Brooklyn’s best battle at Barclays: Hitchins, Serrano notch in-ring victories • Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn’s best battle at Barclays: Hitchins, Serrano notch in-ring victories

Focused in: Richardson Hitchins wanted another knockout, but knew he controlled his fight against Alexander Picot at Barclays Center on April 22.
Photo by Robert Cole

He got the win, but came away disappointed.

Standout welterweight Richardson Hitchins didn’t get the knockout he wanted, but still dominated in the ring at Barclays Center on April 22, cruising to a unanimous decision over Alexander Picot. The 19-year-old Brooklyn native controlled the tempo in all four rounds, and earned a 40–36 score from all three judges.

“I just wanted to give my hometown and fans [a good fight],” he said. “I’m kind of disappointed because I didn’t get the knockout.”

“When you’re young, you want to knock everything out,” Hitchins said. “It was tough, every clean shot was catching him and he was getting hurt and battered. I thought he was going to give up, but he stood up. I thought I had it in the third [round].”

Hitchins — who made his pro debut at Barclays in March with an early-fight knockout — took charge from the opening bell, landing punch after punch. Picot spent most of the fight backed up against the ropes, doing his best to simply try to block his opponent’s attacks.

“I wanted to pace myself, but I started off applying pressure and punishing him,” Hitchins said. “He kept getting hurt, but he did not go down. I saw him wobbling around the ring, running, and I was chasing him, but I didn’t want to do something stupid. If the knockout comes, it comes.”

Hitchins went into the fight wanting to win, no matter what, and hoping for that second knockout. But in the end he know he’d managed to impress the boxing world with his performance and, most importantly, gotten a bit more experience in the ring.

“I’ve never gone four rounds in a fight before, so that was good,” the young boxer said. “My coach was happy that we got the rounds in, so I’m just looking to push up my rounds. It’s a good experience.”

Hitchins knew he’d won the fight before the scores were even announced, certain his record was still perfect even as he retreated to his corner. He’d landed the majority of his punches — including a handful of body shots in the fourth round that left Picot more than just a bit wobbly on his feet.

“I definitely knew,” he said. “There was no way a judge could give the fight to a fighter getting punished like that. [Picot] didn’t want to fight. I felt like he was just there to survive.”

Hitchins — who excelled on the amateur circuit and represented Haiti in the 2016 Olympics — appears to have a bright ring future ahead of him after two strong showings at Barclays. But he’s his own toughest critic, and is still determined to prove himself every time he fights.

“You’ve got to be the one in the gym that’s eager and ready to get better and always keep the same level of love for the sport of boxing,” the teen said. “I walked into the gym and it was love at first sight. I’ll love it until the day I unlace these gloves.”

In other action, Amanda Serrano also did her hometown crowd proud at Barclays, capturing the women’s bantamweight championship with an eighth-round technical knockout over Dahiana Santana.

“It means everything to me. We worked so hard. We worked hard for this moment,” said Serrano, a graduate of Bushwick High School. “To be a five-division world champion is amazing. To be the first female and first Puerto Rican is amazing.”

Serrano, 28, now has won world titles in the bantamweight, junior featherweight, featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight divisions. She had little trouble with Santana, controlling the fight with strong left jabs and punishing body shots. The fight was nearly stopped after four rounds, as Santana was examined by ring doctors after developing swelling over both eyes.

According to CompuBox punch statistics, Serrano (31–1–1, 23 KOs) landed 152 of 486 punches, while Santana connected on just 60 her 293 shots.

Serrano wrapped up her victory just over a minute into the eighth round, drilling Santana with punch after punch along the ropes.

“I’m just so happy for this moment,” Serrano said afterward. “Just to be a five-division world champion, I could retire today and be the happiest woman alive.”

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