Junior featherweight world champion and Brooklyn-native Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano (30-1-1, 23 KOs) is set to battle former two-division world champion Yazmin Rivas (35-9-1, 10 KOs) in the first nationally televised women’s world title bout in nearly a decade on Saturday, January 14, live on SHOWTIME EXTREME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The last nationally televised female world title fight was Mary Jo Saunders vs. Valerie Mahfood on March 30, 2007 (ESPN2).
The SHOWTIME EXTREME telecast begins at 7 p.m. ET/PT and features Ievgen Khytrov (14-0, 12 KOs) battling Immanuwel Aleem (16-0-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-round matchup of undefeated rising contenders for the WBC Middleweight Silver belt.
The January 14 event features a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader headlined by the super middleweight world championship unification showdown between Badou Jack and James DeGale. Televised coverage on SHOWTIME® begins at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT with super featherweight world champion Jose Pedraza taking on undefeated contender Gervonta Davis.
Serrano, the WBO 122-pound titlist, and Rivas, the WBC International champion at super bantamweight, will fight for the WBO title and the prestigious WBC Diamond championship in a bout that promises intense action from start to finish. The addition of Serrano means that the card will feature Puerto Rico’s only two world champions, Serrano and Pedraza.
Raised in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, Serrano gravitated toward boxing from watching her older sister Cindy, also a professional fighter. She picked the sport up quickly, amassing a 9-1 record during a brief amateur career in which she won the New York Golden Gloves title in 2008. The 27-year-old would go on to fight all over the world, seizing her first world title in 2011 when she defeated Kimberly Connor to grab a super featherweight belt. In 2014, she went to Argentina and defeated Maria Elena Maderna to become a world champion at lightweight. Her world title climb continued in February when she stopped Olivia Gerula in the first round to capture her featherweight championship. She made her Barclays Center debut in July with a first-round stoppage of Calixta Silgado before earning another victory in the first round when she stopped Alexandra Lazar to pick up a vacant junior featherweight world title.
A 28-year-old out of Torreon, Mexico, Rivas picked up her WBC International title in her last bout, a decision victory over Jessica Gonzalez. Rivas had previously successfully defended her bantamweight world title four times after winning the belt against Alesia Graf in 2014. Her prior run as a bantamweight champion lasted for five defenses after she defeated previously unbeaten Susie Ramadan to win that belt. These extended championship runs came after she became a flyweight world champion in 2005 by defeating Lucia Avalos.
An Olympian who represented his native Ukraine, Khytrov also won an Amateur World Championship before turning pro in 2013. Since then, the 28-year-old has dominated on his way to stopping contenders Josh Luteran and Nick Brinson and previously unbeaten fighters Maurice Louishomme and Aaron Coley. Khytrov, who trains out of Brooklyn, won an entertaining ninth-round knockout over Paul Mendez in his last start this past July. Khytrov has fought three times previously on ShoBox: The New Generation.
Born in East Meadow, New York and fighting out of Richmond, Virginia, Aleem was introduced to boxing at a young age by his parents. Since turning pro in 2012 at age 18, the 23-year-old has wiped out all of the competition in front of him. In 2015, he dominated Emmanuel Sanchez, David Toribio, Oscar Riojas and Carlos Galvan before defeating once-beaten Jonathan Cepeda in April. In his last bout, he boxed a draw with once-beaten prospect Demond Nicholson. He will look to take advantage of another big opportunity on January 14.