Locals stack Barclays card
by Bryan Fonseca
Apr 19, 2017 | 1132 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For Barclays Center, the April 22nd Showtime boxing card is nearly perfect.

On the main card, Puerto Rican-born Brooklyn native Amanda Serrano (31-1-1, 23 KO) takes center-stage, and she happens to be one of the best female fighters in the world.

The co-main events are headlined by rising stars Jermell Charlo (28-0-0, 13 KO) and Charles Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KO), who will face-off for Charlo’s WBC Super Welterweight title, followed by former World Welterweight Champions Andre Berto (31-4, 24 KO), and Shawn Porter (26-2-1, 16 KO).

Porter vs. Berto is a fight of the year candidate on paper, but both former champions are nearly a year removed from their last respective bouts.

Berto rematched Victor Ortiz, whose career has been on a downward spiral since famously kissing Floyd Mayweather and then receiving a “sucker punch,” which knocked him out in round four of their actual fight.

Ortiz decisioned Berto in one of the greatest fights of the last decade, which included the two trading knockdowns, and in the 2016 rematch they did the same, though Ortiz remained down for the count in round four, giving Berto a victory that revitalized his career.

Berto’s win came on the heels of losing to Mayweather by unanimous decision in September 2015, which will stand as Mayweather’s last career contest, until he eventually wipes out Conor McGregor sometime (we think).

Porter lost in the 2016 fight of the year last June to Keith Thurman, a Premier Boxing Champions card that aired on CBS and drew 3.1 million viewers.

The incredibly narrow and slightly controversial margin read 115-113 on all three scorecards, but Porter arguably won in the loss, boosting his standing in the sport as one of the world’s great welterweights.

His only defeats to date came to the two best in his weight class, Thurman and IBF titlist Kell Brook.

Charlo won the then-WBC strap by putting John Jackson to sleep in shocking fashion during round eight of their May 21st Showtime bout in Las Vegas, and Charlo had been getting thoroughly out-boxed until landing a game-changing overhand right, prompting referee Tony Weeks to immediately stop the bout.

Jackson’s head went through the top and second ropes as he was rendered temporarily unconscious. Afterward, in his post-fight interview, Hatley, who was in attendance, stormed the ring and interrupted matters, sending Charlo’s posse in a frenzy.

Hatley had been the WBC’s number-one contender for whomever the winner would be that night after knocking out Australian-born multi-weight World Champion Anthony Mundine in Melbourne in September of 2015. Hatley hasn’t been in the ring since, other than stepping to Jackson in confrontational, ballsy fashion.

Beforehand, though, the night will have a very New York theme.

The previously mentioned Serrano will face Dahiana Santana for the vacant WBO World Female Bantamweight Title. Over her career, Serrano has won five world titles in four weight classes, and is looking to become to first Puerto Rican and first female fighter ever to win titles in five different weight divisions.

Two of her last three fights were also at Barclays, with her most recent airing on Showtime Extreme on the January 14th undercard of the Badou Jack-versus-James DeGale Super Middleweight Championship Unification.

Undercard encounters highlight Far Rockaway native Joseph Williams (11-0, 7 KO), 2012 Spanish Olympian Jonathan Alonso (12-0, 4 KO), Mexican-born Julian Sosa (7-0, 2 KO), and 2016 Haitian Olympian Richardson Hitchins of Brooklyn (1-0, 1 KO).

Hitchins, a likely future star in the sport, made his pro debut on March 4 at this same venue, scoring a technical knockout victory in round one of his four round match-up on the undercard of the Thurman-Danny Garcia Welterweight Title Unification on CBS.

At 19 years old, the super lightweight is the youngest combatant of the evening and will likely walk through his opponent, Puerto Rican-born Alexander Picot (2-2-1, 0 KO).

Sosa’s popularity continues to rise as he’s entered bigger venues since his first showing at Barclays in January of 2016. This will be the third appearance at the home of the Nets for the elusive welterweight, and he’ll face fellow countryman Emmanuel Valadez (3-3, 3 KO).

Alonso is fighting at Barclays for the second time in his career, with his first coming on the Thurman-Porter main event from last June. After winning four of his first five pro bouts by knockout, the super lightweight has since rattled off seven consecutive decision victories.

His foe is heavy-handed Jose Miguel Borrego (11-0, 10 KO), who is fighting out of Mexico. After fighting in his home country ten straight times, Borrego fought in America for the first time in February, TKO-ing veteran Tomas Mendez in Mississippi.

Williams’ challenger has yet to be announced. The 5-foot-10 light heavyweight prospect beat then-undefeated Lenin Castillo by decision in eight rounds at cruiserweight in Oklahoma on February 10 on Showtime.

The seven-fight Saturday night extravaganza looks to give fight fans a glimpse of what’s to come from boxing in the Big Apple, as well as two highly regarded feature bouts.
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