NEW YORK—With the all-Brooklyn battle out of the way, it’s on to pound-for-pound showdowns for Amanda Serrano.
The all-time winningest titlist in women’s and Puerto Rico’s boxing history added another belt to her collection, becoming a two-time featherweight title claimant following a 10-round win over previously unbeaten Heather Hardy. The bout—which played to a raucous crowd Friday evening at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City—was the second of a three-fight contract with sports streaming service DAZN for the Bushwick-based southpaw, who is now expecting to next face unbeaten and undisputed World lightweight champion Katie Taylor.
There have been talks of Taylor (14-0, 6KOs) moving up in weight to challenge reigning 140-pound titlist Christina Linardatou, who—like Serrano and Hardy—is promoted by Lou DiBella. If that move serves as a permanent destination, Serrano insists it won’t serve as a roadblock.
“Katie Taylor wants (to fight next at) 140, so we will see what she wants to do,” Serrano (37-1-1, 27KOs) after her latest victory. “No matter what weight, I’ll win.”
Her ambition isn’t quite shared with her promoter.
“We have a deal that the fight is supposed to happen in six months (after her second fight),” DiBella told BoxingScene.com and other reporters overnight. “That being said, we saw that Katie wants to move up and fight at 140. Amanda is not going to fight her at 140. She said she would fight her there, but let’s face reality—Amanda is not a big girl. We saw (Friday) night, who was the bigger girl? Heather was.
So, Amanda is going to fight Katie at a weight where it’s really a pound-for-pound fight, and that’s 135.”
One thing where all parties agree on, is that regardless of the weight the fight itself is a standalone headliner. Serrano’s clash with Hardy (22-1, 4KOs) was clearly the crowd favorite on Friday, with the two—and Hardy in particular—selling the majority of the tickets. It’s been a familiar trend in the sport, with women’s bouts either pulling in or winning over the crowd—and often both—but always while serving in supporting capacity.
Taylor has experienced as much herself, despite the two-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic Gold medalist enjoying true celebrity status at home in Ireland and quickly winning over fans in the United States in each of her six stateside appearances.
For where the two presently rank in the sport, what’s become clear is that a fight between the two—at whatever weight it takes place—won’t come in support of another main event, rather with its own supporting cast in tow.
“Amanda signed for (the Taylor fight) before this fight,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com and other reporters. “Lou has another champion, at 140 pounds who Katie wants to fight. She wants to move up and become a two-division world champion.
“Katie can make 135 easy. Perhaps 130 as well once upon a time. But she can make 135 and that’s where the fight will be—and it will headline here (at Hulu Theater). I don’t believe there’s ever been a women’s headliner here.”
The venue has hosted each of the last two bouts for both Serrano and Hardy, with Taylor having twice played the main room.
“I told Eddie if that is the main event at The Theater, it will go clean. There will not be a walkup crowd because it will sell out in advance,” insists DiBella. “That’s how significant that fight is. It will bring out the entire Irish population in New York, the entire Puerto Rican population in New York.
“It will bring out the boxing fans who will recognize it not just as a women’s match but a great fight between two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox