By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Amanda Serrano became women’s boxing’s first five-division world champion Saturday night.
The southpaw from Brooklyn defeated Dahiana Santana by eighth-round technical knockout to win the vacant WBO women’s bantamweight championship on the Andre Berto-Shawn Porter undercard in Brooklyn. Serrano’s win was televised by SHO Extreme from Barclays Center.
Serrano (32-1-1, 24 KOs) was dominant during the scheduled 10-round bout. Referee Benjy Esteves eventually had seen Santana take too much punishment and stepped in to stop the fight, with Santana on her feet, at 1:14 of the eighth round.
“It means everything to me,” a crying Serrano told Showtime’s Jim Gray in the ring after her win. “I worked so hard for this. … To be the first female and the first Puerto Rican to do so, I’m so proud to be a Puerto Rican. … I’m the happiest woman alive.”
Serrano spent much of the fight landing power punches to the wild-swinging Santana’s head. Serrano noticeably hurt the Dominican Republic’s Santana with a right-left combination and a body shot during the seventh round.
Serrano got a little reckless in the fourth round, which allowed Santana to stun her with a left hook. Serrano regained her composure quickly, though, and continued connecting to Santana’s head.
Esteves deducted a point from Santana later in the fourth for excessive holding. A ringside physician took a close look at Santana following the fourth round, but allowed her to continue.
Serrano, 28, previously owned the WBO super bantamweight, WBO featherweight, WBO lightweight and IBF super featherweight titles. Santana, 32, slipped to 35-9 (14 KOs).
Following Serrano’s fight, Brooklyn’s Richardson Hitchins (2-0, 1 KOs) dominated Puerto Rico’s Alexander Picot (2-3-1) to win a unanimous decision in their four-round welterweight fight. The 19-year-old Hitchins, who represented Haiti at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Jainero, won by the same score, 40-36, on all three scorecards.
The taller, stronger backed up a game but overmatched Picot throughout their fight, but didn’t knock him down.