|Ray “Tito” Serrano Headlines in Philly April 1st! (Q & A)
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (April 1, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
North Philadelphia’s unbeaten welterweight Ray “Tito” Serrano, 14-0 (7), returns for only the third time to his hometown this Friday at the Asylum Arena in South Philadelphia. The former Arena, New Alhambra and you name it will pit Serrano against Corey Alarcon, 14-16-1 (4), from Denver, CO.
Andre Kut brings his KEA Boxing back in promoting “Unfinished Business” with some of the local fan’s favorite boxers on the card. KEA held a press conference Tuesday at NE Philly’s Chickies and Petes.
Serrano is “nobody’s fool” and will show that on “April Fool’s Day” against Alarcon who is better than his record indicates. It will be his eleventh unbeaten opponent in 32 fights. His best win was over Victor Ortiz, now 28-2 and then 6-0.
The 21 year old Serrano has been boxing since he was 8. He has had over 100 amateur fights. In 2005 he won Gold medals at the International and National Junior Olympics. In 2006 he won the Pennsylvania State Golden Gloves. His teammates were Jesse Hart, son of “Cyclone” and Andre Taylor who is scheduled to appear on the show Friday.
His father Ramon has been with his son since the begging. Team Serrano has added as trainer the former Philly knockout king Eugene “Cyclone” Hart for this upcoming fight. Zahir Justice who runs the Fast Lane Gym joined the team in Serrano’s last fight and handle’s the fitness and assists in training. If Hart can develop something even close to that deadly left hook he had in the 70’s Serrano will benefit from it.
Upon turning professional Serrano blasted out Tierre King in October of 2007 at the Wachovia Spectrum in the first round. Just 4 weeks later he won a 4 rounder over Jorge Delgado, 4-6, at Reading, PA, Sovereign Center. That’s when he signed with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing out of New York.
Serrano would be hitting the road in such places as Mohegan Sun Casino, in CT, Grand Ballroom in NY, and Bally’s in Atlantic City which is as close to home as he could be. He was 6-0 with 4 knockouts when he returned to the New Alhambra and blew out Jimmy LeBlanc, 11-14-4, in 2:37 of the first round. That was 5 first round knockouts in a 7 win streak.
Near the end of 2008 Serrano would return to Atlantic City and win a 6 rounder over Shakha Moore, 10-12-3, a tricky southpaw. Next he would face Kevin Rooney’s Jay Krupp, 12-1, at Mohegan winning over 6 rounds in March of 2009. He got to be a fan’s favorite there returning in August stopping Jessie Davis, 11-13, in 3 rounds. At the end of 2009 he defeated Anthony Bowman with both fighters hitting the canvas. This bout was held at Fitzgerald’s Casino in Tunica, MS.
Serrano would travel to the Grand Sierra Resort, in Reno, NV, to take on Ronnie Warrior, Jr., 13-2-1, whom he defeated over 8 rounds on all score cards 79-73. What would turn out to be his biggest win to date was defeating Ghana’s Ayi Bruce, 15-2, in Atlantic City in July of 2010 by majority decision in 8. Bruce would defeat contender Shamone Alvarez, 21-2, in December at Atlantic City.
In December in his last bout Serrano returned to Atlantic City for the fourth time against Geoffrey “Top Dogg” Spruiell, 8-9. Spruiell in his previous fight went the distance with Olympian Demetrius Andrade. Serrano had his opponent on the canvas twice in the first. A left jab dropped him first. Then a right hand off a jab for the second knockdown in the round.
Serrano would turn southpaw in the fifth round and come back to score a fifth round knockout with a straight jab and an uppercut. It looked like Spruiell could beat the count but took it. The first words he spoke when being interviewed after the fight were “Thanks to God,” said Serrano. This good looking and modest young man showed his heart to come back in posting his fourteenth straight win and seventh by knockout.
Serrano is a cousin to former IBF Welterweight champion Kermit Cintron and would like nothing better than to duplicate that feat. Serrano and Danny Garcia are two of Philly’s top Latino’s and on a mission to become world champions. No Latino boxer has ever been inducted into the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. It may be a long time before these two see their retirement but they have a great chance to end that drought and enter the PA HOF.
Serrano was nice enough to take part in a Q&A.
Ken Hissner: Five years ago you and teammates Jesse Hart and Andre Taylor were on the PA GG team. Today Jesse’s dad trains you and Taylor is on the same card you were on together. Can you believe it?
Ray Serrano: We came a long way.
Ken Hissner: How did a good looking guy like you choose boxing over a movie career?
Ray Serrano: I’ve been boxing since I was 8.
Ken Hissner: Speaking of the name Kevin Rooney I gather you knew it was Kevin’s father in the corner with your opponent Jay Krupp. Did you ask Kevin who he was rooting for before the fight?
Ray Serrano: No. I was surprised to see Kevin’s father in the corner.
Ken Hissner: I believe you are cousins with Kermit and Jason Cintron and your uncle is Ben Serrano who fought out of Warminster. If true, did any of them inspire you to turn professional?
Ray Serrano: No, but I followed them and their success.
Ken Hissner: Would you say the Ayi Bruce fight was your toughest so far?
Ray Serrano: Yes he was. Originally they said he was 6-2. By fight time he was 15-2. I guess they didn’t count his fights in Ghana.
Ken Hissner: Several years ago I did a story on Philly’s Fab 5. Only you and Danny Garcia are active and unbeaten. I see Rock Allen is having his first fight in 2 years in May after having shoulder surgery. Hank Lundy with one loss also fights Friday on ESPN2. Ray Robinson after winning his first 11 ran into some stiff competition in losing his last 2 fights. That is 5 very good prospects with Danny now ranked coming out of Philly in the junior welterweight class. Have you done any sparring with any of them?
Ray Serrano: Danny and I have sparred at the Rivera Gym.
Ken Hissner: This was to be your fourth 8 rounder Friday after having 6 4’s and 5 6’s. Since your opponent is coming in late it’s been reduced to a 6. Any schedule for your first 10 rounder?
Ray Serrano: I’m glad to have my first main event on Friday. I believe I’ll have one more 8 and hope to get my first 10 rounder.
Ken Hissner: With the nickname “Tito” would Felix Trinidad be one of your favorite fighters?
Ray Serrano: He is along with Ivan Calderon.
Ken Hissner: How are things working with your new trainer “Cyclone Hart”?
Ray Serrano: Very good.
Ken Hissner: I want to thank you for taking the time for this Q&A. Is there anything you would like to say to all your fans?
Ray Serrano: I want to thank all my fans who will be coming out for my first main event fight.
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