Heather Hardy: Risk Over Regret
By: Hans Themistode
When you play sports, there is a winner and a loser. There is simply no way around it.
Sure you can have rare instances where the game ends in a tie, but even then, there is a winner and a loser. It doesn’t matter if that contest was close or just a blow out. Someone has to feel the pain of losing.
Former WBO Featherweight champion Heather Hardy entered the ring on Friday September 13th, against Amanda Serrano as an underdog. A big one. Serrano was a seven division world champion and arguably the best female fighter around.
For as good as Hardy has been in her career, she was never thought to be on that level.
When the two signed on the dotted line to face each other, many were wondering out loud, just what round would Hardy get knocked out in? Thoughts of her pulling off the victory were non existent.
After building up their fight for quite sometime, the night finally arrived.
Many who watched Hardy walk to the ring couldn’t help but feel sorry for the 37 year old. She was walking straight into an ass kicking. When the opening bell rang, it was exactly what happened.
Hardy, who is normally a slick boxer and avoids major shots, was hit with everything in that opening round. Serrano, knocked her around the ring and made it apparent that Hardy was not in her league. Hardy did her best to fight back but the onslaught was too much. She spent the majority of that round with her hands up simply trying to stay up right as she staggered across the ring. A cut opened up on her right hairline, a bad one. You could hear screams from the crowd asking the referee to stop the fight.
Some how Hardy made it out of the round, but no one at that point thought the fight would last much longer.
Fighters understand when they are outclassed in the ring and often times accept defeat. Hardy could have easily bowed out gracefully and realized that she wasn’t going to win that fight.
Maybe that’s what you would do, but not Heather Hardy.
Round two was a whole different story. Hardy got more comfortable and confident in the ring. She landed a few nice shots and got back to slipping punches. She had clearly found her rhythm. The screams from the crowd that were asking the referee to stop the fight, turned into cheers for Hardy and her efforts.
Current WBA Super Middleweight champion Alicia Napoleon couldn’t stay in her seat. She constantly paced back and forth in media row cheering her friend Heather on.
Based on how the first round went, it was amazing to see that Hardy made so many adjustments in the ring. She no longer wanted to sit back and let Serrano bring the fight to her. Instead, much like her nickname, she brought the “Heat” all night long.
Serrano looked some what exasperated. How could a woman who seemingly had nothing to offer in the first round be so invigorated as the contest went on? That’s just how Heather Hardy is.
When the final bell rang, everyone knew that Serrano won that contest. She was the better fighter and she showed as much on fight night, but Hardy showed that she belonged.
The end result of the contest resulted in Hardy losing her Featherweight title. Something she had worked her whole career to obtain. She also lost her undefeated record as well.
It may have been a loss on paper but Hardy has already won.
Throughout the entire career of Hardy she has fought for all women and equality. Before Hardy came along, women’s boxing was often times cast aside. Now? It has earned the respect of many. Women have such as Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor have headlined shows on major networks, you think that is a coincidence? Not at all. It’s because of Hardy.
Women’s boxing may not and most likely will not ever get the same fame and adulation as the men do, but thanks to Hardy they are getting more and more opportunities.
Hardy could have sat back with her title and faced a lesser opponent. She could have milked her title and walked around with her championship for years to come, but that isn’t what she wanted.
“Risk over Regret.” Are the words that Hardy wrote on her Instagram post. Those are words that we should all live by.
Her title might be gone and her precious 0 in the loss column is also, but Hardy is forever a winner.
Three Takeaways: Can We Take a Moment to Appreciate Amanda Serrano?
By Jonah Dylan
For the first weekend in what feels like forever, there was a ton of boxing. And whether it was Tyson Fury’s drama-filled clash with Otto Wallin, Devin Haney’s near-perfect performance or the fact that the DAZN team flew from New York to LA to cover two cards in as many nights, it delivered. But the most underappreciated fight of the weekend was the WBO featherweight title fight between Heather Hardy and Amanda Serrano, which served as the co-feature to Haney’s fight at Madison Square Garden.
Hardy-Serrano got a good amount of media coverage compared to most women’s fights, but Serrano isn’t getting nearly enough credit for what she’s done over the last year and really over her entire career.
1. Amanda Serrano is one of the best fighters in the world, and you could make the case she beats Katie Taylor.
On Sept. 8, she beat Yamila Esther Reynoso to win a super lightweight world title and weighed in at 138 ½ lbs. On Jan. 18, she weighed 114.2 lbs when she dropped all the way down to super flyweight and knocked out Eva Voraberger in 35 seconds to win a world title in a record-setting 7th weight class.
So, to recap: she somehow cut all that weight in just over three months, then casually knocked out a game opponent in less than a minute. Serrano is the only woman to win world titles in seven weight classes, and that feat is matched only by Manny Pacquiao, who’s done it in eight different classes. But even Pacquiao isn’t dropping to super flyweight anytime soon.
Anyways, Serrano then moved back up to 126 – which she says is her natural weight – and nearly stopped the previously undefeated Hardy in the first round before cruising to a clear decision win. Give Hardy tons of credit – she showed unbelievable heart to stay in there with Serrano – but it was simply too tall a task.
DAZN seems to be putting most of its weight behind Katie Taylor, which makes sense because she’s a marketable fighter and is the undisputed lightweight champion. A Taylor-Serrano fight was supposed to be in the works after this weekend, but that makes too much sense so of course Taylor is now moving up to 140 to chase a title in a second weight class.
Serrano – who has flirted with an MMA career in the past – took to Twitter on Tuesday to say she’s going back there for the near future. It’s tough to blame her, because there aren’t many fights out there for her if she can’t get Taylor in the ring.
Honestly, go fight Cecilia Brækhus at 147. I’m only half-joking.
2. Tyson Fury survived and Wilder-Fury II is still in play, but that was close.
Here’s the thing: if Deontay Wilder hits Tyson Fury with the punch that opened up that horrible cut on Saturday, he’s not getting up. Otto Wallin had a nice showing and should get some big fights in the heavyweight division, but he’s nowhere near the puncher Wilder is (for that matter, nobody is). Fury’s calling card is his movement and defense, but there wasn’t a lot of that going on against Wallin.
That’s fine for one fight, because it made for an entertaining scrap and Fury still won clearly. But that version of The Gypsy King is not going to do very well against Wilder.
As for Wilder’s next fight: why is he even fighting Luis Ortiz? I know this was set up months in advance and it’s the reason Ortiz turned down the fight against Anthony Joshua, but what does he have to gain? The Pay-Per-View won’t do very well and while Wilder will be the favorite, anything can happen in the heavyweight division. Also, what’s the story? Wilder already knocked Ortiz out and it’s not like people are clamoring to see it again.
On second thought, maybe this whole ordeal will make people want to watch Wilder-Ortiz II. Who knows.
3. Once again, we have a nonsense interim title in play
Haney’s win against Zaur Abdullaev made him the mandatory challenger for the WBC lightweight belt held by Vasiliy Lomachenko, which I don’t think anyone is complaining about. Haney had worked his way to the No. 1 spot and won a title eliminator, which is typical.
Still, sanctioning an interim title fight literally two weeks after an actual title fight is beyond ridiculous. If a guy hasn’t defended his title for a year? Ok, create an interim belt for one fight and make sure the winner fights the champ in his next fight. But Haney isn’t fighting Lomachenko anytime soon, and the WBC probably did this so they can elevate Lomachenko to “Franchise Champion” and not have to sanction a vacant title fight.
This is basically a playbook the WBA – which gets more criticism than any other sanctioning body – has been using for years. But seriously, how can there be an interim title fight two weeks after the actual title fight?
Well, at least we have the “Mayan” belt.
Amanda Serrano vs. Heather Hardy: The Best Fight This Weekend
By: Hans Themistode
What a weekend to be a fight fan.
On September 13th, in New York City, at the Hulu arena in Madison Square Garden, Devin Haney is going to be taking on Zaur Abdullaev. Both guys are undefeated and will be looking to establish themselves as one of the best in the division.
The following day in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lineal Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will be taking on Otto Wallin. At this point in the career of Fury he has been become must watch television.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Also to make fight fans even more excited we have a monster card over at the UFC this coming Saturday as well.
To sum it all up, there are fights just about everywhere this weekend.
Every contest will be significant but none will be more important than the women’s showdown between WBO Featherweight champion Heather Hardy and seven division champ Amanda Serrano. Not only will Hardy’s title be on the line but so will the interim WBC belt as well.
Forget about the titles for a second and just look at the matchup.
All Hardy has done during her entire career is win, win, win and win some more. Her boxing skills are second to none and the heart that she puts on display time after time is inspiring. It took her six long years but last year she won her first world title. Something that she had long been dreaming of.
“I cemented my place in boxing history,” said Hardy when she first won her world title. “I will forever be remembered as a champion.”
She’s been a great fighter for quite sometime now. She hasn’t backed away from a challenge, even as she jumped into the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). While she admits that fighting in the octagon is a difficult challenge, it will pale in comparison to when she takes on Serrano.
“She’s pound for pound the best fighter out there right now, but I’m ready. I’m the toughest girl that I know.”
Tough is exactly what Hardy will need to be if she wants to be successful on Friday night. Serrano isn’t just beating her opponents, she’s destroying them. She has stopped nine of her past eleven opponents. She has also jumped from weight class to weight class taking titles and leaving destruction every place she has gone.
Serrano will of course, be considered the favorite going into this contest but she isn’t paying attention to it. She understands just how good Hardy is.
“There is a reason why I choose Heather for this contest,” said Serrano. “I know how good of a fighter she is. I’m fully prepared and we will give you guys a show on Friday night.”
This weekend might be filled with several fights but just about everyone knows how they will play out. Tyson Fury should make a short night against Otto Wallin. Devin Haney will box circles around Zaur Abdullaev and Jaime Munguia should pick up an easy victory, but Amanda Serrano and Heather Hardy is a true 50/50 fight.
It’s the one contest that everyone should be tuned into this weekend.
Heather Hardy vs Amanda Serrano: Women Boxing’s Super Fight
By: Hans Themistode
Whenever a big fight is announced in the sport of boxing, both fans and media alike begin to think of the matchups. Errol Spence Jr vs Terrence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko vs Gervonta Davis, Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury and the recently announced rematch between unified Heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz and former crown holder Anthony Joshua. All of these fights would draw massive crowds as the intrigue surrounding them would otherworldly.
Boxing seems to forget that it isn’t just men who fight.
WBO Featherweight champion Heather Hardy and Amanda Serrano is the true definition of a super fight, no matter the gender.
Women’s boxing has made tremendous strides over the past few years. With the help of fighters such as Claressa Shields, Christina Hammer and Katie Taylor to name a few, women’s boxing has seriously taken off.
Both Heather Hardy and Amanda Serrano, represent some of the biggest names in the sport. Hardy currently holds an undefeated record of 22-0 with 4 knockouts. She also is the current WBO Featherweight title holder. Her abilities in the ring are second to none as she has cruised to victory after victory in her pro career.
Her opponent on September 13th, Amanda Serrano, may not hold the unblemished record that Hardy does, but with just one pro defeat to her name, she holds something that Hardy is looking to grab for herself. Worldwide recognition as the best women’s fighter in the world.
Serrano, has managed to capture world titles in seven different weight classes. Only Manny Pacquiao’s record of eight weight class titles have bested what she has done. Still, she hasn’t fought anyone with the boxing ability of Hardy.
The same can be said for the WBO champion as well. Sure her undefeated recorded looks great on paper, but Serrano will undoubtedly be the toughest foe she has ever faced.
Earlier this year, Claressa Shields defeated Christina Hammer in a contest that was also a super fight in its own right. This contest that will take place on September 13th, at Madison Square Garden, will have a chance to not only surpass the hype of the Shields vs Hammer contest but, it will also be one of the very best fights of the year.
Men receive the lions share of the publicity in the sport of boxing, but at least for one night, the women will shine just as bright.
Could Heather Hardy vs. Amanda Serrano Be Next?
By: Hans Themistode
Clarissa Shields and Christina Hammer aren’t the only two women looking to make their mark.
Amanda Serrano (36-1-1, 27 KOs) and Heather Hardy (22-0, 4 KOs) have reportedly agreed to meet each other in the ring later this year. If this contest were to take place as expected, it could be one of the biggest fights in the recent history of women’s boxing.
At this moment there is no date, nor is there a specific venue that is being targeted. Although the fight is expected to take place this year, the boxing world will have to wait. In addition to being the WBO Featherweight champion, Hardy, is also a mixed martial artist. She is in fact scheduled to return to the cage on June 14th at Madison Square Garden under Bellator Promotions.
In terms of what weight class this contest would take place it appears as though Serrano is heading to Hardys division. In a recent tweet Serrano seemed to have no issues at all taking her talents to her opponents weight class.
“Looks like I’m going to join the Unified Champions. I’ll be fighting for the 126lb title soon.”
Hardy won’t exactly have a huge advantage as Serrano held the WBO Featherweight title in 2016 before dropping down to the Super Bantamweight division to win a title there.
Women’s boxing has a plethora of great fighters, but Serrano has a strong claim as the very best at this current moment. She has won world titles in an unprecedented seven weight divisions. To put that in perspective only one boxer in history has won titles in more weight classes, Manny Pacquiao.
With matches such as Shields vs Hammer taking place this weekend and Serrano vs Hardy supposedly on track for sometime this year, women’s boxing is truly heating up.
Amanda Serrano Looking To Tie Manny Pacquiao’s Title Record
By: Sean Crose
“Chipping away at this weight but feeling strong as F***. Let’s Get It!”
So Tweeted Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano on Monday. Serrano, according to DiBella Entertainment “will fight for a record seventh weight division world title on Friday, January 18th at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and telecast live on DAZN.” Serrano, of Puerto Rico, will be challenging Eva Voraberger of Austria in a ten round affair. The fight will be the 35-1-1 Serrano’s attempt to win the the WBO Super Flyweight Women’s World Title, which is currently vacant. According to DeBella Entertainment, a victory over the 24-5 Voraberger means Serrano “will tie boxing legend Manny Pacquiao as the only boxers to win world titles in seven weight classes.”
“Eva Voraberger is an excellent fighter, one of the world’s best at 115/118-pounds,” admits Lou DiBella, Serrano’s promoter. “Her record reflects her excellence.” Still, DiBella can’t help but be impressed by his fighter. “In a span of four-and-a-half months,” he says, “Amanda will attempt to win a world title six weight classes below the 140-pound title that she won last September. This has never been done by a fighter, regardless of gender. I truly believe that 2019 will be an historic year for women in boxing; Amanda Serrano will get it off to an historic start.”
“I’m having a great training camp for my fight on January 18,” claims Serrano. “I’ll be attempting to break my own record and win a world title in a seventh division. Any time you attempt to make history, it gives you an extra drive to push yourself to succeed. I am the only female and Puerto Rican, male or female, to win titles in six weight classes, and I did it in crazy fashion. I first won world titles at junior lightweight and lightweight, dropped down to the featherweight and bantamweight classes, then moved back up to junior welterweight, and now I’m headed to super flyweight.”
The multi-time champion knows she has a challenge before her on the 18th, however. “I am fighting a tough and very skilled world champion in Austria’s Eva Voraberger,” she says. “She (Voraberger) currently holds the interim WBC bantamweight title and only has three pounds to drop whereas I’m coming off of winning the WBO 140-pound world title just four months ago. I’ve heard the critics say that I’m crazy for dropping this much weight so quickly, but I’ll prove them wrong. I am known as the ‘Real Deal’ for a reason.”
Serrano is determined to get past Voraberger and move on to eventually face Irish phenom Katie Taylor. “This is the beginning of my contract with DAZN that will culminate with a fight against Katie Taylor,” she says. “This isn’t about taking easy fights before a big payday. This is about legacy and I will continue to cement my place in boxing history by taking risks. Dropping down to 115 pounds is going to be my first challenge and then I will move back up to fight for another world title before meeting Taylor.”
ShoBox Results: Jaron “Boots” Ennis Stops Ray “Tito” Serrano in Philly
By: Ken Hissner
Hard Hitting Promotions in association with Victory Promotions on a card at South Philly’s 2300 Arena Friday night televised live on ShoBox in an all Philly Main Event before a packed house.
In the main event Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 22-0 (20), destroyed Ray “Tito” Serrano, 24-6 (10), at 1:12 of the second round.
In the first round Ennis came out landing a solid right to the chin of Serrano. Ennis had Serrano backing up the entire round bewildered with the hand speed of Ennis who had him holding on at the bell. In the second round Ennis switching from southpaw to orthodox dropped Serrano with a left hook on the chin. Serrano beat the count but was out of it. Ennis dropped Serrano a second time with a right hand. He jumped on Serrano dropping him with a flurry for a third knockdown ending the mismatch.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
In the co-feature Kenny Sims, Jr., 13-2-1 (4), of Chicago, IL, lost a lopsided decision to Sammy Teah, 15-2-1 (7), from Liberia, residing in Philly, over 8 rounds.
In the first round there was no feeling out as both fighters were throwing punches in bunches. Teah used an effective right while Sims used a good left. Round could have gone either way. In round two both fighters mostly used a body attack. Teah rocked Sims with a right hand on the chin. Sims fought back but was hurt. Big round for Teah.
In the third round Teah worked well inside while Sims seemed to play into his hands trying to switch back and forth from orthodox to southpaw but with little effect. In the fourth round Teah used uppercuts to the body hurting Sims. Teah simply outworked the out of town fighter Sims.
In the fifth round Teah kept the pressure on the back pedaling Sims. It was another good round for Teah. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., warned Sims at the end of the round for using a back hander. In the sixth round Teah rocked Sims with a combination to the head. Teah landed a double left hook to the body of Sims who came back with a chopping right to the head. Teah had Sims in trouble the last ten seconds of the round as the bell sounded.
In the seventh round Teah kept the jab in the face of Sims who was coming forward looking for the big punch being far behind in the fight. Teah was still the better of the two round after round. In the eighth and final round Teah came out looking for the knockout but Sims knowing he needed one stood his ground. Teah never looked better in this writers eyes.
Scores were Braswell and Weisfeld 77-75 and Poturaj 79-73 This writer had it 79-73.
Super bantam Arnold “Arni” Khegai, 14-0-1 (9), of Philly, defeated Jorge Diaz, 19-6-1 (10), of New Brunswick, NJ over 8 rounds.
In the first three rounds Diaz worked the body of Khegai. Diaz in the fourth round drew blood over the left eye of Khegai. Cut-man Joey Eye went to work on it between rounds.
In the fifth round Khegai finally started landing solid punches to the head of the ever ducking Diaz. Referee Rosato gave several warnings to Khegai for pushing the head of Diaz down but never took a point away. In the sixth round Khegai landed a solid left to the chin of Diaz dropping him. Diaz weathered the storm getting through the round.
In the seventh round Khegai had his best round trying to capitalize on the previous rounds knockdown. Diaz kept in the round as best he could. In the eighth and final round Khegai continued using dirty tactics and receiving warnings but landed solid punches to the fading Diaz. At the end of the round Khegai had Diaz out on his feet being saved by the bell.
Scores were LaRosa 79-72 while Weisfeld and Poturaj scored it 77-74. This writer had it 76-75 with the knockdown the difference.
Philly Lightweight Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 13-1 (6), defeated Jerome Rodriguez, 7-11-3 (2), out of Allentown, PA, over 6 rounds for the NBA belt.
In the first round Pizarro landed several lead rights to the chin of southpaw Rodriguez. Pizarro landed a 3-punch combination to the body and head of Rodriguez. In the second round a right hook from Rodriguez put a welt under the left eye of Pizarro. Pizarro ended the round with a double left hook to the chin of Rodriguez. Cut-man Joey Eye went to work on the welt of Pizarro’s between rounds.
In the third round inside being held by Rodriguez Pizarro landed three chopping rights to the head. Rodriguez used his jab while Pizarro was throwing twice as many in return followed by rights to the head. In the fourth round Pizarro landed half a dozen unanswered punches. After landing a combination Pizarro got his head snapped back by a Rodriguez jab. Pizarro with his hands to his side ended the round with a combination to the chin of Rodriguez.
In the fifth round Pizarro landed a combination to the head but got caught with a Rodriguez right hook on the chin. Pizarro turned southpaw for about ten secons before returning to orthodox. In the sixth and final round both opened up getting the fans into it. Rodriguez landed a hard uppercut to the chin of Pizarro. Pizarro ended the round with a combination to the chin of Rodriguez.
Scores were LaRosa 60-54 while Braswell and Poturaj as well as this writer had it 59-55. Esteves was the ref.
Super Featherweight Gadwin “Abayarde” Rosa, 9-0 (7) of Ocala, FL, deated German Meraz, 61-51 (38), of Sonora, MEX, over 6 rounds for the NBA title.
In the first two rounds Rosa was on the offense going to the body of Meraz. Rosa landed a solid left hook to the chin of Meraz in the second round. In the third round there was too much clinching as referee Rosato handled it appropriately. Finally with 10 seconds to go Meraz got in his best punch of the night a left hook to the chin of Rosa.
In the fourth round Meraz unloaded with overhand rights to the head of Rosa. Rosa came back evening the score for the most part. In the fifth round Meraz switched to southpaw holding off Rosa for the most part. In the sixth and final round Meraz became the aggressor landing uppercuts to the body of Rosa. Meraz missed with an uppercut and was countered by a Rosa right to the chin.
Scores were LaRosa and Weisfeld 59-55, David Braswell 60-54 with this writer having it 59-55. Rosato was the ref.
Super Welterweight Kieran Hooks, 3-2-1 (1), of Philly, was stopped by Gledwin “Chico” Ortiz, 6-2 (5), of the Bronx, NY, at 2:27 of round one.
In the first round Ortiz landed a devistating right to the chin of Hooks who went down face first. Referee Esteves wisely immediately waved it over!
Super Featherweight Christian Tapia, 7-0 (6), of Coamo, PR, stopped Darnell Pettis, 3-13 (0), of Cleveland, OH, who couldn’t come out for the fourth round.
In the first two rounds it went back and forth. In the third and fourth Tapia took over hurting Pettis. By the end of the fourth referee Rosata with the advice of the ring physician stopped it in favor of Tapia.
Light Heavyweight Benjamin Sinakin, 2-0 (1), of Philly stopped southpaw Darren Gibbs, 1-6 (1), of Ferndale, MI, at 2:23 of the first round.
In the first round Sinakin dropped Gibbs with a right to the chin. Gibbs beat the count but Sinakin jumped on him having him hurt in a corner when referee Esteves wisely called a halt.
Cruiserweight David Stevens, out of Reading, PA, 1-0 (1), stopped Judd Brown, 0-2-1, (0), of Johnson City, TN, at 2:56, of the first round.In the first round Stevens was bombing Brown with solid shots landing a left hook followed by a straight right for a knockdown. The second knockdown was a right uppercut causing referee Rosato to call a halt.
Multi Division Boxing Champion Amanda Serrano to Return to MMA
By: Michael Kane
Amanda ‘The Real Deal’ Serrano, the six division world boxing champion is to return to MMA, taking on Mexico’s Erendina Ordonez.
The fight will be in the Comabate Americas women’s flyweight division on October 13th.
Photo Credit: Amanda Serrano Twitter Account
The 29 year old Puerto Rican, Serrano, makes her rerurn to MMA after an unanimous decision win over Yamila Esther Reyonso of Argentina for the WBO Junior Welterweight World Championship. The bout took place at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn on September 8th.
With her win, Serrano joined an elite group to have claimed six world titles at six different weights, joining Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.
With one MMA fight to her name, so far, Serrano will be hoping to go one better than her debut bout. On April 13th, Serrano faced Corina Herrera at ‘Combate Estrellas ‘ in LA, the bout finishing in a draw.
Serrano’s opponent this time out, Ordonez, is a three time San Shou style kickboxing gold medallist.
Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren said in a press release, ” It is an honour to have the world’s greatest women’s boxer in history, who is on par with De La Hota and Pacquiao, back in La Jaula (Combate Americas cage) for Combate Americas.”
Ray “Tito” Serrano Edged by Malik “Iceman” Hawkins at Fillmore
By: Ken Hissner
Hard Hitting Promotions returned to the beautiful Fillmore in Philadelphia for the second time since their debut there a year ago. They put on an exciting 8 bout card Friday night before a sold out crowd.
In the Main Event Welterweight Ray “Tito” Serrano, 24-5 (10), of Philadelphia, PA, lost a close exciting decision to Malik “Iceman” Hawkins, 13-0 (9), of Baltimore, MD, over 10 rounds.
In the first round it was evident Serrano was stronger but Hawkins quicker. In the second round Hawkins continued using his effective jab and elusive defense causing Serrano problems. In the third round Serrano started getting in body shots on Hawkins. Serrano ended the round with a border line left hook followed by another left hook.
In the fourth round Serrano started by landing a left hook to the chin of Hawkins who shook his head like it wasn’t as hard as it looked. The rest of the round both fighters mixed it up well. Hawkins was landing right uppercuts while Serrano landed left hooks. In the fifth round Serrano landed a stiff jab knocking back the head of Hawkins. A right uppercut to the chin from Hawkins made Serrano hold. Hawkins ended the round with a double left hook to the head of Serrano.
In the sixth round Serrano started things off with a left hook to the chin of Hawkins. Hawkins came back with right uppercuts to the chin. Serrano rocked Hawkins with a right to the chin just prior to the bell. In the seventh round Hawkins was ripping right uppercuts to the body and chin of Serrano. Serrano came right back but Hawkins got the better of it in the round.
In the eighth round both fighters landed left hooks to the chin at the same time. Serrano landed a solid right to the chin of Hawkins. In the ninth round Hawkins landed a right followed by a left to the chin rocking Serrano. Serrano came back landing a pair of rights to the chin. Just prior to the bell, Serrano landed another pair of rights to the chin of Hawkins.
In the tenth and final round with the fight on the line both landed left hooks to the body. Serrano landed a right followed by a left to the chin of Hawkins. Whether Serrano did enough to pull out a draw would be determined and in the hands of the judges.
Judge Lynne Carter scored it 98-92, Justin Rosenstein 96-94 and Dewey LaRosa 97-93. This writer had it 96-94. Referee was Shawn Clark.
Super Bantamweight southpaw Tramaine “Mighty Midget” Williams, 15-0 (5), of New Haven, CT, easily defeated Antonio “Tony” Rodriguez, 12-21-1 (5), of Durango, MEX, over 6 rounds.
In the first round the shorter southpaw Williams was on the attack landing four straight left hands to the body and head of Rodriguez. Several more times the “slick” Williams landed lead left hands to the chin of Rodriguez and evaded return punches. In the second round a straight left from Williams to the chin drove Rodriguez into the ropes. Rodriguez landed a right to the body of Williams which may have been the best punch he landed up until then.
In the third round Williams landed a 3-punch combination to the body and head of Rodriguez. Whenever Rodriguez and Williams clinch Rodriguez gets in some of his best punches against the much faster Williams. In the fifth round Williams landed lead left’s to the chin of Rodriguez three different times. Rodriguez came back landing four unanswered punches that didn’t seem to have much effect on Williams. Williams landed a combination to the chin of Rodriguez who came back with a right of his own.
The sixth and final round inside Rodriguez is able to get right uppercuts to the body of Williams. Rodriguez landed a lead right hook to the side of the head of Williams. The ring physician was brought in by Referee Ron Bashir to check a cut along the right eyebrow of Rodriguez that the referee said it was from a punch. The action ending the last twenty seconds was furious up until the bell.
Judges Constatino 60-53, Rubenstein 59-55 and LaRosa 58-56. This writer had it 60-54.
Super Middleweight Ronald “Akeem” Ellis, 15-0-2 (10), of Lynn, MASS, defeated Taneal Goyco, 9-11-1 (4), of Philadelphia, PA, over 6 exciting rounds of action.
In the first round Ellis stormed out of his corner landing right hand after right hand to the chin of Goyco who mostly covered up taking punch after punch. In the second round it went almost the same way until the final minute when Goyco backed Ellis against the ropes. There was no quit in Goyco.
In the third round Ellis slowed down ad started boxing using his jab. Goyco had Ellis holding on after landing several wide left hooks to the head. Both boxers threw and landed left hooks to the chin with Goyco’s ending the round. The fans loved the finish. In the fourth round a right hand from Ellis dropped Goyco who was up immediately but took the 8 count from Referee Clark. Goyco continued bobbing and weaving trying to get away from the punch Ellis was throwing and out of nowhere Goyco rocked Ellis with a wild left hook to the chin just prior to the bell.
In the fifth round Ellis was on the attack but Goyco “fighting on instinct” was dangerous with every wild punch he threw. The round ended in a close one but Ellis seemed to have the edge. In the sixth and final round Ellis would land a jab knocking the head of Goyco back only to have Goyco coming back with a punch of his own. Midway through the round the boxers bumped heads causing half a minute of stoppage. Both fighters exchanged solid left hooks to the head in this very exciting crowd pleasing match right up until the end.
Judge Carter 59-55, LaRosa and Constatino 60-53 as did this writer.
Super Lightweight southpaw Jeremy “King” Cuevas, 8-0 (6), of Philadelphia, PA, came back from a knockdown to defeat Efrain “Macho” Cruz, 4-5-1 (1), of Viequs, PR, in another exciting 6.
In the first round Cuevas pushed forward backing Cruz up who was throwing back wildly. Both fighters exchanged left hooks with Cuevas ending up with a left to the chin of Cruz. In the second round Cuevas ran into a Cruz right hand and down he went for the first time in his short career. He struggled up beating the count of Referee Clark and worked his way back and had Cruz in trouble several times though Cruz was always dangerous.
In the third round it was mostly all Cuevas who was back in form with his many fans rooting him on. In the fourth round both fighters had the fans cheering on with Cuevas taking the round with mostly right hooks and following with left’s to the chin of the ever fighting back Cruz.
In the fifth round Cuevas landed a lead left making Cruz duck into a right to the head. Cuevas rocked Cruz with a straight left to the chin. It was Cruz coming forward knowing he was behind but ran into a Cuevas left to the chin. In the sixth and final round Cruz landed a solid left hook to the chin of Cuevas. Cuevas came back landing a double jab to the chin with Cruz coming back with a right to the chin. Cuevas landed a combination to the head of Cruz who once again came right back. This was following the exciting Goyco-Ellis bout keeping the fans cheering.
Judges Carter had it 59-55, Rubenstein 59-55 and LaRosa 59-55 with this writer having it 58-55.
Heavyweight Darmani “Rock Solid” Rock, 11-0 (7), of Philadelphia, PA, knockout out Ronny Hale, 4-12 (4), of Austin, TX, in 1:07 of the second round of a scheduled 6.
In the first round Hale came out swinging but the former top amateur Rock was ready for him. Hale making his second appearance in Philadelphia after scoring a knockout win against an opponent making his debut was in with a different kind of opponent tonight. In the second round Rock landed vicious body shots before finally dropping Hale for the count by Referee Ron Bashir.
Super Lightweight Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 9-1 (4), of Philadelphia, PA, came back big after suffering his first loss defeating Pablo Cupul, 9-24 (5), of San Diego, CA, over 4 rounds scheduled for 6 cut to a 4.
In the first round Pizarro started off tossing Cupul to the canvas getting warned by referee Clark. From that point on Pizarro handled the shorter Cupul for the most part. In the second round Pizarro continued dominating Cupul hurting him with a combination to the head. Pizarro ended the round with a left hook to the chin of Cupul.
In the third round Pizarro was all over Cupal hurting him with left hook body shots. Referee Clark warned Cupal for hitting behind the head.
All three judges and this writer had it 40-36.
Super Lightweight Sam “Tsunami” Teah, 13-2-1 (5), of Liberia living in Philadelphia, PA, stopped Orlando Rizo, 19-13 (11), of Vieques, PR, at 2:33 of the first round in a scheduled 6.
In the first round Teah dropped Rizo with body shots three times before Referee Bashir called a halt.
In the first bout of the night Super Welterweight Joey Alday, Jr., 7-0 (7), of Odessa, TX, stopped southpaw Michael Crain, 1-2 (0), of Smyrna, DE, at 1:28 of the third round of a scheduled for 4.
In the first round the taller Alday used his reach well while Crain occasionally got inside with some good body work. In the second round Alday’s timing seemed to get on track landing a good left hook on the southpaw Crain’s side of the head. He would follow up several seconds later with a good lead right hand to the chin of Crain. Crain used his jab to get inside with a body shot but can’t seem to reach the taller Alday’s chin. A combination left right from Alday to the chin of Crain dropped him. The bell sounded as Crain got up from referee Shawn Clark’s mandatory 8 count.
In the third round Alday continued the attack with solid left hooks to the body and head. Finally a left hook from Alday to the chin of Crain dropped him to a knee. Referee Clark wisely called a halt as Crain got to his feet.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Preview: Soto Karass vs. Abreu, Tanajara vs. Quezada, Jesus Serrano vs. Genaro Gamez, Ryan Garcia vs. Cesar Valenzuela
By: B.A. Cass
After suffering a first-round KO from Henry Lebron in July, Oscar Eduardo Quezada (6-4) went on to beat Ernesto Gutierrez (0-7-1) in September. Now Quezada is being used as an opponent for the Hector Tanajara (10-0), the San Antonio super featherweight who hopes to be Golden Boy Promotions newest star. Tanajara still needs some development, but he’s young and fast. And he is unbeaten for a reason. Tanajara is a boxer, not a brawler. He has a three-inch height advantage over Quezada, and we can expect him to use his jab to keep Quezada at a safe distance, as he has effectively done with opponents in the past.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions
The fight between Jesus Serrano (17-4-2) and Genaro Gamez (6-0) should be much more exciting. At first glance, Serrano may seem like the more experienced fighter on a downward slide, a journeyman sent in to fight a younger, up-and-coming fighter who needs some credible wins on his resume. However, the four losses and two draws on Serrano’s record happened earlier in his career and is on a nine-fight winning streak. He has also knocked out over half of his opponents. As for Gamez, he may have less professional experience, but he’s a dangerous fighter: of the six fights he has fought, four have ended in first round KOs. Both fighters like to keep their hands down. Expect a brawl.
Ryan Garcia (11-0) vs. Cesar Valenzuela (14-5) is the fight on the undercard that you won’t want to miss. Valenzuela is a strong, more experienced opponent, but Garcia, who looks about twelve years old, has a knockout record that rivals Deontay Wilder’s. He’s sharp too, and when his punches connect (as they often do), the result is devastating. He was last seen in the ring in September when he knocked out Miguel Carrizoza with a powerful shot to the head that was so fast it was almost invisible.
Jesus Soto Karass (28-12-4) wants to show the boxing world that he isn’t just another aging gatekeeper. He’ll get his chance this Thursday, Nov. 2 when he encounters Juan Carlos Abreu (19-3-1), the aggressive Dominican fighter who likes to taunt his opponents as he stalks them around the ring. Karass has beaten some decent talent, including Andre Berto. Recently, however, he’s lost more than he’s won. This fight may be his last chance to prove himself, and he’s sure to give everything he’s got.
Hosted by Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, this 10-round main event will be aired at 11 PM (EST) on ESPN2.
ESPN3 will stream the undercard fights starting at 9:30 PM (EST). Make sure to tune in early so that you don’t miss the fight between US Olympian Marlen Esparza (3-0) and Karla Valenzuela (3-16-3). It should be a one-sided affair, but Esparza is supremely talent and it will be fun to watch.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Boxing Insider Notebook: Guerrero, McGregor, Smith, Shields, Montgomery Brothers, and more
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 11th to July 18th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Mario Serrano
Robert Guerrero Announces Retirement
After giving fans some of the most thrilling fights in boxing, which spanned over sixteen hard fought years, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero is announcing his retirement.
“First, I want to thank God for allowing me to have a wonderful career. I’m a kid from a small town in Gilroy, California, who made it to the mountain top of the boxing world. When I was a young kid growing up, I always believed in myself, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined a small-town kid like myself, would be fighting in front of millions of fans.”
“I was blessed to win multiple world titles in four-divisions. A boxer’s career is a long and tough road. Many tears were shed, lots of blood, and tons of sweat. Many miles were traveled, thousands of rounds sparred, none were easy and nothing was ever given to me. I earned everything I got the old fashion way. I never ducked anyone and fought the best fighters in the world. I fought my way through every obstacle to make sure my fans enjoyed every second, of every round, of my fights.”
“I competed at super-bantamweight (122 lbs.) and won world titles across multiple weight classes, closing my career at welterweight (147 lbs.), fighting the big guys 25 pounds heavier. A good friend always told me I was God’s warrior, born to fight. I enjoyed every minute of every war. I represented my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the bible verse Acts 2:38 on my trunks. If I reached one person and brought that person closer to Christ, then it was all worth it.”
“I want to thank some very important people in my career starting with the most important person, my wife Casey, who has been with me every step of the way, my soul mate, my sweetheart, the one and only love of my life. My father/trainer Ruben Guerrero Sr. He’s the one who started it all and made me the man I am today, and the champion I was in the ring. He’s one of the best trainers in the world and I hope to be working side by side with him in the future. My mother Marcy Guerrero for being a great mother and supporter. My co-manager Bob Santos for all the sacrifices he made to get me to the top…I will always remember the early days when we made the most with very liitle. He always had my back and looked out for me like I was his brother. His wife Diane Santos who did a lot of secretarial work for me during my whole career. Both my grandparents on Martinez and Guerrero sides for believing in me. My brother’s Sammy, Ruben Jr., Victor, Randy and especially Eric, who has been with me my whole career, my shadow every step of the way, my right-hand man. My mother and father in-law, Shelly and Cary O’neal.
My cutman Ruben Gomez. My good friends, Pastor Mark Wilson, Dave Castro, Pastor Chris Avila, John Mersho, and Albert Guarado. My uncle Russel Sr., Russel Jr., Uncle Ricky, Hector Catano and Greg Amundson. I want to thank my co-manager Luis Decubas Jr. for taking my career to the next level. Santos and Decubas Jr. are more than managers, they are family to me. My publicist Mario Serrano, who has also been with me the whole ride, he is also family to me. All the fans and the community who stuck by my side when my wife was battling cancer…I will never forget the love you showed. There are so many people who have helped me, if I leave anyone off, thank you for everything.”
“In closing, I want to thank the most special man I’ve ever met in my boxing career, and possibly lifetime, a man who always does what’s best for the fighter, a man who has changed the sport of boxing, a man who has helped bless me and my family with a great life, and that person is my advisor Al Haymon. Not only is Al Haymon a spectacular advisor, he is a wonderful human being as well, a great man, and someone who cares. In a sport where most managers, promoters, and trainers turn their back on a fighter, when they no longer can perform, or are no longer beneficial to their interest, Haymon stands tall. Love and loyalty is tough to find in the boxing game, but for any boxer looking for it, you don’t have to look far, reach out to Al Haymon. I want to thank everyone, the fans included. I hope you guys appreciated the guts and glory I left in the ring. God bless you all.” ~ Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero
Claressa Shields Named 2017 ‘Biggest Powerhouse’ in Sports by Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Sports Awards
Budding women’s boxing superstar, community activist, role model and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Claressa Shields has been bestowed with another honor, as she has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Award for “Biggest Powerhouse.”
In winning the prestigious award, which honors the heaviest hitters, strongest sluggers and unstoppable players in sports each year, Shields beat out a field of such well-known stars as Demarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans), Von Miller (Denver Broncos), David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels).
“It is a tremendous honor and great thrill to win the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Award because it comes from the kids,” said Claressa Shields. “I work hard every day to show all children that nothing in life is impossible if you believe in yourself. If this kid from Flint can win Olympic gold medals, boxing world championships, and succeed in life, then you can do it too!”
Shields’ promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says she deserves all the incredible accolades and honors she’s received.
“Claressa is a true champion of the people with her incredible story of overcoming adversity through her own self-belief and determination. Her accomplishments, inside and outside the ring, make Claressa a real-life American hero and an inspiration to every young person.”
22-year-old Shields (3-0, 1 KO), from Flint, Michigan, is currently in training for her first world-title shot on August 4 against German star and WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler (16-0, 9 KOs). The 10-round super-middleweight match-up, will be televised live on ShoBox: The New Generation (10 pm ET/PT), and held at MGM Grand Detroit.
The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards are the only kid-oriented award show focusing on the world’s best athletes and each year’s greatest sports moments. Held at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, this year’s broadcast was once again hosted by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
The winners were chosen predominantly by children’s online voting.
Witness Sports Management Signs Montgomery Brothers
Boxing veterans, Greg Hannely, founder of the Prince Ranch Boxing facility, and Jared Shaw have joined forces, as they are happy to announce the birth of Witness Sports Management (WSM), a boxing management company that will guide the careers of some of the best young fighters in the sport.
The Montgomery Brothers, Maliek, Mikhail, and Michael Jr., out of Macon, Georgia, are WSM’s first signees. The highly touted trio, who were all decorated amateur standouts, are trained by their dad, Michael Montgomery Sr.
“I want to make sure it’s known how excited we are to be signing with Jared and Greg,” said Michael Montgomery Sr. “I’m happy that my boys are going to be represented by some folks that have been involved in boxing for many years. Greg and Jared have been wonderful to work with. My boys and I are very grateful and we are ready to take the boxing world by storm.”
Greg Hannely, is a well-known figure in the sport as he guided the careers of former world champions, Clarence “Bones” Adams and Steven Luevano, back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. His passion for boxing has brought him back to the sport he loves, and he wants nothing more than to build a stable of world champions.
“I’m very thrilled to be back in boxing, especially after signing the Montgomery Brothers.” Greg Hannely said, “Their father, Michael Sr., has been grooming all three boys to fight like professionals. They all have very exciting styles and I believe they will be well received to everyone who witnesses them fight. The Prince Ranch Boxing gym in Las Vegas will be available for the entire Montgomery family. These are good kids with strong family values. Their future is bright.”
Jared Shaw, son of world renowned boxing promoter Gary Shaw, has been around the sport since he was a young child. After spending many years learning from his father, Jared, developed a knack for spotting talent.
“If you like pressure fighters with knockout power, then you’ll love the Montgomery Brothers.” stated Jared Shaw. “Maliek, Mikhail, and Michael Jr., were all great amateurs with over 400 fights combined, but their styles are suited for the pros. All three of them have heavy hands and the ring intelligence to make adjustments on the fly. Greg and I are ecstatic to be working with the entire Montgomery family. This is a fantastic start to our new management company.”
“As co-managers, Greg and I started WSM with the idea of cultivating our fighters,” Shaw continued. “We want to be looked at as more than just a financial asset. We will provide are stable with the needed resources that will help them become better fighters. We will house are guys at “The Prince Ranch” in Las Vegas, getting them the best sparring in boxing. Our goal is to make sure they have no distractions that will hinder their development.”
About Mikhail Montgomery
Nickname – 50Khail
Height – 5’7
Weight – 122 (Super-Bantamweight)
DOB: – December 24, 1996 (Age 20)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (120-12)
Pro Record – TBA
“Jared came to us a few years back and told us he was interested in signing us. The bond started back then and now that we are older, it’s good to look back and see that he’s still with us. He’s a man of his word and kept his promise. I’m excited that WSM is going to take me and my brothers under their wing.”
About Maliek Montgomery
Nickname – Mayhem
Height – 5’8
Weight – 130 (Super-Featherweight)
DOB: – September 17, 1995 (Age 22)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (149-12)
Pro Record – (1-0, 1 KO)
“Signing with WSM has been a blessing to me and my family. Jared has been around for a few years now and we trust that he and Greg will take us to the top. My dad talked about this day for many years, signing with a good management team. Now that it’s here, I’m ready to start knocking out folks.”
About Michael Jr. Montgomery
Nickname – NA
Height – 5’11
Weight – 147 (Welterweight)
DOB: – March 11, 1994 (Age 23)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (150-20)
Pro Record – (1-0, 1 KO)
“I believe everything is going to work out great with Jared and Greg. Fighting in the pros is new to me but I think I’m going to make an immediate impact. I got my first knockout in my pro debut earlier this year and I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”
Petition Demands Budweiser Drop Conor McGregor Over Bigoted Remarks
A Care2 petition is asking Budweiser to drop professional mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor over his history of bigoted comments ahead of his August match against Floyd Mayweather. The petition has gathered over 6,700 signatures.
VIEW THE CARE2 PETITION HERE: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/391/537/851/
McGregor is projected to make $100 million in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August, in what could be the most viewed, highest grossing pay-per-view fight of all time.
But Care2 members are calling him out for his bigoted comments.
Leading up to his 2015 match against Brazilian fighter Jose Aldo, McGregor said:
“If this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback and kill anyone that was not fit to work.”
“What I really want to do is turn his favela into a Reebok sweatshop.”
“I think I’m going to have him come and clean up my airplane.”
“These remarks should have caused major brands to drop any association with McGregor long ago. Now that he’s gearing up to cash in on his history of bigoted comments, the time has come,” the Care2 petition reads. “Please sign this petition to ask Budweiser to drop Conor McGregor over his history of bigoted remarks!”
Last week, during a four-day promotional tour for the Mayweather-McGregor match, which takes place in Las Vegas on August 26, Mayweather made a quip using stereotypes about Black men: “A lot of media are saying I’m racist against black people. That’s absolutely f****** ridiculous. Do they not know I’m half-black? Yeeeeeah. I’m half-black from the belly button down.”
McGregor is reportedly worth $35 million.
Joe Smith Jr. Fights Nine Rounds with a Broken Jaw
Popular Long Island light heavyweight contender JOE SMITH JR. (23-2-0, 19 KO’S), gritted his way through Saturday’s ten round battle with SULLIVAN BARRERA (20-1-0, 14 KO’s), after suffering a broken jaw early in the 2nd round. Even with a broken jaw, Smith Jr. dug deep to fire away at the skilled Barrera until the final bell, in which he ultimately fell short by scores of 96-93 and 97-92 twice.
In a fight that had the cheering crowd on their feet throughout, Smith and Barrera went to war from the opening bell. Prior to breaking his jaw, Smith wasted no time showing his sheer power as he drilled Barrera with a hard left hook to the forehead in the opening round sending Barrera sprawling to the canvas. Barrera, hurt from the knockdown, showed his proven grit and determination by rising and finishing the round.
Although having his jaw broken in the second round, Smith continued to fight hard throughout the fight which featured excellent two-way action. Smith showed a great chin and tons of heart as he tried his best to fight through a debilitating injury. Smith landed some heavy blows stunning Barrera on occasion but Sullivan outworked him to grab the decision on the judges scorecards.
“Joe knocked down Barrera hard in the first round but in the second round he sustained a broken jaw,” said JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and President of STAR BOXING. “It’s a similar injury to the one he suffered five years ago and frankly it’s amazing that he continued to valiantly fight over the next eight rounds and finish the fight.”
In his only other previous loss, Smith also suffered a broken jaw against Eddie Caminero five years ago.
Continued DeGuardia, “After spending part of Saturday night at the UCLA Medical Center, Joe will have surgery later this week in New York and we’ll know more then about a time frame for his full recovery. We congratulate Sullivan Barrera on his victory.”
We at Star Boxing are extremely proud of Joe for fighting this fight under such extreme conditions as are all his fans who came to the fight last night from Long Island and those who watched on HBO. Joe Smith is a true warrior and epitomizes what a real fighter is supposed to be.