Could the cancellation of Amanda Serrano’s fight impact future sporting events in Puerto Rico?

On Saturday night, Serrano entered the ring to deliver the news to the audience accompanied by her promoter and boxer Jake Paul, her rival Meinke, and Puerto Rican boxing champion, Félix “Tito” Trinidad. The boxer apologized to the people of Puerto Rico while crying. (Capture via Most Valuable Promotions).

By Mivette Vega

March 5, 2024

The match would have been Serrano’s first on the island since 2021. She had planned to face the German boxer Nina Meinke to defend her titles.

It’s still hard to believe that Amanda Serrano’s long-awaited fight at the Puerto Rico Coliseum on Saturday was suspended at the last minute because of an eye injury.

About 17,000 people packed into the “Choliseo,” as the arena is popularly known, when Serrano broke the news, crying and wearing glasses.

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The match would have been Serrano’s first on the island since 2021, and she had planned to face the German boxer Nina Meinke to defend her titles from the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Organization (WBO), International Boxing Organization (OIB), and the World Boxing Association (WBA).

After the cancellation, Nakisa Bidarian, co-founder of Most Valuable Promotions (MVP), said the boxer could not fight, because a chemical from a hair product got into her eyes, which disabled her fight on medical recommendation.

Boxing coach Jordan Maldonado told Primera Hora on Sunday that last Thursday a stylist braided Serrano’s hair and applied the Braiding Shine Jelo product. This gel gives the hair a “durable hold,” shine, and does not create “flakes.”

The product carries a warning that contact with the eyes should be avoided and that if contact occurs, the user should immediately rinse eyes with water and see a doctor.

“It had never happened to her before. What happened was that Amanda on Thursday, after getting her hair done, decided to go for a run for a while to go to bed at 128 pounds and not have to get up the next day to lose what she needed for the weigh-in. But when she went out for a run, it seems that with her sweat, it brought down the chemical,” Maldonado told the local newspaper. “When she came home from running she was rubbing her eyes because they were bothering her. And I told her, leave that alone and go rest so you’re ready for tomorrow. And although she took a bath and so on, she didn’t wash her eyes nor did we go to a doctor. And the next day when she got up she told me that her eyes hurt, especially her left one. And it was closed.”

On Saturday night, Serrano entered the ring to deliver the news to the audience accompanied by her promoter and boxer Jake Paul, her rival Meinke, and Puerto Rican boxing champion, Félix “Tito” Trinidad. The boxer apologized to the people of Puerto Rico while crying.

Puerto Rican doctor Yared Vázquez, a primary care internist in the Tampa area, who has experience with athletes and has worked with the athletic commissions of states like Florida and Iowa, says that the lack of a protocol and experience with situations like this played an important role in the cancellation.

According to his experience, if the commission has specialized medical personnel, it knows how to act in this type of situation.

Vázquez fears that this cancellation will have a negative impact on future sporting events that may take place on the island.

Days before the cancellation, MVP announced that the fight would be the highest grossing boxing event, as some 17,000 people were expected that day, and would set a new record on the island.

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The record is currently held by the fight between Miguel Cotto and Kelson Pinto in 2004, which was attended by 9,000 people.

After the cancellation, MVP confirmed that it will reimburse all people who attended the Coliseum 100% of the $1.5 million that the promoter raised from ticket sales.

Paul said that Serrano will fight again on the island in the future.

 

Author

  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.

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