Historic Moment for Women’s Boxing on Television
Female boxing finally hits television.
Hard-hitting New Yorker Amanda Serrano faces Mexico’s Yazmin Rivas in a super bantamweight clash for the Puerto Rican’s WBO title in less than two weeks.
It’s been a long time coming.
After a lengthy void of female prizefighting, Showtime Extreme will televise Serrano (30-1-1, 23 Kos) versus Rivas (35-9-1, 10 Kos) on Saturday Jan. 14. The world title match promoted by DiBella Entertainment takes place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
It’s not just any fight. Fans will see an explosive meeting between two female fighters that refuse to go backwards. Anytime Puerto Ricans meet Mexicans in the boxing ring you can expect national pride to be on the line.
But the road to make this a televised fight has been arduous. Female boxing has been invisible on television screens for most of the past 30 years. That should end beginning this year.
Lou DiBella, the president of DiBella Entertainment, was setting up the chess pieces for more than a year to place women fights on television screens. Along the way he signed several female prizefighters such as Serrano, Heather Hardy, Shelly Vincent, Jennifer Salinas and others.
Last August, New York’s Hardy was matched against New England’s Vincent in a battle of undefeated super bantamweights at Ford’s Amphitheater on Coney Island. The nation witnessed the female fight for the WBC International title and the two female prizefighters lit up the night.
Hardy and Vincent blasted each other with combinations and showed off polished skills not seen the last time women were regularly televised many moons ago. The tight match ended with a win for Hardy but fans at the arena and those watching on television screens were captivated by the action and ferocity. It may have been the best fight on the lengthy fight card that night.
Watching alongside DiBella was Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza.
“We got to see both Heather (Hardy) and Amanda (Serrano) here in New York City,” said Espinoza about the clinching moments. “We are also looking at a possible Heather Hardy rematch with Shelly Vincent.”
Now it’s Amanda Serrano’s turn to show the American public that female boxing can be just as captivating as the men. Maybe even more.
PR vs Mexico
When it was time to find an opponent for Serrano on a televised fight card it seemed like a slam dunk. But offers to several women were declined.
“I offered the fight to a number of women, but they were looking for a lot of money,” said DiBella.
After calls were made to find a suitable opponent, a surprise development found a willing participant from Mexico in former bantamweight titlist Yazmin Rivas.
Serrano’s team was disappointed that a few challengers declined but ecstatic that Mexico’s Rivas took the fight.
“It’s a vintage Puerto Rican/Mexican war,” said Jordan Maldonado who trains and manages both Amanda and Cindy Serrano.
Rivas, 28, held the IBF and WBC bantamweight world titles at different times. She is now fighting at super bantamweight and that’s where Serrano currently holds the WBO super bantamweight title.
It’s a super match between a Mexican veteran with international experience and a Puerto Rican fighter with tremendous stopping power. It doesn’t get better than this.
“I’m glad she took the fight,” said Serrano, 28, about Rivas. “It’s going to be a typical Puerto Rican/Mexican war.”
Furthermore, boxing fans and sports fans in general will get a taste of what female prizefighting is all about.
“It’s been a long time in coming but Stephen Espinoza has taken an interest in women’s boxing. He wanted to see a good women’s fight on Showtime Extreme. This is a first step in getting to an all-women’s Showtime card in 2017,” said DiBella. “I’m excited too for all the women that have contributed to women’s boxing to this point.”
Both DiBella and Espinoza also said an all-female card on Showtime could be a reality later this year.
It’s really show time for female boxing.
Ticket prices begin at $25. For more information call (800) 745-3000.