Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Amanda Serrano - Showtime Widens Its Reach

image

By Cliff Rold

After she won her second gold medal last summer, big questions hovered over American Claressa Shields. Would she turn pro? If she did, would it be the boost for her sport her talent merits?

To say that women’s boxing in the US has struggled for attention would be a gross understatement. Since the retirement of Laila Ali, it’s barely registered outside of a tight niche circle inside of a niche sport. The women’s game has done better in other countries with popular fighters in Germany and more regular air in places like Mexico.

In the US, its lack of market presence sent Holly Holm to MMA.

Holm ended up okay.

What of those who want to ply their trade in their initial trade?

Shields represented a figure that could perhaps galvanize the market. Her debut, on the HBO pay-per-view undercard of Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward, was a positive sign. Still, Shields is yet a professional novice. What about someone already at the top of their professional game?

Showtime is answering that call this Saturday. Headlining the Showtime Extreme broadcast (7 PM EST) of the James DeGale-Badou Jack undercard, Brooklyn’s Amanda Serrano (30-1-1, 23 KO) is getting a chance to shine. She’s been on US television before but this is her best platform to date. A win could garner consideration for a spot on a regular Showtime broadcast down the road.

If she does, it will be a positive for her and for the sport.

How good is Serrano?

She’s a four-division titlist who currently holds belts at both featherweight and Jr. featherweight. Her road to four titles has seen her take an unusual road, jumping all over the scale. Typically, we see fighters conquer a weight class and then move up to the next until they find their ceiling. The 28-year old Serrano’s path saw her win an IBF 130 lb. title in 2011 before losing at attempt at the WBC crown in the weight in 2012, her only professional loss.

In 2014, she won a WBO title at 135 lbs. and then gradually move all the way back to 126 for another WBO strap. She defended it once and then moved down another four pounds for the WBO belt at 122 in her last fight, part of a 4-0 campaign in 2016.  

amanda-serrano (12)

Her accomplishments are only one element. She also has a TV friendly style. An aggressive southpaw with power and a ferocious body attack, the Puerto Rican born Serrano has real star quality. Now all she has to do is win.

Across the ring, she has a capable opponent. Mexico’s 28-year old Yazmin Rivas (35-9-1, 10 KO) is no stranger to accolades or tough competition. Rivas has been the WBA champion at Jr. bantamweight and held IBF and WBC titlist at bantamweight with nine successful defenses between the two reigns. Her record is misleading. Since July 2014, she is 14-2-1 with her losses coming via split and technical decision.

This isn’t just a chance for Serrano to shine. It’s a chance for a real fight to break out and elevate two names unfamiliar to large parts of the regular US boxing audience.

It’s a fitting place for this fight to air. Showtime was a big part of popularizing women’s boxing a generation ago. Christy Martin became a star fighting on the undercards of Mike Tyson. That stardom never burned as bright as male counterparts but it got her the cover of Sports Illustrated and ultimately made plenty of the women around her more money than they would have otherwise.

This is an interesting time in boxing. The sport’s popularity in the US is down overall but it has more shows available to fans than at any time in its history. Between English and Spanish language networks and promoter driven streams domestically and overseas, there is a ton of boxing available. That makes for a crowded marketplace and puts a premium on something that uniquely delivers. Showtime is making a smart gamble on a fighter who might fit that mold. 

If there is a parallel in the current boxing market, it is HBO’s foray lower on the scale than is their norm. After years of hardcore clamoring, HBO found a place for thrilling Nicaraguan flyweight Roman Gonzalez in 2015. Gonzalez is now preparing for his fifth HBO or HBO PPV appearance in a row and headlined his own show in 2016.

They could have maintained the status quo and few would have noticed. They took a chance on something different and have delivered quality to their viewers. The same can happen here. Gonzalez hasn’t meant a wave of flyweight shows on HBO and Serrano probably won’t lead to the men being pushed off the air on Showtime. Shields won’t either. That doesn’t mean there can’t be a stronger place for women with the right stars to build around and there might not be a better time to make this move.

Combat audiences, male and female alike, have proven they’ll tune in.

We’ve all seen the rise of women’s MMA. Professional wrestling fans have seen performers in that genre rise to be able to headline shows over men in the last year. Those fan bases were happy to see it and have come back for more.

Boxing, wrestling, and MMA are all distinct from each other (two as legitimate sports, one as athletic theatre) but they share common roots and act as kissing cousins of a sort. What can be done in one can often be mimicked in another.

The most recent issue of Ring Magazine featured our Tom Gerbasi’s list of the top ten women boxers in the world, pound for pound. He lists Serrano only tenth. After Saturday night, wouldn’t it be nice if fans were so impressed that they were left asking, “Wow, so who are the nine fighters better than her?”

It’s a start.

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

Tags: Amanda Serrano image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Bigg Rigg on 01-12-2017

I thought it was gonna be on the showtime card, not the show extreme part. It's starts at 7 so I'm gonna have to be there earlier than I originally wanted to. Still happy my girl is getting tv time.…

Comment by rogdogx on 01-12-2017

[QUOTE=The D3vil;17347076]Yeah, she's the best female fighter I've seen, even better than Braekus to me.[/QUOTE] Its good to see Serrano getting exposure. I wish it was on straight up showtime not just on extreme. I wish she was close to…

Comment by Boxing lives on 01-12-2017

This is perfect timing actually. I'll be jacking off heavy to this now that backpage has been censored

Comment by The D3vil on 01-12-2017

Yeah, she's the best female fighter I've seen, even better than Braekus to me.

Comment by JASON SHAW on 01-12-2017

Props to stephen espinoza and showtime for giving this fight airtime.... Better fight than manny vs vargas or manny vs jeff hornets nest.....

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
Top Headlines Kermit Cintron vs. Tyrone Brunson Set For June 24th Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence - Extra Security Measures in Place Photos: Kell Brook, Errol Spence - Ripped and Ready For War! Warren Admits: If Saunders is Not 100%, Khurtsidze Will Beat Him Joe Smith's Promoter on LA Return, Possibility of Monaghan Bout Salido Returns, Looks Forward To Vasyl Lomachenko Rematch Kell Brook Weighs in at 146½ ; Errol Spence Comes in at 146¼ Abel Sanchez: Golovkin-Canelo Should 'Revive Our Industry' George Groves Thought Hard Before Fully Trusting McGuigan Brook: I Want Spence To Taste Every Bit of That Sugar in There! Hank Lundy is Gunning For Terry Flanagan, Robert Easter Fortune Calms Down Pacquiao Fans, Says No Reason To Panic Mike Tyson Explains Where His Money Went in Historic Career Kell Brook: When I Beat Spence - I'm The Man, Number One at 147 Malignaggi Breaks Down Why Brook-Spence Will Be Special Fight Photos: Hatton Pays Tribute To Victims of Manchester Tragedy Cotto: Marquez Has To Get Things Done or Keep His Mouth Shut! Johsua Return To Be Revealed in 3-4 Weeks, Likely Klitschko Oscar Valdez To Fight in Summer and Then The Fall, Says Arum Egis Kavaliauskas, Alex Saucedo - Both Eager For Bigger Things Photos: Orlando Salido vs. Aristides Perez - Final Press Conference James DeGale: Let's Make This Clear - Badou Jack is a P*ssy! Photos: Michael Conlan, Saucedo, Mike Alvarado - Official Weights WBA Turns Back on Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Fight N'Dam-Murata, Barthelemy-Relikh Rematches Ordered By WBA Kell Brook Predicts Thriller, Knockdowns By Him & Errol Spence De La Hoya to Boxing Fans: Don’t Support Mayweather-McGregor Adrien Broner-Mikey Garcia in Works for 7/29 at Barclays Center Brandon Rios Vows To Impress: I'll Be Better Than Ever IBF Reveals Silk Road Championship Tournament Miguel Cotto Says Golden Boy Pact May Extend Beyond 2017 Randy Caballero vs. Oscar Negrete - Golden Boy on ESPN, June 30 Photos: Kell Brook, Errol Spence - Face To Face at Final Presser Video: Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence - Final Press Conference Video: Brook vs. Spence - Chocolate Brownie vs. Man Down Porter Wants Rematch: Brook Can't Beat Me Twice, I'll Box Him Ruben Guerrero: Everyone Avoided Having Rematch With Robert Video: Kell Brook, Errol Spence - Face To Face at Final Presser Spence: This is My Era, Time to Unify the Welterweight Titles Roc Nation Boss: Team Ward Disgusted By Kovalev's Racist Remarks
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement