Amanda Serrano made women’s boxing history on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Fighting on the Shawn Porter-Andre Berto undercard, Serrano dominated Dahiana Santana en route to an eighth-round knockout victory to win a vacant women’s bantamweight belt to become the first female fighter in boxing history to win world titles in five weight divisions.
Serrano, 28, a Puerto Rican from Brooklyn, has won world titles at bantamweight, junior featherweight, featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight. She won her titles in an unconventional manner to boot. Rather than rise in weight to win one title after another, she has gone down in weight to capture her belts.
“It means everything to me,” Serrano said as she wept during her postfight interview on Showtime Extreme. “We worked so hard. We worked hard for this moment. To be a five-division world champion is amazing. To be the first female and first Puerto Rican is amazing.”
Serrano had no problems with Santana, who was dramatically overweight and ineligible to win the vacant title. She weighed in at 122¼ pounds, well over the 118-pound bantamweight division limit, and that was even after losing 6 pounds on the day of the weigh-in on Friday.
Serrano (31-1-1, 23 KOs) dominated anyway, pounding Santana with left hands and body shots throughout the fight. In the fourth round, referee Benjy Esteves docked one point from Santana (35-9, 14 KOs), 32, of the Dominican Republic, for her continual holding. After the fourth round, the fight was nearly stopped in Santana’s corner as the ringside doctor examined her. She had swelling over both eyes and appeared to be in visible pain.
The fight continued, however, and she continued to take a beating. After the seventh round, the ringside doctor again took a long look at her but allowed the fight to go on. Finally, in the eighth round, with Serrano lashing her with clean punches along the ropes, Esteves stepped in and stopped the fight at 1 minute, 14 seconds.
“I’m so proud to be a Puerto Rican. I’m so proud to be a Showtime fighter. I’m just so happy for this moment,” Serrano said. “Just to be a five-division world champion, I could retire today and be the happiest woman alive.”
According to CompuBox punch statistics, Serrano connected with 152 of 486 punches (31 percent) and Santana landed only 60 of 293 (20 percent), and most of her shots were wide without much power behind them. Serrano earned $12,000 for her night’s work while Santana made just $6,000.