Amanda Serrano has an opportunity to make some real waves tomorrow night, when she defends her WBO super bantamweight title against Yazmin Rivas, live on Showtime Extreme, prior to the main Showtime card from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
And she doesn’t want to squander this opportunity.
Serrano, a 28-year-old southpaw, hopes to lead a revolution of sorts in women’s boxing, starting with this bout, the first pro women’s fight televised on national TV in the United States since 2007.
"I'm glad [women's boxing] is finally coming back, and I'm glad they put me on so I can show the world, I can show the critics, I can show the networks that it's worth putting us on. I don't want to be a one-time fighter on Showtime. I hope to open the doors to other women in the sport."
Serrano (30-1-1, 23 KO) won the vacant WBO belt in February 2016, beating Olivia Gerula at the BB King Blues Club in New York, and has defended twice — once last July in Brooklyn against Calixta Salgado, and then in October in San Juan, Puerto Rico, against Alexandra Lazar.
But this fight with Rivas (35-9-1, 10 KO) is a tougher test on paper than either of those. The 28-year-old Rivas, from Mexico, is a former WBC bantamweight champion, winning that belt in June 2014 and making four successful defenses before a technical majority decision loss to Catherine Phiri in January 2016.
She moved up to super bantamweight last August, beating Jessica Gonzalez in Durango, Mexico. And like Serrano, Rivas will be looking to push women’s boxing forward into at least the boxing mainstream.
And it may well be time for the women’s side of the sport to finally take hold in the United States. With women’s MMA having become a very strong addition to the UFC, it feels like there may finally be an opening. And with charismatic, talented fighters like Brooklyn’s Serrano, two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields, and recent Golden Boy signee and former Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza potentially leading the way, there just might be a chance for some traction.