TAMPA – One week after Katie Taylor retained her championship status, Amanda Serrano did her part to pave the way for what could serve as the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.
The record-setting, seven-division titlist enjoyed a successful return to lightweight, dominating former title challenger Miriam Gutierrez in a ten-round unanimous decision in her first fight at the weight in more than seven years. Judges Efrain Lebron (99-91), Alexander Levin (99-90) and Michelle Walker-Serrano (100-90) all scored in favor of Serrano in their co-feature battle Saturday evening at AMALIE Arena in Tampa, Florida.
The rare non-title fight for Serrano came seven days after Ireland’s Taylor (20-0, 6KOs) turned away the challenge of Firuza Sharipova to remain undisputed lightweight champion. It allowed the
Serrano came flying out the gate, immediately backing up her pre-fight claim that her vaunted punching power follows her up and down the scale. The naturally bigger Gutierrez—a career-long lightweight—found herself pinned against the ropes as Serrano launched a two-fisted attack, the first of several times in the span of two rapid fire minutes. Serrano landed 37 punches in the opening frame, all but one of which were power shots.
Gutierrez did her best to assert herself in round two, pushing her jab and more cognizant of Serrano’s significant power edge. The Brooklyn-bred Puerto Rican southpaw briefly slowed down her attack, remaining poised and recognizing that not every punch needed to be a home run shot.
Serrano walked down Gutierrez in rounds three and four, wading through Gutierrez’s right hands to connect with several straight lefts behind her stiff right jab. Serrano hurt Gutierrez with a body shot midway through round four, coming at the tail end of a combination and with Gutierrez once again forced to cover up in defense.
A steady stream of jabs, left hands and body shots found their way through Gutierrez’s guard throughout a punishing round five. Serrano maintained the same workrate in round six, connecting with straight lefts and right hooks, while ripping body shots that forced Gutierrez to double over and clinch her way out of trouble.
Serrano repeatedly beat Gutierrez to the punch in round seven, though the Spaniard tried in vain to turn the tide. A left hook found its way to Serrano’s chin, only to prompt a barrage of power punches in response. Gutierrez continued to absorb a swarm of body punches, while also contending with a busted nose which came courtesy of a left uppercut.
To her credit, Gutierrez absorbed an enormous amount of punishment in making it to the finish line. It was never her goal, though it was the moral victory for which she was forced to settle. Serrano never let up in her attack, including a furious assault to open the tenth and final round. Gutierrez weathered the storm but just lacked the fire power to keep Serrano at bay.
In the end, all that Gutierrez could leave with is the honor of having faced two of the sport’s best pound-for-pound talents in Taylor and Serrano. They represent her lone two defeats as she falls to 14-2 (5KOs) after coming up well short in her U.S. debut.
Serrano advances to 42-1-1 (30KOs), having now gone the distance in two straight fights but—more importantly—extending her current 28-fight win streak. It comes after a fight week where she no longer wished to entertain any more questions about Taylor or any fighter other than Gutierrez.
With this fight now out of the way, the Puerto Rican sensation can now turn her attention to a potentially life changing showdown with the Irish superstar which is being eyed for next spring at Madison Square Garden in New York City, mere miles from Serrano’s Brooklyn hometown.
Serrano-Taylor served as the co-feature of a four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast. Headlining the event, Jake Paul (4-0, 3KOs) meets Tyron Woodley (0-1) in a scheduled eight-round rematch to their August 29 clash, won by Paul via split decision.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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