Amanda Serrano remains on a mission to become Puerto Rico’s first-ever undisputed champion.
Until her divisional peers begin to cooperate, though, she will have to settle for remaining active.
The record-setting division titlist will next face Mexico’s Yamileth Mercado in her second defense of the unified WBC/WBO/IBO featherweight titles. The bout will take place on August 29 as the co-feature of a Showtime Pay-Per-View event headlined by social media influencer Jake Paul (3-0, 3KOs) versus former UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley from Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I really want to thank Yamileth for taking the fight,” Serrano noted during Tuesday’s press conference in Los Angeles to discuss the late summer PPV event. “That’s what you call a real Mexican champion. She’s coming up to fight me. Not too many want to.
Serrano (40-1-1, 30KO) was aiming for a multi-belt unification bout with recently crowned WBA titlist Erika Cruz and IBF title claimant Sarah Mahfoud. Both featherweight titlists turned down six-figure paydays for the opportunity, leaving the Brooklyn-bred Boricua to look elsewhere for her next opportunity.
It led to Mercado (18-2, 5KOs) rising to the occasion—and in weight, as the reigning WBC junior featherweight moves up four pounds in accepting the fight. It’s the second straight reigning 122-pound titlist that Serrano will face after previously pursuing a divisional peer.
“I wasn’t surprised it all,” noted Serrano, who is coming off of a ninth-round knockout of Argentina’s Daniela Bermudez, the IBF junior featherweight titlist who moved up for their Ring City USA headliner this past March in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. “We’ve been gunning for the other champions at the weight for a year now, when I decided I wanted to become undisputed champion.
“That is definitely still my goal and they are definitely still in my sight. I’m just super honored to fight again. But I just hope we can get those fights soon.”
For now, the 32-year-old southpaw looks to add to her legacy in other ways.
Serrano is currently tied for the second most knockout wins by any female fighter in history, and just two shy of tying the all-time mark set by Hall of Fame trailblazer Christy Martin. For the second straight time, she faces a reigning titlist who has never been stopped, and with Mercado riding a six-fight win streak heading into her U.S. debut.
“This is going to be a great fight,” vows Serrano, who has won titles at every weight from 115 through 140 pounds, having scored knockouts at all but the 140-pound division. “I guarantee you, it’s going to be a night of fireworks. You’re going to have a great night of action. Never a dull night when you have Mexico versus Puerto Rico.
“Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley will have competition that night.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox