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Monday, May 21, 2012

Karim Mayfield Dominates Raymond Serrano -- S.F. Boxer Remains Undefeated

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 5:59 AM

Was undefeated champ Karim Mayfield's knockout victory over Raymond Serrano on ESPN's Friday Night Fights main event more dominating or more bizarre? The answer, naturally, is yes.

A crushing overhand right from the San Francisco native at the bell concluding the fourth round induced Serrano to crumple like an insect, falling forward into the referee, and awkwardly hitting the floor cheek-first. And then things got weird.

Serrano's cornermen -- one of whom is his father -- argued vociferously amongst themselves over whether the fight should continue; it almost seemed a second fight-within-a-fight would break out. Serrano and his dad won that battle. The fight continued.

It shouldn't have.

Mayfield, 31, battered his 22-year-old opponent, forcing a stoppage 47 seconds into the fifth round. Once again, the Fillmore fighter dropped down into his signature "get low" victory dance.

click to enlarge karim_cover.jpg

"My offensive approach was to get my jab established and capitalize on

his mistakes," Mayfield said after the fight, which elevated his record

to 16-0-1, and kept the WBO NABO junior welterweight title in his

possession. "One of them was reaching for me, and the other was dropping

his left hand after he jabbed."

Against a fighter who lives to toss an overhand right, dropping your left hand is the equivalent of forgetting to wear your contacts when you bat against Cliff Lee. It's just a matter of how horribly things will go.

Mayfield, the subject of an SF Weekly profile in October, knocked Serrano onto a knee in the third round prior to annihilating him at the fourth-round bell.

"I set it up with a jab; I threw a feint jab out there. It looked like I was coming with a hook. I changed the dynamics of my punch," recalls Mayfield of the fourth-round knockdown.

At the last moment, Mayfield ducked, and hurled a punch at where he figured Serrano would reactively move to; the 22-year-old walked into a devastating right hand. "It landed flush. I heard the bell and I didn't even know I knocked him down." That's why Mayfield walked away so cool and nonchalant -- he didn't realise his opponent was kissing the canvas."

Mayfield described the chaotic scene in his opponent's corner between the fourth and fifth rounds as "crazy." He's not sure it's legal to have so many men on the ring apron -- that might be an offense meriting a disqualification. But he made that argument academic in the fifth.

What it will all mean will become clearer in the forthcoming days and weeks. Mayfield is unsure who or when he'll be fighting next; some of the premier names in his weight class recently tested positive for steroids, muddying the future even further.

In the short term, however, Mayfield will be spending some time with his wife and kids -- whom he hadn't seen in two months while living with his trainer, Virgil Hunter. "Being around my family is a beautiful thing," notes Mayfield. But he doesn't regret the monastic training regimen. "I had bottled energy."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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