Advertisement
Advertisement

Raymond Serrano is Inching Closer Towards Prime Time

By Jake Donovan

Some prospects on the way up enjoy the careful matchmaking, whether or not it’s televised. Others demand the spotlight, but with the caveat of showcase appearances rather than risking a loss early in their career.

Raymond Serrano wants his fights to matter. That is why the unbeaten Philly prospect jumped at the chance to face another undefeated fighter in Karim Mayfield. The two collide this Friday in the main event of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights live from Albany, New York.

The play selection has been hit or miss on Friday Night Fights this season, which is a step backwards from the strong schedule posted last year even in the face of a slashed budget.

A battle of unbeaten 140 lb. prospects this weekend is a great way to get the series back on track.

“Boxing needs a fight like this,” insists Serrano (18-0, 8KO, who hasn’t had the easiest time securing opponents in recent times. “This is what the sport is supposed to be all about. I’m ready for it. I hope my opponent is, too.”

The level of competition has progressed for Serrano over the course of his young career, five years and running. The 22-year old (who turns 23 on May 30) has enjoyed several televised showcases, as well as serving as the lead attraction on an Azteca America broadcast last year.

The showing was designed to launch a series by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing outfit, who has promoted Serrano since his pro debut in Oct. ’07. The series itself turned out to be a bust – lack of creative matchmaking and shows that were not only delayed by at least one hour but often going up against premium networks HBO and Showtime.

Serrano’s headlining act against Mayfield this weekend was already conflict-free. With the cancellation of the previously scheduled rematch between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan one night later on HBO, Friday’s card essentially has the floor to itself.

Given the stage, Serrano plans to take advantage and shine.

“I’ve had my best training camp so far for this fight,” says Serrano. The line sounds cliché, but is accompanied by thoughts on what’s at stake. “I know a win over Karim Mayfield puts my career into a new light. I’m taking this fight very serious and hope that he is as well.”

That Mayfield took the fight at all is of a big surprise to Serrano, though his opponent’s resume is hardly littered with soft touches. Recent fights haven’t revealed much – a stoppage win over faded Steve Forbes and a points win over Patrick Lopez.

However, Mayfield cut his teeth early in his career with several wins over unbeaten fighters, in fact four out of a five fight stretch. Also noteworthy was his Nov. ’09 knockout win over Francisco ‘Chia’ Santana in a fight that turned heads and put the now 30-year old on the map.

Still, Serrano points to his opponent’s relatively inactive run – having not fought since last October – and leveled off competition as a suggestion that the Bay Area fighter is hoping to coast to contention.

“To be honest, I’m surprised he even took this fight,” Serrano believes. “He looks like he’s a good fighter, but really hasn’t done much lately. But I’m glad he accepted this challenge.”

This challenge will be the biggest of Serrano’s career to date, though no stranger to fighting at the top level. A boxer since the age of eight, Serrano was a highly decorated amateur who won several championships in his teens and enjoyed a run on the U.S. national team.

With the 2008 Olympics a bit too far away for what Serrano was looking to accomplish at the time, the Philly native instead opted to turn pro at age 18. High accolades have since followed, though ESPN2’s Teddy Atlas seemed sour on him during a televised points win over Ronnie Warrior Jr.

Serrano took it all as feedback, but still refuses to too greatly alter his in-ring style. Groomed early as a boxer-puncher, Serrano has since developed into the consummate boxer, brilliantly practicing the fine art of hit and don’t get hit. His efforts are made without running, but instead offering enough lateral movement to throw his opponents off rhythm.

The tactic has perhaps cost Serrano a few knockouts along the way. Six of his past eight fights have went to the scorecards, including his last three contests. His last bout required a bit of drama, surviving a flash knockdown in the third round to take a unanimous decision over Kenny Abril this past February.

Despite the dropoff in highlight-reel endings, Serrano couldn’t be more pleased about his career to date and also the people who have helped reach that point.

“I can’t say enough good things about my promoter Joe DeGuardia,” Serrano insists. “He and matchmaker Ron Katz have been there for me since the beginning and have moved me along the right way.”

Even with the steady climb, Serrano still finds himself the betting underdog heading into this weekend. That doesn’t mean he has to play the part.                                             

“I’ve never cared about being the underdog,” Serrano says. “All I worry about is fighting the best. I don’t know why fighters stress out over stuff like that. Those are the fights that will make me that much better in the ring.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

Tags:
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by DC Fight Fan on 05-17-2012

Wow! Serrano has been dropped by Abril and journeyman Anthony Bowman. He has been in super soft and has little power to make Mayfield respect him. I see Mayfield walking through Serrano and exposing him for a soft punching built…

Comment by el malo on 05-16-2012

we'll find out friday if this rican from philly is the real deal. good fight for friday night fights.

Comment by nycsmooth on 05-15-2012

RS has a ttemendous upside & if nhe pulls this next 1 out he's close 2 top 10 & more important what Ray does than what atlas thinks...

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines Kenny Porter Not Concerned With Layoff as Thurman Shot Nears Arum: Thurman-Porter is Good Fight, Hope it Gets Good Rating Thurman Reflects on His Long Journey, Lessons Along The Way Video: Jessie Vargas Talks Kell Brook, Thurman vs. Porter Photos/Weights: PBC on NBCSN - Justin DeLoach-Junior Castillo Photos: Mike Alvarado vs. Josh Torres, Korobov-Vera Weighin DiBella Breaks Down Thurman-Porter, Isn't Sure Who Wins Povetkin, Ryabinsky To Hold Meeting With WBC Next Week Liam Smith: I Will Shake Up The World When I Beat Canelo Groves Explains His Version of Events in Golovkin Sparring Tale Photos: Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter Ready For Barclays War Weights from Brooklyn: Porter Strips to 147, Thurman at 146 Liam Smith vs. Canelo Alvarez - Fight Poster Revealed Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith Finalized at 154, 9/17 on PPV Fury To Klitschko: I'm Hitler? You Stupid F***ing Ukrainian Pr*ck! Golden Boy VP Reacts To Arum, Insists Pacquiao vs. Broner is On! Video: Sky Sports Crew Discuss Klitschko vs. Fury Postponement Video: Joshua-Breazeale, Groves-Murray, Eubank-Doran Weighin Jason Sosa Drills Javier Fortuna in Eleventh, Grabs WBA Title Eubank Jr: I Didn't Want To Take Off Underwear, Scare Everyone Photos: Anthony Joshua, Dominic Breazeale Ready For Battle Felix Diaz-Levan Ghvamichava Tops PBC on FS1, July 12 Photo: Tyson Fury's Badly Bruised, Sprained Ankle Injury Felix Verdejo-Jose Felix Likely For October - If Pacquiao Returns Fury Rolls Ankle, July 9 Klitschko Rematch Postponed Thurman Warns: Stop Protecting Your Record Like Mayweather! Arum: Golovkin vs. Ramirez, We Have Deal in Principle For 2017 Groves Explains Boost With McGuigan as Murray Bout Nears Anthony Joshua Willing To Help Joe Joyce Learn, Keep Active Andy Vences: I Have To Be at My Best To Win UniMas Bout Video: Kenny Porter on Tactics For Keith Thurman, More Eubank Sr: No Way Does My Son Lose To Gennady Golovkin! Golovkin's Trainer: Kovalev Will Punish Ward, May Stop Him Keith Thurman: I Have a Burning Desire To Knock Porter Out! Video: Lou DiBella Discusses Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter Shawn Porter Smiles: "Special Things Happen in Brooklyn" Video: Arum Discusses Pacquiao vs. Lomachenko, More Porter: If Mayweather Returns, He's Coming For The WBA Belt WBA Officially Opens Up an Office in China Video: Anthony Joshua Ready To Drill Breazeale Like Martin
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement