Amanda Serrano Beats Mexico’s Yazmin Rivas in Brooklyn
Showing engineer-like precision and adaptability Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano defeated Mexico’s Yazmin “La Rusita” Rivas by unanimous decision in a gritty performance on Saturday in keeping the WBO super bantamweight title.
“I was glad to get 10-rounds in and I hope the fans enjoyed the fight,” said Serrano. “I had to show I could box, I could brawl.”
Before a hometown crowd of more than 10,000, Serrano (31-1-1, 23 Kos) delivered a sterling performance against former bantamweight titlist Rivas (35-10-1, 10 Kos) at Barclays Center. It was the first nationally televised female bout by Showtime since May 2009.
Entering the bout the hard-hitting southpaw Serrano had knocked out five consecutive opponents. But she was aware Rivas had never been stopped.
“She had a big head,” said Serrano on Facebook.
The cool and calculating Serrano met a counter-punching Rivas who punched whenever punched in the opening rounds. If the Puerto Rican fired, then Rivas fired too. It proved to be the tactical approach the Mexican female fighter would use throughout the fight.
Serrano connected with some jaw shaking blows early in the fight, but was met with resistance. Early on it appeared Rivas was targeting the body but not finding it worthwhile as she absorbed blows. But the two female fighters showed poise and skill in their approach.
Rivas had some moments in the third, fifth and seventh rounds especially with a right cross. But Serrano showed a solid jaw and willingness to return fire whenever she was hit.
Some experts felt before the fight, that Serrano was merely a “knockout puncher” and could be in trouble if a knockout was unattainable. But the Puerto Rican fighter from Brooklyn took out her boxing tools and showed an array of offensive and defensive skills to offset the Mexican girl’s experience.
“We knew she was going to come to fight,” Serrano said. “She’s a Mexican fighter who’s very tough and experienced. I had to show her my power and my skills
In the last several years Serrano captured the featherweight and super bantamweight titles to go along with the super featherweight and lightweight world titles she already had conquered. But she was aware that Rivas had never been stopped.
“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,” Serrano stated after the fight. “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.”
Mexico’s Rivas was a two-time bantamweight world champion who has been fighting since the age of 13. She had faced big punchers, fast boxers and aggressive fighters in the past like Jackie Nava, Susie Ramadan and Edith Matthysse. She was unfazed by Serrano’s power and felt she had the advantage in experience.
“It was an excellent fight. I followed all of the instructions from my corner and I believe that I won,” Rivas said. “”I knew everything was against me and to win I had to knock her out. Unfortunately it didn’t happen today.”
All three judges saw Serrano winning the fight handily at 99-91, 98-92, 97-93. There were no knockdowns in the fight. Still, Serrano was happy about the outcome.
“It was a great night for women’s boxing and I hope it keeps getting bigger and bigger. We want the best,” she said. “My goal is to drop to 118 pounds 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.”
(Side note: the last female bout on Showtime was Melissa Hernandez defeating Jeri Sitzes by unanimous decision after six rounds in Las Vegas on May 9, 2009.)