AMANDA SERRANO WAS within the place she feels most snug — a boxing health club — when a 6-year-old approached her. Within the woman’s arms was a mobile phone, and he or she needed to point out it off.
The woman was the one one within the dialog with a cellphone of her personal.
Serrano has by no means owned a mobile phone. She is aware of how you can function one and infrequently helps her mother and father with the technical facet of utilizing theirs. However have certainly one of her personal? No want.
If it will not make her a greater boxer, or if it will be a distraction, Serrano will not be . It is her means of blocking interference, not simply in combat prep however in life. Cuts down on payments, too.
The woman requested Serrano how she talks along with her household and not using a cellphone. It was a good query, and Serrano answered by acknowledging that, at age 32, she nonetheless lives along with her household.
“If somebody actually needs to get in contact with me, they know how you can,” she mentioned. “And if they don’t seem to be shut sufficient, then they don’t seem to be purported to get in contact with me.”
Serrano does have a landline at dwelling — it seems like a rotary cellphone, she mentioned — however her supervisor and coach, Jordan Maldonado, handles all of her calls and manages her social media and electronic mail. Her promoter, Lou DiBella, negotiates her fights. It is a lady who does not need distractions in her life. Serrano will share, unprompted, that she’s by no means even had a boyfriend.
Such is life for Serrano, the most effective boxer you doubtless have not heard of. She has completed what few others within the sport — male or feminine — have completed: maintain main titles in seven weight lessons. She has held titles as a junior light-weight, light-weight, junior bantamweight, bantamweight, junior welterweight and junior featherweight, and he or she at present holds the WBC and WBO featherweight championship belts, which she’ll defend towards Yamileth Mercado on Sunday in Cleveland.
Serrano bounces up and down divisions like an incentive spirometer, attempting to find the most effective fights and titles whatever the weight class or the opponent. She owns a 40-1-1 file with 30 knockouts.
“I am unable to consider one other fighter that has been capable of do what she has completed by way of bodily difficult her physique in any respect these completely different weight lessons,” mentioned Stephen Espinoza, president of Showtime Sports activities. “And going up and down to fulfill different girls fighters who’ve spent most of their careers in a single weight class — if there was a male fighter doing what she’s doing, that fighter could be the speak of boxing and could be [at] the highest of pound-for-pound lists.”
As an alternative, Serrano, who was born in Puerto Rico, toils largely in anonymity. She will get some recognition within the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, the place she grew up and nonetheless lives. Hardcore combat followers find out about her accomplishments. However the massive majority of the general public has no clue about Amanda Serrano.
Sunday, she hopes, will change that. Combating on the pay-per-view undercard of a boxing match between YouTube star Jake Paul and former UFC champion Tyron Woodley will present Serrano what she has by no means had in 12 years as knowledgeable fight sports activities athlete: a large viewers.
“It is a efficiency, and I do not wish to let down girls’s boxers,” Serrano mentioned. “I am doing this for the entire sport of girls’s boxing.”
Serrano can be doing this for herself. She is aware of the eye a Paul combat brings. If she fights as she normally does — because the uncommon feminine boxer with a litany of knockouts to her identify — she might catapult herself to a unique stage of fame.
WHEN PAUL AGREED to headline Sunday’s card on Showtime, he informed Espinoza he needed a number of issues from the undercard: principally up-and-coming fighters, thrilling fights and a minimum of one feminine bout.
Espinoza, listening to the standards, did not need to suppose lengthy about whom to strategy.
“The identify we instantly advised was Amanda, and he instantly agreed,” Espinoza mentioned. “It was a brief dialog.”
Serrano had already expressed curiosity, tweeting throughout Paul’s final combat that she’d prefer to be on a card with him in the future. She noticed the potential of a brand new viewers and publicity, and he or she informed DiBella and Maldonado as a lot.
She was interesting to Paul due to Serrano’s model. She has unusual energy. Since 2017, seven of her 10 fights have resulted in knockouts — and all however three had been title fights. She’s misplaced solely as soon as in her profession — in 2012 in Sweden to Frida Wallberg, difficult for the WBC junior light-weight title — and had a attract her fifth professional combat towards Ela Nunez, whom Serrano defeated thrice after that.
“I dropped her with each punch — a jab, a left hand, a hook — and it was over. I used to be like, ‘OK, that is higher than going the space. You possibly can have quick, straightforward fights.'”
Amanda Serrano on certainly one of her early-career TKO wins
In any other case, it has been nothing however wins, sometimes in devastating trend.
“I possess energy,” Serrano mentioned.
It is not essentially a matter of weight class. Serrano has knockouts in six of the seven weight lessons wherein she has reigned as world champ — all however junior welterweight, a division wherein she has competed solely as soon as.
Serrano first acknowledged her unusual energy when she began taking boxing severely at age 18. She had began understanding in Maldonado’s gyms — Maldonado is married to her sister, Cindy, additionally a professional boxer — when she was 13. Serrano tried sparring on the time however did not prefer it. 5 years later, out of highschool and not sure what she needed to do subsequent, she gave it one other attempt.
This time, boxing caught. In 2009, she turned skilled and fought Jackie Trivilino in her debut in Albany, New York, and received by majority determination.
Her first knockout got here within the first spherical of her second combat when she defeated Brittany Cruz in Orlando, Florida. Nevertheless it was her fourth combat, towards Christina Ruiz in Atlantic Metropolis, that Serrano really confirmed off her energy.
“I dropped her with each punch — a jab, a left hand, a hook — and it was over,” Serrano mentioned of the 2009 TKO. “I used to be like, ‘OK, that is higher than going the space. You possibly can have quick, straightforward fights.'”
Since then, that has been her strategy. Practice exhausting. Practice sensible. Attempt to finish fights.
Serrano credit Maldonado with turning her into the preeminent knockout artist amongst girls fighters. The coach redirects the credit score again towards his fighter.
“I taught her punching method,” Maldonado mentioned. “However the truth that she’s blessed with punching energy, I am unable to educate that. Punching energy will not be one thing coaches can educate you. There may be leverage, however in case you do not hit exhausting, it actually does not matter.”
For Serrano, the knockout energy may be pure, however all the things else that has made her a champion comes from repetition. She often shadowboxes for 10 minutes straight within the ring throughout coaching to make her motion sharp. As fights come nearer, normally beginning two weeks from combat evening, she’ll throw nonstop punches for 10 minutes straight on a bag, take a break and do one other 10 minutes. Twenty minutes is similar size as a full-distance girls’s title combat, however organized in another way to assist prepare her cardio and stamina.
Every punch, Serrano says, must be good.
SERRANO DOESN’T LOOK at what she has by no means had — the mobile phone, the boyfriend — and see sacrifice. It is how she has chosen to dwell. Boxing, till she retires, will come first.
It is led her up to now, the potential for featherweight title unification fights towards both Erika Cruz or Sarah Mahfoud and, ultimately, a superfight with undisputed light-weight champion Katie Taylor that will be one of many largest within the historical past of the game for girls. Taylor is No. 1 within the ESPN women’s pound-for-pound rankings, and Serrano is No. 3.
Serrano needs her profession to proceed with Showtime, too. She hopes Sunday results in a contract with the community on which she’s appeared thrice since 2017. When she fought Yazmin Rivas on Jan. 14, 2017, it was Showtime’s first premium feminine combat since 1996, when Christy Martin fought Sue Chase and Diedre Gogarty in back-to-back months.
Serrano is attempting to grow to be a extra everlasting fixture, and Espinoza is excessive on her future. He credited DiBella with initially pushing for Showtime to broadcast Serrano’s fights, and Espinoza mentioned she’s by no means placed on a boring combat.
“Actually we’re very aware of her personally and professionally,” Espinoza mentioned. “And I feel no matter what occurs [Sunday], we are going to very doubtless see Amanda on Showtime once more.”
That is what Serrano has been constructing towards. The fixed motion between divisions, the nonstop coaching, the give attention to turning boxing right into a singularity in her life. All have pointed her towards a future as one of many premier fighters within the sport.
However on Sunday she’s out to show a degree, too. Serrano often is the exception in girls’s boxing — the knockout artist extraordinaire — however she needs to point out that she’s greater than that.
“They suppose that I am only a brawler, only a knockout artist, however I can field,” Serrano mentioned. “I can combat. I can do it just about all.”