Serrano (left) and Mayfield put unbeaten records on the line on ESPN.
Philadelphia Junior Welterweight Faced Karim Mayfield in Battle of Unbeatens
Showing a move not seen that often in boxing, two undefeated fighters put their unblemished records on the line early in their careers at the Times Union Center in Albany on Friday evening. In the main event of an ESPN’s Friday Night Fights telecast, WBO NABO Junior Welterweight Titleholder Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield (16-0-1, 10 KOs) earned a 5th round stoppage of Raymond “Tito” Serrano (18-1, 8 KOs) on Friday night, but the California native was quick to acknowledge the will shown by his opposition when he spoke after the bout.
“Honestly, I was hoping that he was a little timid, but he wasn’t at all,” a very respectful Mayfield said at the post-fight press conference.
Mayfield forced Serrano to a knee in the third round of this affair, but the Philadelphia fighter did not back down from confrontation at any point before or after that happened. After the third frame, Serrano rebounded nicely and seemed to be winning in the fourth round, jumping in and out of engagement with combinations. However, in the final seconds of the frame, referee Eddie Claudio was steps away from the action and not in a position to let the two fighters know the round was closing out. The duo then started an exchange where Mayfield dipped his left shoulder before throwing a violent overhand right that landed flush on the chin of an exposed Serrano, sending him to the canvas. The blow came right after the bell, but Claudio was out of position to keep it from happening.
However, Serrano displayed amazing grit by somehow getting to his feet to beat the 10-count and returned to his corner. On wobbly legs, he came out for the fifth frame, but Mayfield pounced on him until Claudio stepped in and waved off the fight 47 seconds into the round.
“I caught him with a good shot that put him down,” Mayfield said of the punch at the fourth frame bell. “That normally should have put a lot of guys out. He shouldn’t have gotten up from that because I caught him flush, and the way he went down. What I was saying to my team is that he’s a pitbull. Pitbulls, their mentality is to always keep going. It has nothing to do with fighting. It has just to do with the mentality of going. If you run hard, they’re going to run hard. If they’re on the ropes, they’re going to shake hard. And he definitely has a pitbull’s mentality, and I take my hat off to him. He’s young, he’s up and coming. He’s only 22-years-old, and the guy has a long career ahead of him. He was a good opponent, but I was the better man tonight, and I’m just happy for my victory.”
Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia said Mayfield will likely return to action in August or September.
As far as Serrano is concerned, Mayfield said it best in that the young contender is only 22 years of age and has just gotten started on scratching the surface of how successful he can be. Like a true fighter, he had no excuses for the loss to Mayfield.
“Shout out to Karim Mayfield. He fought a good fight,” Serrano remarked. “This is boxing. He caught me with a good shot, and I can’t take anything away from him. I’ll be back. That’s all I can say.”
Serrano says he will take a little bit of time off but will soon be returning to the gym and plans to come back better than ever.
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Serrano vs. Mayfield Post-Press Conference (Video)