Amanda Serrano has sacrificed most of her personal life to achieve all that she has in her record-setting pro career.
One more sacrifice was made for the sake of furthering the sport she has made her own personal admission to uplift.
The Puerto Rican southpaw made the bold decision to vacate her WBC featherweight title. The decision to disrupt her undisputed featherweight championship reign came in light of the sanctioning body’s refusal to permit three-minute rounds or 12-round bouts for women in boxing.
“Moving forward, if a sanctioning body doesn’t want to give me and my fellow fighters the choice to fight the same as the men, then I will not be fighting for that sanctioning body,” Serrano stated late Monday evening. “The WBC has refused to evolve the sport for equality. So, I am relinquishing their title.”
Women’s boxing title fights are traditionally contested over ten, two-minutes. Such have been the terms for every belt Serrano (46-2-1, 30KOs) has fought for and won through seven weight divisions, including her full featherweight unification victory over Erika Cruz on February 4 in New York City.
Something different was sought in lieu of a routine mandatory and title consolidation bout versus interim WBO titleholder Danila Ramos. Serrano—with the support of Most Valuable Promotions and the rest of her team—opted to have their October 27 clash conducted over twelve, three-minute rounds. The fight took place with Serrano’s lineal, WBA, IBF and WBO titles at stake; the WBC refused to sanction the fight, given its years-long resistance—citing medical evidence—to women fighting under the same terms as men’s bouts.
That just won’t cut it with an industry leader who spends every day in search of ways to carve a better way for young ladies who strive for a fairer chance at making a living from pro boxing.
“I love boxing. I have given my life to this sport,” stated Serrano, a Brooklyn native who turned pro in 2009 and often fought for pennies until recent years. “No phone, no boyfriend, no parties. Just boxing. I am the only boxer, male or female, from Puerto Rico to become undisputed champion.
“I am the only female boxer to have won titles in 7 divisions. I am the first female boxer, along with Katie to headline Madison Square Garden. I am the first female boxer to make 7 figures from a fight and the same from sponsors. And I am the first undisputed female champion to fight 12x3 minute rounds.”
Serrano declared after her win over Ramos that all of her pro boxing matches moving forward will take place under those same terms. It was a point of contention when conversation turned to a potential title consolidation bout versus mandatory challenger Skye Nicolson (9-0, 1KO).
The 2020 Olympic quarterfinalist for Australia went on record to state she will gladly proceed with the fight under any terms as seen fit by the WBC, whose interim title she won in September. Nicolson recently defended the belt in a ninth-round stoppage of Lucy Wildheart on the November 25 undercard for the Katie Taylor-Chantelle Cameron rematch in Dublin, Ireland.
Nicolson also fought on the undercard of Taylor’s narrow win over Serrano in their historic lightweight championship clash last April 30 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Nicolson was just entering her third pro fight but already eyed a future date with Serrano, the unified WBC and WBO featherweight champion at the time who moved up two divisions in a bid to claim Taylor’s undisputed lightweight crown.
Serrano went on to win the IBF and WBA titles in her next two bouts to fully unify the featherweight division. She still retains those belts along with the WBO title she regained in a September 2019 points victory over Heather Hardy in NYC and has successfully defended six times during her current reign.
All three belts and the lineal championship will be at stake for her next bout, which is eyed for the first quarter of 2024.
“Thank You to the sanctioning bodies who have evolved for equality,” stated Serrano. “If you want to face me in the ring, you have a choice. I’ve made mine. Thank you to all of my fellow fighters who have stood with me. Thank you to my team. Thank you to my fans. And above all, thank you God. I’m blessed.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox