This was a rare year-end training camp where Amanda Serrano didn’t have to worry about skipping meals during the holiday season.
The reigning WBC/WBO/IBO featherweight returns to the lightweight division for the first time in seven years, moving up two full weight divisions for a fight with Spain’s Miriam Gutierrez. Their bout takes place this Saturday, live on Showtime Pay-Per-View from AMALIE Arena in Tampa, serving as the chief support to the rematch between content creator Jake Paul (4-0, 3KOs) and former UFC welterweight titlist Tyron Woodley (0-1 as a boxer).
The fight with Gutierrez (14-1, 5KOs) represents a rare non-title fight for Serrano, a record-setting seven divisional titlist who aims to reacclimate to a weight which could potentially house a life-changing opportunity in the year ahead.
“I definitely won’t have any problem making weight,” Serrano joked to BoxingScene.com. “Instead of working my way down, I have to eat just to keep on the pounds. The nutritionist we have for this training camp has helped put the right food in my body so I feel strong while making weight the right way.
Serrano (41-1-1, 30KOs) has won at least one major title in every weight division from junior bantamweight (115 pounds) through junior welterweight (140 pounds). In lieu of a linear climb up the scales, Serrano—a Puerto Rican southpaw based out of the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York—has spent the better part of the past ten years bouncing up and down in weight.
The first official title win for Serrano came at featherweight, knocking out Kimberly Connor in the second round of their IBF featherweight title fight in September 2011. Her lone loss came in her second title bid, dropping a competitive decision to WBC junior lightweight titlist Frida Wahlberg in April 2012.
From there came—in order—title wins at lightweight (135), featherweight (126; second reign), junior featherweight (122) and bantamweight (118), a title defense at junior featherweight, followed by title wins at junior welterweight (140), junior bantamweight (115) and featherweight (third reign).
Serrano has made two successful defenses of her third and current featherweight, with two non-title fights mixed in between at junior lightweight. Her scheduled ten-round contest with Gutierrez will see the hard-hitting southpaw at her heaviest in the ring since August 2014.
A win on Saturday will set the stage for a lucrative showdown with undisputed lightweight queen Katie Taylor (20-0, 6KOs) next spring. It’s a fitting scenario for Serrano, who—while not a natural lightweight—would claim a career-best payday in a division which houses perhaps the best win among her already incredible career, a sixth-round knockout of Maria Maderna to win the WBO lightweight title in August 2014 on the road in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“When I first fought at this weight, I won the WBO title in Argentina,” fondly recalls Serrano. “It was my second championship. I’m looking forward to fighting here again, beating (Gutierrez) and then hopefully getting the fight with Katie Taylor next year.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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