By Robert Coster
Photo: Rafael Horta
“She’s a tigress”, that is how Amanda Serrano’s New York fans like to describe her. Amanda is the unbeaten (13-0-1, 9 KOs) reigning IBF super featherweight champion, a 5’5 dynamo whose fury in the ring belies her sweet smile outside of it. Recently, the 23 year-old New Yorker traveled to the Dominican Republic for a fight (which she won by TKO in 5). Fightnews caught up with Amanda and trainer Jordan Maldonado to discuss the problems that female boxing faces and what lies ahead for Amanda.
Amanda, what drove you to step into the boxing ring?
No doubt the example of my older sister, Cindy. Plus, I love everything about boxing: the training, the smell of the gym, the kinship between boxers, the adrenaline rush you get when you step into the ring.
Those who have seen you fight love your “take no prisoner” style. When you smell blood, you really go after your opponent. Are you a 5’5 female Tyson? Is that what endears you to your fans?
Well, I’m in the hurtin’ business. Yes, I like to kick butt. It’s in my temperament. Cindy is more of a stylist. I’m a brawler and if I can make it a short night, why not? Don’t let your opponent off the hook if you’ve got them hurt.
So there’s you and Cindy. Anybody else boxing in the Serrano family?
There’s my brother but he’s definitely not into boxing. He’s the pacifist in the family, haha.
Let’s talk about the state of female boxing. The question is for you and Jordan. Is female boxing not getting it’s due next to the men who fight? Not the same money, press and TV coverage?
Yes, that’s the case. Female boxers fight for so much less money. Also there’s not enough press and TV coverage. It’s a pity because female boxers fight with more passion than the guys (Amanda nods).
Wow, that’s quite a statement, Jordan! But do you see any changes for the better in the horizon?
Probably so. In 2012, female boxing will become an official Olympic sport. I believe it may change a lot of attitudes about female boxing, particularly if our girls come back with medals.
I would love to box for another 10-12 years but with the purses we’re getting, it’s not really possible. Who wants to sacrifice so long for so little?
So, Amanda, what lies ahead for you, specifically?
I dream of winning titles up to 140 lbs and fighting Manny Pacquiao (laughs). Really, I want to win titles in various weight classes.
What does your Dad think of having both his girls into boxing?
He’s our number one fan! He always tells me before I step into the ring: “Make it a short fight, Mandy.”
To those who tell you that. “you fight like a man”, what do you answer?
I suppose it’s a compliment but I really like to think that I fight like a champion, giving it a 100%. I’m just starting out but my goal is to make my mark in boxing because it’s what I Iove, what I was born to be–a fighter in the ring.