Boxing fans looking to see the best against the best aren’t really all that short on options these days. We’re just weeks past a rematch class at Jr. bantamweight between lineal champion Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez. Soon, there will be a four-belt unification at Jr. welterweight between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez and another at Jr. middleweight between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano is likely within the year.
Thursday night, the best versus the best comes to Ring City (NBC Sports, 9 PM EST). It is a match for featherweight honors between two women without much taste for defeat between them. Ring Magazine rates both in the top ten, pound for pound. The winner could find their way into the debate with Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields for the top of the charts.
Amanda Serrano has hopped the scale in ways that are hard to fathom. Winning major belts in seven weight classes, she started collecting belts at Jr. lightweight (130 lbs) and has managed to win a belt in every division from Jr. bantamweight (115) to Jr. welterweight (140). The last two are paired because Serrano did it in consecutive fights, winning the title in the higher class first in a five month span from 2018-19. Serrano enters with a pair of straps (WBC/WBO) at featherweight Thursday night. Serrano’s last defeat came in April 2012 and she’s riding a 25-fight win streak
Challenger Daniela Bermudez is the reigning IBF titlist at Jr. featherweight (122 lbs.) and has won belts in all four divisions from flyweight to her current position. Her latest achievement came after almost three belted years at bantamweight. Bermudez is unbeaten since April 2014 and has won eight in a row since a draw in June 2017.
Barring another draw, someone’s long unbeaten run will end.
Let’s get into it.
Stats and Stakes
Titles: WBC/WBO featherweight (2019-Present, 1st Attempted Defense)
Previous Titles: IBF super featherweight (2011-12); WBO lightweight (2014-15); WBO featherweight (2016, 1 Defense); WBO super bantamweight (2016-18, 2 Defenses); WBO bantamweight (2017); WBO super lightweight (2018); WBO super flyweight (2019)
Height: 5’5 ½
Weight: 124 ¾ lbs.
Hails from: Brooklyn, New York (Born in Puerto Rico)
Record: 39-1-1, 29 KO
Press Rankings: #1 (Ring, LinealBoxingChampion.com, BoxRec)
Record in Major Title Fights: 11-1, 8 KO
Last Five Opponents: 110-35-3 (.753)
Notable Outcomes, Ring Rated (Current) Foes: Heather Hardy UD10
Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: Frida Wahlberg L10; Maria Maderna KO6; Fatuma Zarika UD6, UD6; Olivia Gerula TKO1; Yazmin Rivas UD10; Dahiana Santana TKO8, TKO1; Marilyn Hernandez TKO1; Eva Voraberger KO1
Titles: IBF super bantamweight (2020-Present)
Previous Titles: WBO bantamweight
Weight: 125 lbs.
Hails from: Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
Record: 29-3-3, 10 KO
Press Rankings: At 122 - #1 (LinealBoxingChampion.com, BoxRec), #3 (Ring)
Record in Major Title Fights: 14-2-1, 7 KO (19-2-1, 8 KO including interim title fights)
Last Five Opponents: 63-29-3 (.680)
Notable Outcomes, Ring Rated (Current) Foes: Yesica Bopp L10, L10; Mayerlin Rivas MD10; Guadalupe Martinez UD10; Mariana Juarez UD10; Marcela Acuna UD10;
Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: Edith Matthysse L10, MD6; Linda Lecca TKO8; Irma Garcia UD10; Alys Sanchez KO9
The Pick: Bermudez is effective at applying steady pressure behind an educated jab to the head and body. Her right hand is sharp and she can throw it straight or from angles. It has worked for her before against southpaws. Bermudez will need all her experience to keep Serrano at range and look to punish the champion for getting close. Serrano is naturally a little bigger, appears on tape to be quicker, and has been a more consistent finisher. Serrano may also have the edge defensively as a more fluid fighter who employs sound upper body movement. If Serrano isn’t met with the sort of resistance that could make her think, Bermudez is in trouble. The thinking here is that Bermudez will make her think and make a scrap of it but Serrano will hit and not get hit just a little bit more over ten rounds. The pick is Serrano by decision in an entertaining affair.
Rold Picks 2021: 14-2
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org