Kate Taylor Jordan Maldonado, the most influential person in Amanda Serrano’s career, first met her in Boston in 2018 when Katie was fighting her older sister Cindy.
Married to Cindy, Aldonado trains both fighters and has also mastered their careers. Taylor outclassed Cindy so extensively that her manager, Brian Peters, joked afterwards that Katie could have fought both sisters on the same bill.
The biggest cheer of the evening was reserved for Conor McGregor, who arrived late at TD Garden. As soon as the crowd noticed him, they broke out.
But for those ringside, it was Maldonado’s demeanor that was the most notable feature of the evening.
The ringside mics picked up Maldonado’s trash talk directed at Taylor. “You picked the weaker Serrano,” he suggested.
Then, when Taylor’s inevitable landslide point win was announced, Maldonado exclaimed, “Don’t worry, Amanda will KO you next time.”
The remark drew a reaction from Taylor’s American trainer, Ross Enamait, who briefly confronted Maldonado in the ring before security personnel intervened.
There wasn’t the slightest chance that Maldonado’s trash talk would upset Taylor. Her reaction underscored her humility.
“I heard what he said throughout the fight. He said horrible things – that was his wife in the ring.
“He screamed ‘You picked the weaker Serrano’. That’s a terrible thing to say. You should at least give your wife some encouragement. That’s ridiculous.”
But Maldonado has form, not just when it comes to trash talk, but on far more serious subjects as well.
He first came to public attention when he appeared in an HBO documentary called Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope.
About his job as a bouncer at the time, he said: “I love violence. Violence is the best.”
In 2007, he was a central figure in an 18-month undercover operation by the New York City Police Department to allegedly sell illegal steroids and other illegal drugs, primarily to boxers and weightlifters, at the city’s two gyms. Known as “Operation Dumbbell,” it made headlines in the New York tabloids.
According to then-Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, undercover officers bought drugs, including cocaine, ecstasy and prescription drugs, from two gyms. The indictment described Maldonado as the “manager and boxing trainer” at the two gyms.
He was charged with second-, third- and fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fourth-degree grand larceny. According to a statement by the police at the time, he could face up to ten years in prison if convicted.
Twenty-three others, including Maldonado’s wife Cindy and sister-in-law Amanda, who was only 19 at the time, were arrested and charged in connection with the arrest.
Amanda was charged with the criminal sale of a fifth-degree controlled substance. If convicted, she would have faced two and a half years in prison. Her case never went to trial and she has no conviction.
Maldonado pleaded guilty and received a one-year sentence. His wife, who was charged with a third-degree B felony, pleaded guilty and was not jailed. Her driver’s license was revoked for six months.
In recent years, Maldonado’s in-ring behavior has drawn controversy. The 57-year-old was rebuffed by Serrano’s corner in a fight against Argentina’s Daniela Bermudez in Puerto Rico in 2021.
Serrano is a national hero in her home country, but referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. nonetheless banned Maldonado from ringside technicals after hearing what he described as insults “too dirty to even repeat.”
Maldonado was in trouble again last August when Serrano successfully defended his WBC and WBO featherweight titles against Mexican Yamileth Mercado in Cleveland.
This was a breakthrough for the Serrano camp as Amanda was the co-main event of a Showtime pay-per-view show helmed by Jake Paul – who later became her manager – and Tyrone Woodley.
According to Mercado, Maldonado not only subjected her to a vicious verbal assault in the ring and afterwards when she went to an ambulance.
A journalist who then interviewed her in her native Spanish said the report was “staggering to say the least, to the point of outrage at its worst.”
Mercado said her trainer felt threatened and she decided not to stay in the ring for the post-fight interviews.
She also claimed that on her way to an ambulance to go to the hospital to get treatment for the cuts she sustained, Maldonado verbally assaulted her again, calling her “a coward, a useless jerk and more.”
Maldonado was subsequently suspended by the Ohio Athletic Commission for six months for “disorderly conduct.” Outside of Ohio, however, the ban has no consequences.
Undoubtedly, Maldonado had a profound impact on Serrano’s career and his decision to thwart a clash with Taylor until his fighter was paid what he felt she deserved was a wise move.
Serrano says she never owned a cell phone or had a boyfriend during her career. Until YouTuber Jake Paul took charge of her career, it was Maldonado who managed her social media account under the hashtag @serranosisters.
Now that the boxing world’s eyes are on Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, it will be interesting to see how Jordan Maldonado fares.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/boxing/a-drugs-bust-and-a-controversial-history-of-trash-talking-the-man-behind-katie-taylors-opponent-amanda-serrano-41591031.html A drug bust and a controversial story of diatribes: the man behind Katie Taylor’s antagonist Amanda Serrano