions. My goal is to be the first Puerto Rican to hold world titles in five weight classes.”
“It was an excellent fight. I followed all of the instructions from my corner and I believe that I won. I think the last round was very close, but I think I did well in all the rounds.
“My face is clean the only mark is from a head butt. It happened early in the fight.
“I knew everything was against me and to win I had to knock her out. Unfortunately it didn't happen today.
“I believe that after this fight, women will have more opportunities to show their skills on television.”
Julian Sosa made a whole bunch of ticket buyers, from his nearby Sunset Park, Brooklyn, happy as he got the W over Gabriel Solario. It was a majority decision, with one fella seeing it even Steven.
Sosa, a welterweight, moved smartly on a guy better suited to 140 or 135 or so. Sosa worked on his movement, enjoyed getting the rounds and giving the fans some minutes to watch. In the fourth, Sosa worked off the back foot, slipped and ducked and worked on being hard to hit. The bout got into rhythm, with Sosa being the athlete. Solario is a bit craftier than the low number of pro fights might indicate. He’d back off, slip a shot, look to counter. He’d also pop a sneaky jab.
The Sosa crew was loud and proud in the sixth. They wanted their guy to close out big. Both men worked to the wire. We’d get the cards read…