Karim Mayfield established himself as a prospect to watch in the 140-pound division, battering and stopping the previously undefeated Ray Serrano in just five rounds in the main event of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.
Mayfield (16-0-1, 10 knockouts), of San Francisco, Calif., started out carefully against Serrano, but began to pick up the action after figuring his opponent out.
Action picked up in the fourth stanza, which saw both fighters bleed, as Mayfield’s left eye was opened while Serrano (18-1, 8 KOs) was bloodied. Mayfield controlled the fourth round, hurting the 22-year-old Philadelphian several times while he looked to put his foe away.
At the bell to close the fourth round, Mayfield drilled Serrano with a short right cross on the inside dropping his opponent hard. Somehow, Serrano managed to beat the count. Serrano never recovered though, as Mayfield stalked him in the fifth stanza. He hurt his already wobbled foe early in the round, forcing referee Eddie Claudio to halt the action at 47 seconds of round number five.
Mayfield, 31, is clearly ready for tougher opposition in the junior welterweight division.
Mike Coppinger is a regular contributor to USA TODAY’s boxing coverage and compiles the “Ringside Reports” for THE RING Magazine monthly. He is a member of the BWAA and the Yahoo! Sports Boxing Panel. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger. Write to him: firstname.lastname@example.org.