Amanda Serrano, one of the biggest names in women’s boxing, has taken the significant step of relinquishing one of her titles.
The Puerto Rican has been undisputed champion at featherweight since defeating Erika Cruz in February to complete the set and solidify her position among the greatest female fighters of all time.
Late on Monday (US) however, Serrano revealed that she would be vacating one of her titles.
Here’s what we know:
Amanda Serrano relinquishes WBC featherweight title
The 35-year-old superstar took to Instagram to announce she would be dropping her WBC featherweight strap in response to the sanctioning body’s unwillingness to allow her to fight 12 three-minute rounds.
“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 wrote.
“The WBC has refused to evolve the sport for equality. So I am relinquishing their title.
“Thank you to the sanctioning bodies who have evolved for Equality!”
While men’s title fights are currently scheduled for 12 three-minute rounds, female championship bouts are held over 10 two-minute rounds.
Serrano made history in October when defeating Danila Ramos over 12 three-minute rounds in a world title defense, although the WBC belt wasn’t on the line on that occasion.
In the lead-up to that fight, WBC boss Mauricio Sulaiman explained his organization’s position on the matter to Chris Mannix.
“Tennis – women play three sets, basketball the basket is shorter and the ball smaller, and those are not contact sports. We stand by safety and well-being of the fighters,” Sulaiman said.
Will this move by one of women’s boxing’s biggest stars force Sulaiman and the WBC into a change of heart?
What does Amanda Serrano’s decision mean for Skye Nicolson?
While Serrano has long been at the top of the featherweight pile, one fighter on the rise, Skye Nicolson, has been calling for a shot at the fellow southpaw.
The 28-year-old Australian recently reiterated her confidence in beating Serrano, believing her style to be “all wrong for her.”
“I believe I win that fight, my team believes that I win that fight. My style is all wrong for her, I keep saying this,” Nicolson said on The MMA Hour.
“She’s very aggressive, very strong but she’s flat-footed.
“She’s got slow feet and she looks good against someone who stands and trades with her and that’s not what I would do.
“I would use angles, I would box and move, I would set traps, I’ll walk her onto shots, I’ll have her walking into the ropes and making her look silly.”
Nicolson won the interim WBC featherweight title when defeating Sabrina Perez in September, before defending it with a stoppage victory over Lucy Wildheart last month, seeing her improve to 9-0 as a professional.
With Serrano seemingly out of the picture in the WBC, Nicolson looks likely to get elevated to full champion, or at least be first in line for a shot at the vacant title.
However, it remains to be seen whether she will get the chance to back up her talk in the ring against Serrano.
In her statement, Serrano went on to suggest any future opponents would need to face her over 12 three-minute rounds.
“If you want to face me in the ring, you have a choice. I’ve made mine,” she added
Nicolson has previously confirmed she would take the fight under any conditions.