1970sABCBoxingHoward CosellSuper Featherweight BoutsSuper Featherwt ChampionshipsSuper Featherwt ChampsSuper Featherwt Title Fights

Boxing 1979 15 Rnd WBA Super Featherweight Title Fight Diablito Valdez Vs Sammy Serrano

DOG COMMENTARY: 

This 1979 WBA World Super Featherweight Title Fight between Diablito Valdez verses Champ Sammy Serrano was fought on February 18, 1979 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico…..as the popular Puerto Rican champ won a unanimous decision from a decent fighter from the Dominican Republic…who after the decision was announced….punched Serrano in the face as the Champ came to shake his hand….which resulted in an all out after-fight brawl as Serrano retaliated….as police intervened and escorted the fighters to their dressing rooms.   

Samuel Serrano….nicknamed El Torbellino….won world super featherweight championship twice…..as he was the owner of long arms….who began his career on October 29, 1969 with a four round decision win over Ramon Laureano….as El Torbellino built a fan base in Puerto Rico….where he fought his first 23 bouts….including winning and losing the Puerto Rican Featherweight title against Francisco Villegas. Traveling to Panama City for his 24th bout….where he met future world Featherweight champion Ernesto Marcel….who beat him on points in 10 rounds….which would be his last defeat for a long time.

He then continued his winning ways including a 10 round decision win over tough veteran Cocoa Perez….then another 10 round decision over former title challenger Diego Alcala….as Serrano then traveled in 1976 to Honolulu, Hawaii to meet reigning Lineal and WBA world super featherweight champion Ben Villaflor. By most writer’s accounts, Serrano beat Villaflor, but he had to return home only with a 15 round draw (tie)….to which the WBA ordered an immediate rematch….and so on October 16, 1976….Villaflor went to San Juan to defend his title for the second time vs. Serrano…..wherein Serrano beat Villaflor by using his ring technique to win 12 of the 15 rounds on each judges’ scorecards. As life had it, Samuel Serrano was destined to become a world champion in front of his fans.   

Serrano became a traveling champion by defending his title in places like Venezuela, Ecuador, South Africa, Japan (twice) and, of course, Puerto Rico….as he held the title until August 1980…..when disaster struck for Serrano in Detroit….while after leading on all scorecards….he was struck by a Yasutsune Uehara right hand to the chin in round six….and lost his title by knockout to the Japanese. After that loss, he set his eyes on recovering his world title from the Japanese world champion….and so on April 9, 1981, they met again in Wakayama, Japan. Serrano was more cautious this time….and didn’t try to go for the knockout after building a points lead…..and even though Uehara was fighting in his homeland….all judges agreed and gave Serrano more rounds than they gave Uehara….as Serrano would win the world title back by a fifteen round unanimous decision.   

Serrano made two title defenses and then went to Chile to give challenger Benedicto Villablanca a chance at the title on June 3, 1982. It proved to be a highly controversial fight. After 5 rounds, Serrano was ahead on the scorecards….however, a cut appeared over his eye during the 6th….as the referee ruled it to be from a punch….when Serrano kept fighting….but the fight had to be stopped during the 11th round because the cut had gotten so deep.  Serrano had to be taken to a Santiago hospital. Since the referee ruled the cut came from a punch, initially the fight and the world title were given to Villablanca….but Serrano and his corner filed a complaint claiming the cut had been caused by a headbutt instead….and upon review at the WBA’s Panama City offices….WBA officials announced they had effectively seen the headbutt that Serrano claimed opened his cut happen. So the WBA decided the cut had come from a headbutt, and the judges’ scorecards were reviewed. They had Serrano ahead on points after 10 rounds, so the fight, and the crown, were given back to Serrano by a technical decision.  In his next defense he met the younger and physically stronger Roger Mayweather…..as the two gave it a good fight for most of 7 rounds….then Serrano was weakened by a barrage towards the end of the 7th….and downed with a right hand in the 8th….and this time, losing the title for the last time after holding the super featherweight title for more than 6 years total.

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