Jake Paul, Amanda Serrano and Shadasia Green Victorious in Dallas


By David A. Avila

Influencer Jake Paul used his still evolving experience in the boxing ring to defeat MMA giant and true scrapper Nate Diaz by unanimous decision in front of a large crowd in Dallas on Saturday night.

“He’s a UFC legend,” said Paul. “I’m just happy for this win.”

Paul (7-1) used movement and a newly discovered left hook to keep Diaz (0-1) from rushing in too recklessly in front of more than 17,000 fans at American Airlines Center. The 10-round cruiserweight match was never a boring affair.

A Paul left hook on Diaz’s face in the opening seconds hurt the fighter from Stockton and had him in survival mode. The blond influencer tried to take advantage and pounded away in methodical fashion to the body and head.

Diaz survived but at the end of the opening round a mouse on the side of his right eye was evident.

The pro MMA crowd seemed in disbelief that their beloved fighter Diaz was in trouble so early. Throughout most of his career in the Octagon he showed almost super human durability. He displayed that on this night too.

Paul had predicted that Diaz was durable and also predicted a knockout would come because of that toughness.

Diaz lowered his head and charged in behind a peek-a-boo guard and attacked Paul who moved around mostly to his left. It was not enough to stop the charges and, little by little, Diaz began connecting with volume punching.

Paul was connecting with single but powerful shots. The body blows seemed to be the most effective way of countering Diaz’s charges.

By the fourth round it was apparent that Diaz had figured out the strength of Paul’s punches and was gaining more confidence. Both exchanged back and forth heavily in a very close round.

In the fifth round, Paul connected with a right to the body and a right uppercut to the head. Diaz continued to wade in but was suddenly caught by another Paul left hook and down went the MMA legend. He got up quickly and the fight resumed with Diaz in full attack mode. Paul maneuvered out of danger and won the round 10-8 because of the knockdown.

Again, the left hook was the cause and a newly developed weapon for Paul whose overhand right was already established. It was the most effective weapon against Diaz.

Still, Diaz showed why MMA fans love his fighting style as he continued to battle and feign being hurt. Paul did not fall for the trick and forced Diaz to advance toward him.

Diaz had many moments as he opened up with volume punching. Though he connected often he could not hurt Paul and that allowed the influencer to keep his composure and use boxing tactics to stay ahead for most of the rounds.

After 10 rounds of back-and-forth action, the judges were in agreement and scored in favor of Paul 98-91 twice and 97-92.

“He’s tough. He’s real tough. That’s what he’s known for,” said Paul about Diaz. “I knocked him down, won basically every round. I had him hurt in the first round.”

Diaz was gracious in defeat.

“I wish I could have done better and done better things,” said Diaz of his boxing debut. “He won that. I will fight anybody. I don’t give a f***.”

Paul said he is willing to face Diaz in MMA if he agrees.

Amanda Serrano wins

Amanda Serrano (45-2-1, 30 KOs) powered her way past a stubbornly determined Heather Hardy (24-3) to retain the undisputed featherweight title by unanimous decision.

Despite the more advanced skills of Serrano, the crowd loved Hardy’s bloody grit and determination and cheered the action until the end.

“She’s as tough as they come,” said Serrano about her longtime Brooklyn rival and friend. “I wanted to say Heather is a hell of a fighter.”

The love fest came after the fight. But during the fight from, rounds one until the end, Serrano battered Hardy around the ring with blows that felled more than 30 foes before. Hardy absorbed a pounding in every round, but as in their previous encounter, she endured.

“I still feel very grateful,” said Hardy, 41. “I gave everything I had for three months.”

It showed.

Serrano worked the body like a power driver breaking concrete. Blow after blow connected to Hardy’s body but the blonde Irish fighter showed she could endure even the harshest blows like a sponge.

Hardy was determined to be more than a punching bag and fought back with her own counters once she found the range. During the fifth round the Irish fighter found her most success.

Maybe she could survive.

Serrano reset in the sixth round and fired an exchange and out went Hardy’s mouthpiece. After a brief interlude Hardy apologized for losing it. Serrano went right back to work.

Brooklyn’s two best female fighters unloaded blows against each other for the remainder of the fight. Serrano from her southpaw stance delivered the more concise blows but Hardy fired right back. It was like she did not want to disappoint the fans of female boxing.

In the final round after hugging each other the two immediately bolted toward each other like crash cars and unleashed speedy volleys. The more than 17,000 fans roared their approval as the two Brooklynites fired away. In the end, Serrano won by scores of 99-91 and 100-90 twice.

Shadasia Green wins

Feared super middleweight contender Shadasia Green (13-0, 11 KOs) was forced to go the distance against Chicago’s Olivia Curry (7-2) but won by unanimous decision after 10 rounds.

Green was able to wobble Curry several times but like the movie Raging Bull, “You never put me down Ray,” the winner never could floor the Chicago fighter. But Green did connect.

Still, Green showed various dimensions to her fight game in out-pointing and out-maneuvering Curry who never stopped trying to win with combinations and moving forward. She just didn’t have the power to cause Green to pause.

After 10 rounds scores were 99-91, 100-90, 100-89 for Green.

Other Bouts

Stockton’s Chris Avila (4-1) out-boxed Jeremy Stephens (0-1-1) in a fight pitting two MMA fighters in the boxing ring. Though Stephens is the more accomplished fighter in the cage, Avila, a stablemate of Nate Diaz, proved far superior in the boxing ring and won nearly every round to win by unanimous decision in a super middleweight fight.

Avila used combinations throughout the six rounds to win by decision 59-55 twice and 60-54.

Long Beach’s Ashton Sylve (10-0, 9 KOs) used speed and body shots to put down William Silva (30-5, 18 KOs) twice before ending the fight in the fourth round with a left hook to the liver in a lightweight match.

Sylve, 19, accepted a fight against a dangerous veteran and was able to display clever boxing skills that opened up the Brazilian fighter’s defense. The left hook was the weapon and he used it twice effectively. The final knockdown was at 2:59 of the fourth round.

Photo by David Avila