Amanda Serrano is one of the more impressive combat sports athletes on the planet. In boxing she holds a 41-1-1 record and the WBC, WBO and IBO featherweight titles. In MMA, a sport she entered in 2018, she holds a 2-0-1 record.
Last weekend Serrano put in a clinical performance to best Yamileth Mercado by unanimous decision in the co-main event of Showtime’s Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley event. That bout will surely be one of her most viewed contests to date.
However, The Ring reports that Serrano’s trainer, manager and brother-in-law risks overshadowing Serrano’s accomplishments with his behaviour both inside and outside of the ring.
During the fight last week, Maldonado was shown on the broadcast yelling towards Mercado and her corner between rounds. Mercado has since said that Maldonado was calling her “trash” and a “coward”, as well as “pendeja”. Mercado said that once the fight was over Maldonado came to her corner and called her trainers a gay slur in Spanish and called her “garbage”.
Mercado said that her trainers felt threatened so they decided to forgo the post-fight interviews and head straight for the locker room. During Amanda Serrano’s post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani, Maldonado can be seen yelling “adios” to Mercado and her team.
When asked about his actions towards Mercado, Maldonado had this to say: “You know, Mexicans have a reputation for being tough warriors and we had said leading up to this fight that we were going to beat her at her own game. I was hoping that she would become a real Mexican and fight like a Mexican. Mexican’s don’t back up, you know what I’m saying? So I was hoping that she came and gave us a hard fight and coming forward, but she felt the power and she decided to become a boxer and run away.”
The “didn’t fight like a Mexican” line was repeated by Serrano in an interview she did with SecondsOut.
Mercado said that Maldonado’s harassment of her didn’t end in the ring and claimed that he approached her while she was walking to an ambulance to get treatment for cuts on her face. “Maldonado came to me and continued attacking me, calling me a coward, a good-for-nothing idiot and more,” she said.
According to The Ring this isn’t the first time Maldonado has been embroiled in controversy.
Maldonado was thrown out of the ring during Serrano’s last fight, with Daniela Bermudez in Puerto Rico. After ejecting Maldonado from the corner Referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. banished the trainer from ringside. Ramirez said he did this after hearing insults that were “too dirty to be even repeated”.
The Ring also reports that Maldonado was once arrested as part of the New York Police Department’s Operation Dumbell in 2007, an undercover sting operation that targeted steroid dealers. Maldonado was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on charges related to supplying steroids and other drugs to boxers and weightlifters. Maldonado’s wife, Cindy Serrano (Amanda Serrano’s sister), received a suspended sentence.
Maldonado’s methods of steering Serrano’s career have also come into question. Serrano has boasted that she does not own a cellphone and maintains a zero distraction policy for her career (which includes not having any romantic partners). Maldonado apparently handles all things that would require Serrano to use a cellphone, such as social media and arranging interviews and other activities.
When discussing Serrano and Maldonado’s relationship, and the controversy around the trainer, The Ring’s Diego Morilla wrote the following:
It is possible, of course, that the symbiosis between Serrano and Maldonado may be a healthy one, and that they both share a bond that allows them to work seamlessly in search of a common goal. But Maldonado’s behavior, so far removed from Serrano’s usually respectful demeanor, is already a cause of concern for many, and has triggered an uproar unlike anything we’ve seen against a boxing second in recent memory.
According to Morilla a “number of legal actions” against Maldonado are currently being pursued by multiple people. Mercado has stated that she wants the WBC and the Ohio Commission to take action against Maldonado.
“I feel he should have been expelled from the corner at that point. I believe he crossed a very important line, and his verbal aggressions were too much, especially since I was alone at that time.”