BROOKLYN -- Four-division world champion Amanda Serrano hosted media at the Mendez Gym in New York on Thursday as she nears her championship defense against former champion Yazmin Rivas on Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME EXTREME. Photos by Tom Casino.
The Serrano vs. Rivas fight is the first nationally televised women's world title bout in nearly a decade and will headline action on SHOWTIME EXTREME. Coverage starts at 7 p.m. ET/PT and features Ievgen Khytrov battling Immanuwel Aleem in a 10-round matchup of undefeated rising middleweight contenders.
The January 14 event features a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader headlined by the super middleweight world championship unification showdown between Badou Jack and James DeGale. Televised coverage on SHOWTIME® begins at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT with super featherweight world champion Jose Pedraza defending against undefeated contender Gervonta Davis.
Amanda, along with Pedraza and her sister, Cindy Serrano, are the only three current world champions that were born in Puerto Rico. They will look to represent the island when they fight in front of the many Puerto Rican boxing fans in New York. On Thursday, the sisters gave the media a treat and sparred each other ahead of the January 14 event.
Here is what Amanda and Cindy had to say at the media workout on Thursday:
"I'm excited and blessed to be fighting on SHOWTIME EXTREME. It's a real honor to be in this position. I'm not going to disappoint come Saturday night.
"It's going to be historic. This is a vintage Puerto Rican vs. Mexican rivalry. Neither one of us wants to give an inch or give a step back. It's in my home and I can't wait.
"I'll be ready to go the distance. I'm always ready for it. We're trained to go the distance every time; it just usually doesn't come down to that. There's never a day that we go into the gym and don't prepare to go the distance.
"The first time I fought at Barclays Center I met Stephen Espinoza and he said my highlights might make the telecast. I told him that I was going to make sure that the whole fight is highlights. Now we're here.
"It could be any other female in this position. I'm just glad that it's happening. We fight in and out of the ring to get into this position. I'm not taking it for granted.
"Of course I feel the pressure of the moment, but I do all my hard work in the gym. I know that once I go in the ring, I just have to fight with all I have.
"Women have been here in boxing for a long time. Everyone has been fighting for this. This extra exposure is great for the sport. We want to make it as popular as the female fighting is in MMA. We're getting punched in the faced too. I think our time is coming. The pressure is on me to showcase my sport on January 14.
"I'm hoping that with this fight, the ride doesn't end here. I hope the exposure keeps growing and growing. I'm not going to give up on it. One day I hope to headline on a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING card."
CINDY SERRANO, WBO Featherweight World Champion
"That was a good sparring session. It's always tough to get in there with her. She's slick and powerful and we just tried to give the reporters a good show. We wanted to tease you and show a little bit of why women are worthy of being showcased on television. The real one comes January 14.
"I don't know too much about Rivas but she's definitely a tough fighter who has accomplished a lot. She's a Mexican fighter so the Puerto Rican-Mexican rivalry will be on display. Hopefully she can last a few rounds and let Amanda show how talented of a fighter she is. It's going to be a great fight.
"I'm on cloud-nine right now after winning my world title and I can't wait to get back in the next couple of months and defend my belt."