Saturday, March 25, 2023  |



Amanda Serrano wins bantamweight belt on Berto-Porter undercard


BROOKLYN, New York – Amanda Serrano scrapped with Dahiana Santana with the vacant WBO women’s bantam strap on the line at Barclays Center on Saturday night.

The title was only eligible to Serrano, the Brooklyner, as Santana was over the weight, at 122.2 pounds, to 118.2 for Serrano.

The New York boxer of Puerto Rican derivation wanted to win her fifth title belt, and she pulled it off, with a stoppage in round eight. Serrano had the loser on the ropes, and was teeing off, but the crowd hooted when the ref pulled the plug. The face off ran on Showtime Extreme, a continuing theme for the network, which has signaled a building commitment to female fisticuffs.

The end came at 1:14 of the eight, as Benjy Esteves called for a TKO halt.

Serrano was teary as she spoke in the ring following the triumph.

The bar had been set high by a slam-bang tango prior, featuring Jose Borrego battering and bettering John Delperdang, but the ladies delivered action and their tussle didn’t suffer in comparison.

In round eight, we saw Serrano jab her way in, then hook her way in. She blasted her foe, and the ref hopped in, to the dislike of the crowd.

In round seven, we saw Serrano the lefty advance, with mayhem on her mind. Structured mayhem..she didn’t get crazy as she sought to get closer to finishing the prey. Still, she worked the body, with filthy intent. In round five, Serrano worked and Santana backed up, sometimes clinched, then stood in the pocket and tried to slip some. Not enough; Serrano, entering at 31-1-1 notched another round.

To the fourth…the distance tightened, and Santana paid for it. She countered, wide and wild, and her arms looked cement-y. The ref took a point from her for holding, to add insult. The crowd enjoyed the trading, when Santana landed a long left after eating a mean handful of Serrano’s work to the body, mostly.

In the third, the slightly awkward Santana came out pumping a jab. But Serrano’s power and activity again gave her the round. In round two, Serrano stalked, and really tried to work low, get Santana to drop her hands. Late in the round, Serrano advanced hard and wanted to cap the round with work to get the judge love.

In the first, Santana slid left, mostly, paying respect to the power of the New Yorker. The Dominican (35-9 now) threw power rights from range, then slid to her right, safely out of range of a counter. Serrano flurried to the body late in the round, and gave the crowd a charge.


Promoter Lou DiBella was in fine spirits, after seeing word that his middleweight, Avantdtil Khurtsidze,  took the WBO interim title, with a stoppage win in round five over Tommy Langford. A left hand from the pint-sized wrecking ball ended it for Langford, in a bout unfolding at Leicester Arena in England.

—Harold Lederman took in the fights from a superb seat. Yep, he’s a fight fan and will attend a show, most any show, no matter the platform provider.

—I chatted with the amiable ex-ESPN executive Brian Kweder during support bouts. He consults now, with PBC, and is a pleasure to interact with. He’s a fan’s fan, very measured and insightful regarding the sweet science and the man made my night. This when I was walking into the press entrance, and he drove by in his vehicle. He stopped, we bid each other hello, and he turned up the volume on his car stereo. He was listening to an edition of my Everlast podcast, “Talkbox!” I’m making my way back, he told me, I’m now at episode nine. He made my night.

—Actor Chuck Zito prowled the joint, looking rugged and ready to rumble as always.