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,
On November 13, 2003 at
Michael's Eight Avenue in Glen Burnie, Maryland Cindy (128½ lbs) TKO'd Kathy
Rodriguez (130½ lbs) in the second round of a rematch. Rodriguez fell
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
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 (128½
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
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
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,
Cindy (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 (131½ 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 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 (125¾ lbs) fought Rhonda Luna (125¼ 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
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
"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 (126½ 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 (126¾
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
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 (133½ 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
Records Member Site.
Jessica Rakoczy vs. Cindy Serrano
© Copyrighted photo taken by Bob Silverman
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 (132½ 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
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
and 58-56 for Serrano. Castillo moved her pro record to 4-0-2
KO) with the result.
On October 1, 2011 at Salle
Mermoz in Yutz, France, Ann-Sophie
(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 (149½ lbs) of Sweden won a
hard fought six-round unanimous (58-56,58-56,59-55)
decision over Cindy Serrano (147½ 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.
11, 2012 at Plattduetsche Restaurant in Franklin Square, New York, USA,
Cindy Serrano (134½ 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
Other Cindy Serrano links
To check out fight reports, complete up-to-date
boxing records, with
huge digital photos you can go to
the WBAN Records
last updated:Friday, 09 August 2013