Amanda Serrano vs Yazmin Rivas; Another Puerto Rico vs Mexico War
Brooklyn’s Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano spearheads the first televised female title fight in decades when she faces Yazmin “La Rusita” Rivas on Saturday.
If that’s not enough to shoulder, it’s also Puerto Rico versus Mexico.
WBO super bantamweight titlist Serrano (30-1-1, 23 KOS) looks to knock out Mexico’s Rivas (35-9-1,10 Kos) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sat. Jan. 14. Showtime Extreme will televise the DiBella Entertainment bout at 4 p.m. PT. 7 p.m. ET.
Serrano, 28, a Puerto Rican now living in New York City, has that added tint of excitement knowing that she’s facing a two-time world champion from Mexico in Rivas. It’s like adding spice to the food.
She vows it will be a knockout win.
“You re definitely going to see a night of power. I’m going to hit her so much harder. I want an easy nice knockout win,” said Serrano who formerly held the featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight world titles. “Fans are going to enjoy the fight. They are going to see me add another knockout.”
It’s Serrano’s power that captivates not only fans but promoters and television executives. Raw knockout power in female prizefighters rarely is seen.
One of the first to see her knockout voltage was her current trainer and manager Jordan Maldonado.
“If you look at the pro circuit none of the girls come close to her knockout record. She had that power in the amateurs,” said Maldonado. “In the pros Amanda has knocked out girls that have never been stopped.”
Among those tasting the canvas or being stopped were Olivia Gerula, Edina Kiss and Kimberly Connor. Both Kiss and Connor had never been knocked out before. Gerula had only been knocked out by Jelena Mrdjenovich before facing Serrano’s power.
Ironically, Mrdjenovich was the first opponent sought for this televised fight but negotiations did not result in an agreement.
“She priced herself out,” said Maldonado.
Other possible opponents were sought.
Lou DiBella, who promotes Serrano, said that a number of women turned down the fight. Calls were made and it was the WBC that suggested Mexico’s former bantamweight world champion Rivas would take the fight.
DiBella said he understand why many refused to fight Serrano.
“Amanda is a dangerous fighter,” DiBella said. “She’s a dangerous girl.”
Rivas, 28, has fought many of the best female prizefighters in the world in her career that spans more than 15 years. She has been fighting professionally since 13 years old and has never been knocked out.
The veteran of numerous Mexican wars and international skirmishes was eager to face a Puerto Rican fighter and add to the luster of previous Puerto Rico versus Mexico wars that have taken place, but mostly among the men.
“It’s going to be a great fight, a war like those that came before in this rivalry,” Rivas told ThePrizefighters.com writer Felipe Leon. “And since Mexico has won most of them, I don’t expect a different outcome than me winning the title.”
Serrano’s trainer Maldonado claims his team expects this to be Serrano’s toughest fight.
“They wanted us to fight Jelena (Mrdjenovich) the Canadian girl, but she outpriced herself. To be honest, this is a tougher fight. She (Rivas) beat Matthysse and she beat Jelena,” said Maldonado. “Two Latinas in there and the fact Yazmin has never been stopped adds to the challenge. She doesn’t know how to go backward. It’s a great fight for the fans. On paper it’s a 50-50 fight.”
Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza agrees and that’s why he approved the fight for television.
“Lou DiBella was able to get a solid opponent in Yazmin Rivas, who is not only a world champion but has a really entertaining style,” said Espinoza. “Yazmin Rivas is a two time division champion. She has fought all over the place. She is a long-time professional.”
Rivas lost the WBC bantamweight world title last year in an upset to Catherine Phiri. She moved up to the 122-pound super bantamweight division last August and won a split decision to win the WBC International super bantamweight title.
“My experience is my best weapon,” she said.
Serrano loves the challenge of participating in a Puerto Rico vs. Mexico war.
“That’s one of the best rivalries. I’m glad she took up the fight,” said Serrano of Rivas. “When I found out I was happy because I want to show my skills, my power. I want more people to be more interested in female boxing. Not a one shot deal. I said we got to get the best girl out there.”
American television viewers and those attending the female blockbuster fight at Barclays will be witnessing more history and yet another edition of the Puerto Rico vs. Mexico wars.
“Puerto Rico versus Mexico that’s one of the best rivalries,” said Serrano. “I want people to leave knowing they saw a great fight.”