NEW YORK — Amanda Serrano defeated Yazmin Rivas by unanimous decision to retain the WBO junior featherweight title Saturday night in the first nationally televised English-language women’s world title bout in the United States since 2007.
The judges scored the fight 97-93, 98-92, 99-91 to give Serrano the victory at Barclays Center in her hometown of Brooklyn.
The Puerto Rico-born Serrano (31-1-1, 23 KOs) landed 33 percent of her punches while Rivas (35-10-1, 10 KOs) landed just 20 percent, according to CompuBox, as the two women went the distance in the 10-round bout.
“We wanted the knockout, but I was ready for 10 rounds,” Serrano said. “People who think I’m just a brawler saw that I’m a great boxer today.”
Rivas, who took home $15,000 for the fight, still has yet to be knocked out in her professional career, while Serrano, who took home $17,500, carried a knockout percentage of 72 heading into the matchup — a rate unrivaled among the top women fighting in the junior featherweight division.
Still, Serrano went after Rivas aggressively throughout the fight, throwing 431 power punches and landing 177 (44 percent), while Rivas threw nearly 100 fewer and landed only 29 percent (97 of 332).
“She hit hard, but I hit her harder,” Serrano said. “I could hear her breathing in between rounds and I knew I had her.
“It was a great night for women’s boxing, and I hope it keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
The three judges scored all 10 rounds within a one-point margin, with their scorecards reflecting Serrano’s dominance in the middle rounds and strong performance in the final round to close it out.
“It was an excellent fight,” Rivas said. “I knew everything was against me and to win I had to knock her out. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen today.”
Serrano’s victory aired on Showtime Extreme, a subnetwork of Showtime, on the undercard of the network’s doubleheader headlined by the Badou Jack-James DeGale super middleweight world title unification bout.
The last women’s world title fight on English-language television in the U.S. was Mary Jo Sanders’ defeat of Valerie Mahfood by unanimous decision to retain her International Boxing Association female middleweight title on March 30, 2007, on ESPN2.
A week before that fight, Fox Sports Net televised Holly Holm defeating Ann Saccurato to win the IBA female world welterweight title, the WBC female world welterweight title, the WBA world female welterweight title and the International Female Boxers Association world welterweight title.
Serrano-Rivas also was the first women’s fight on a Showtime network (non-pay-per-view) since 2000.