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Cindy Serrano
Copyrighted photo taken by Richie Maldonaldo


5'6" Cindy "Checkmate" Serrano was born in Puerto Rico on May 8, 1982. She boxes out of the Glendale Boxing Club in Queens, New York where she is trained by Jordan Maldonado.

Like many beginners, Serrano started boxing to get in shape and lose some weight.  After a few weeks' training her first three-round sparring session with a more experienced partner was an eye-opener. "I was little nervous at first," she told Doug Harden in an interview, "but after the workout I knew I would be back".   The next time they sparred, Cindy "chased her out of the ring".  Maldonado says "after I saw her kick that girl's (butt) after only her second time in the ring I knew she had something special inside. We would try to get other girls to spar with us but nobody wanted to work with us. So we take a negative and make it a positive. She spars with men, pros and amateur. I think the fact that she trains with men inspires her to push herself more in the gym."

Before boxing professionally, Serrano trained for one year and had amateur experience that included winning the 2003 Empire State Games Tournament. However, lack of fight opportunities persuaded her to turn pro.

She made her pro debut on September 12, 2003 at the Rollins Center at Dover Downs Slots in Dover, Delaware. She weighed in at 130 lbs and won a unanimous 40-36 decision over fellow pro debuter Kathy Rodriguez (5'4", 129 lbs) of Brooklyn, New York.

On November 13, 2003 at Michael's Eight Avenue in Glen Burnie, Maryland Cindy (128 lbs) TKO'd Kathy Rodriguez (130 lbs) in the second round of a rematch. Rodriguez fell to 0-2.

On December 4, 2003 at the Days Inn in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Cindy (126 lbs) TKO'd Shannon Birmingham (5'7", 122 lbs) of Hamilton, Alabama at 0:59 in the first round. Birmingham fell to 2-3 (1 KO) with the loss. It was reported that Serrano's skills were far too superior for  Birmingham to handle.

On January 2, 2004 at the Big Kahuna Club in Wilmington, Delaware, Cindy (130 lbs) TKO'd Helen Penson (135 lbs) of Spartansburg, South Carolina at 0:29 into the first round.  The fight had been scheduled for four rounds. Penson fell to 0-3 with the loss.

On June 12, 2004  at the Cedarbridge Athletic Association Grounds in Hamilton, Bermuda, Cindy (129 lbs) won a four-round split (39-38 Witherspoon; 39-38 Serrano; 40-37 Serrano) decision over  Shakurah Witherspoon (128 lbs) of Pennsylvania.  According to ringsiders this was a very tough bout with Shakurah utilizing her ring experience to survive and not get KO'd, and Serrano mixing combinations to her head and body.

On July 7, 2004 at the Mountaineer Racetrack in Chester, West Virginia Cindy won by a TKO at 1:35 in the first round over Philadelphia's Wanda Satterthwaite, who fell to  0-5.

On July 11, 2004 at Cedar Beach in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Cindy KO'd Susan Nance of Gore ,Oklahoma at 1:05 in the first round. Nance was outboxed and was caught with a barrage of combinations that ended the fight. She fell to 1-6-1 with the loss.

On April 8, 2005 at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany, New Jersey,
(122 lbs)won a six round unanimous (59-53,58-53,59-51) decision over Sharon Gaines (122 lbs) of Kansas City, Missouri. The hard hitting Serrano came out strong in round 1 with one power punch after another. Gaines opened up round 2 nicely and was probably out-punching her opponent until she was dropped with a perfectly placed body shot. Gaines answered the eight-count only to be dropped again by the same devastating body shot. Serrano's fans went wild, thinking the fight was over, but Gaines answered the eight-count and survived to battle on. Gaines recovered in round 3 and launched a comeback in the next two rounds as Serrano appeared to tire. Gaines out-boxed Serrano for those rounds, and showed she was in better condition, but was unable to close the gap on the scorecards.

Sharon Gaines said after the fight "so many people came up to me and told me how much heart I had, how they thought I was down for the count in round 2 and couldn't believe I came back to win some rounds. Although I appreciate their comments, my only thinking was 'I wish I hadn't had to show so much heart!' When someone has to have a lot of heart to finish a fight you know something went wrong early on. Serrano does have a lot of power and she threw a lot of punches in the first two rounds. However, she was not conditioned to take that power through to the end of the fight. Although I lost fair and square and am not proud of hitting the canvas, I am proud that I had the strength and stamina to come back fight a couple of the best rounds of my career."

On May 7, 2005 at the Crown Plaza in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Cindy (127 lbs) won by a second-round TKO over Corie Raw (131 lbs) of Philadelphia who fell to 1-2-0.

On July 22, 2005 at Polideportivo De Sabana Perdida in Santo Domingo,  Dominican Republic, Cindy (122 lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Delia Hoppe (122 lbs) who fell to 2-2 (1 KO).

On August 20, 2005 in Costanza, Dominican Republic, Cindy (126 lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Angela Garcia (127 lbs) of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic who fell to 1-6-0.

On October 15, 2005 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Cindy (126 lbs) won by a first-round TKO over Luisa Maria Romero (126 lbs) of the Dominican Republic for the WIBA FedaLatina Featherweight title. Romero fell to 0-4-0.

Rhonda Luna vs. Cindy Serrano
Rhonda Luna battles Cindy for the WIBA title
Copyrighted photo taken by Durell Wambolt

On December 10, 2005, at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York Cindy (125 lbs) fought Rhonda Luna (125 lbs) of Ontario, California to a ten-round split draw (96-94 Serrano, 98-92 Luna, 95-95) for the vacant WIBA World Featherweight title.

According to WBAN correspondent Rick McLean, who said this was the best women’s match he had ever seen, "Round one started out fast and furious with Luna moving straight ahead at Serrano looking to land bombs early on. Serrano, on the other hand looked very calm and composed, she was definitely prepared for this bout and rushed nothing in the opening round. Serrano moved back and took her time counter punched Luna effectively with solid straight right and left hands. Cindy moved her head well, snapped out very nice jabs and went downstairs to the body well. What was very impressive from both women was the constant body work throughout the match. They were not just head hunting but were cognizant of the fact that they had to work the body in order to slow each other down. Luna kept the pressure on Serrano and also landed solid combinations to the body however she was unable to land clean punches to the head."

"The second, third, and fourth rounds started off the same as the first with Luna coming straight ahead and moving Serrano back. Serrano landed stiff left jabs and straight right hands that kept Luna off balanced and slowed her forward progress. Cindy also landed impressive counter left hooks to Luna’s head and body. Luna kept the pressure on Serrano and started to find her way in and landed strong right hands to the head.  The crowd was chanting Cindy! Cindy! and by the end of the fourth round Luna had significant swelling under her right eye and it looked as though it would only be a matter of time before the eye closed."

"In the fifth, it was evident that Luna had found a hole in Serrano’s defenses and made adjustments to exploit it because from that round on Luna controlled the pace and momentum of the bout. The adjustment was to start moving her head more and to start landing lead right hands which set up openings for the left hook to the head. This allowed Luna to finally get Serrano pinned on the ropes where she was able to land harder punches. Once pinned on the ropes Serrano was unable to effectively counter like she had been doing through out the bout. Serrano had a confused look on her face periodically during the round."

"In the fifth, it was evident that Luna had found a hole in Serrano’s defenses and made adjustments to exploit it because from that round on Luna controlled the pace and momentum of the bout. The adjustment was to start moving her head more and to start landing lead right hands which set up openings for the left hook to the head. This allowed Luna to finally get Serrano pinned on the ropes where she was able to land harder punches. Once pinned on the ropes Serrano was unable to effectively counter like she had been doing through out the bout. Serrano had a confused look on her face periodically during the round."

"Rounds six through eight followed the same pattern as Luna’s punches were starting to get through. Now Serrano was backing up and looking hurt instead of effectively counter punching like she was earlier on. However, Serrano stood in there and traded with Luna and landed devastating straight rights and left hooks to Luna’s head but it looked like it was not having any effect on Luna because she kept moving forward and kept pressing the action. Both women were still going downstairs and landing excellent right and left hooks to the body. By round 9,  Serrano no longer had a cocky and confident look on her face. Instead she had a pained and concerned look on her face as well as a badly swollen left cheek. The crowd was no longer chanting Cindy! Cindy!, but instead were just going wild because these women were giving their all inside the ring. Luna was still slipping punches well and landing solid right hands. Serrano blocked many of Luna’s best punches and countered with her own hard punches. However she did not look like the aggressor and this is what could have cost her rounds on the judges score cards."

"Round 10 was a total slugfest where both Luna and Serrano stood toe to toe and punched with everything they had left.  Both women were definitely going for the knockout and very little defense was shown in this round.  Both boxers raised their arms after the round feeling they had won the match. Even before the decision was given the announcer stated that there would be a rematch between the two at Turning Stone Casino in the future. The bout was ruled a draw and the audience erupted into boos."

Rhonda Luna was 10-0-1 (1 KO) after this result.

On July 26, 2006 at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Cindy (130 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (59-55,59-55,60-54) decision over Tawnyah Freeman (135 lbs) of Fort Smith, Arkansas who fell to 7-3 (3 KO's).

Cindy (right) vs. Jessica Mohs in February 2007
Copyrighted photo taken by Richie Maldonaldo

On February 22, 2007 at Roseland Ballroom in New York City, Cindy (126 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (60-54,60-54,60-54) decision over Jessica Mohs (127 lbs) of Oklahoma City, who fell to 6-15-1 (1 KO). 

On July 7, 2007 at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, New York, WBAN #2 ranked junior lightweight Melissa Fiorentino (126 lbs) of Cranston, Rhode Island won an eight round unanimous (79-73 on all cards) decision over Cindy (129 lbs, then ranked #7) to become the NABF’s first Super Featherweight world champion. According to an insider, it was an exciting bout with both displaying excellent boxing skills. Fiorentino lost the first round on all three judges' scorecards, but came back by winning the final seven. "I felt the crowd was cheering for her so I thought I was the underdog," Fiorentino said. "That spurred me on. I kept the pressure on her and she wore down a little bit near the end." Serrano suffered a substantial gash under her eye that required over 20 stitches. Fiorentino ran her record to 16-1-0 (6 KOs). See also Cindy's open letter to fans following the fight.

Cindy Serrano trades with Layla in January 2008
Copyrighted photo by Lori Steinhorst

On January 11, 2008 at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Layla McCarter (133 lbs ) of Las Vegas won a six round unanimous decision over Cindy (133 lbs).  According to WBAN contributor Lori Steinhorst, "Delivering on the promise to make it a great fight, McCarter made easy work of Serrano, who, by the way, is no slouch. This just happened to be a ballroom dance and McCarter took the lead. With some fancy footwork and a dance that Serrano wasn't familiar with McCarter took Serrano to school. It was obvious early in the 4th round that Serrano lacked the experience to keep up with McCarter. While Serrano was no match for the much more experienced McCarter, there was no lack of heart or skill. Serrano is a warrior who came in focused and determined to put every ounce of energy she could muster. McCarter was well-prepared and equally as focused." Serrano fell to 15-2-1 (7 KO's) with her second straight pro loss while McCarter improved to 28-13-5 (6 KO's). For more fight and weighin photos by Lori Steinhorst, see Photo Gallery #464 on the WBAN Records Member Site.

Jessica Rakoczy vs. Cindy Serrano
Copyrighted photo taken by Bob Silverman

On April 17, 2008 at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, in Lemoore, California, Canadian-born Jessica Rakoczy (132 lbs) of Las Vegas won a unanimous 80-72 eight-round decision over Cindy (132 lbs). According to David Robinett of FightNews.com, "Early in the first round it was Serrano who got off to the quick start, getting inside and landing several impressive shots to the body. Rakoczy, a skilled boxer-puncher who is at her best when working from the outside, was unable to keep Serrano at the end of her jab and official scores notwithstanding, did little to blunt Serrano’s early aggression. In round two, Serrano started to mix in some combinations from the outside with her body work, but this seemed to provide the opening Rakoczy needed to establish some space between the two to work her jab. The second round was close as well but the less Serrano tried to get inside, the more effective Rakoczy was becoming working in the center of the ring. The fighters started round three trading jabs, which was the beginning of the end for Serrano. Serrano was landing her jab followed by the occasional hook to the head, but Rakoczy’s jab and counterpunching from the outside is her bread and butter, and she was simply landing the same punches as Serrano but more of them and heavier. As Rakoczy started to find her rhythm, it also become harder for Serrano to get inside past Rakoczy’s jab, all but eliminating any chance of Serrano stealing back the momentum. The remaining rounds followed the same pattern of Rakoczy boxing tactically from the outside, keeping Serrano at bay and piling up points. At her best, Rakoczy resembles the tactical version of Juan Manual Marquez or Vernon Forrest, tall, rangy and effective, and one of the best in the women’s game, if not terribly exciting. However the hometown crowd appreciated Rakoczy’s professional effort, and applauded warmly as the scores were announced."

On June 25, 2011 at Parque del Este in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Cindy (147 lbs) was held to a split draw over six rounds by undefeated Oxandia Castillo (147 lbs) of the Dominican Republic.  The scorecards were 57-57, 55-59 for Cstillo and 58-56 for Serrano.  Castillo moved her pro record to 4-0-2 (1 KO) with the result.

On October 1, 2011 at Salle Mermoz in Yutz, France, Ann-Sophie Mathis (146 lbs) of Dombasle, France won a clear ten-round unanimous (100-90 x 3) decision over Cindy (146 lbs) defending the WIBA and WBF Welterweight titles. Mathis also picked up the vacant WIBF Welterweight belt with this win which moved her record to 25-1-0 (21 KO's). 

On Arpil 27, 2012 in the Cloetta Center in Linkoping, Sweden, Mikaela Lauren (149 lbs) of Sweden won a hard fought six-round unanimous (58-56,58-56,59-55) decision over Cindy Serrano (147 lbs). Lauren and Serrano slugged it out all the way. Lauren, who ended the battle with a cut over her right eye, advanced to 15-2-0 (5 KO's) with the win.

On August 11, 2012 at Plattduetsche Restaurant in Franklin Square, New York, USA, Cindy Serrano (134 lbs)  won an eight-round unanimous decision over Kerri Hill (133 lbs) of Russellville, Arkansas  for the vacant WIBA International Lightweight title. Female referee Sparkle Lee officiated this fight. Serrano advanced to 16-5-2 (7 KOs) while Hill fell to 3-22-1 (1 KOs).

Other Cindy Serrano links

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Page last updated:Friday, 06 November 2015


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