On Friday, Amanda Serrano made history when she competed in the first 12 three-minute fight in women’s boxing since 2007. The undisputed featherweight champion, who already made history when she competed in the first women’s fight to main event at Madison Square Garden against Katie Taylor in 2022, went the distance against a game Danila Ramos, who immediately accepted the contest when Serrano suggested the scheduled distance.
In the Caribe Royale in Orlando on October 27, Serrano won via split decision. A passionate crowd cheered on the Puerto Rican-born Serrano with flags and various chants and were on their feet the entire night. They saw two warriors giving it their all and then some.
But this fight was about making a point, especially after the WBC refused to sanction a 12-three-minute round contest between women.
“I hope that tonight, I proved that women are capable (of competing in three-minute rounds),” Serrano said after the fight. “Me and my opponent fought twelve three-minute rounds, and we’re healthy. We went out there, and we put on a show. We’re healthy, alive, and going strong. I thought performing at this level would convince them, but we’ll see.”
Serrano and Ramos went against the tradition of women competing over 10-two-minute rounds in a championship fight. Jimmy Lennon Jr. announced all the sanctioning organizations who approved the fight, with the WBC notably left out.
“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 in an interview with Chris Mannix.
There has been data to suggest the opposite of the WBC’s findings. And there is always a risk when entering a boxing ring, male or female.
“The WBC kind of underestimated women,” Serrano’s manager and trainer Jordan Maldonado told The Sporting News. “Looking at Danila tonight, she was outgunned, yes, but she knew what to do to survive. These girls, you got to give them an opportunity, man. They are going to adjust.
“To have someone, an organization, who is part of boxing, limit what women can do, in my book, is not cool. We respect their decision not to sanction the fight. We never once made a complaint or questioned their integrity. I’m glad that after tonight, maybe [Sulaiman] could sit back, reflect, and say, ‘You know what, these girls will figure it out.’”
In their fight, Serrano threw over 1,000 punches, landing 338, which was obviously more than her usual output. Ramos landed 120 of 846. While looking tired in the middle of the contest, Serrano’s energy increased towards the end. Outside of Layla McCarter in 2007, she joined minimumweight champion Seniesa Estrada, who fought Marlen Esparza in a 10-three-minute round contest in 2019.
Serrano teased that more fights will have 12 three-minute rounds. She also said she would continue to fight under that format. However, the WBC will most likely not sanction the fights. One of the top contenders within the WBC is Skye Nicolson, the interim champion, who recently said that she would be happy to fight Serrano “under whatever ruling the WBC implements.”
The WBC could strip Serrano if their stance holds firm, though that would come with plenty of backlash. As of now, no decision has been made on the matter.
Serrano promoter Nakisa Bidarian made it a point to call out the WBC and any future Serrano opponent who won’t follow her lead.
“For anyone to say that women can’t do it, they are misrepresenting the facts… Here’s the perfect example of why it’s (Serrano’s) time, her show, and it’s her way, or it’s no way,” Bidarian said. “In February, she headlined the Hulu Theater against Erika Cruz. On the card, the co-main was Alycia Baumgardner, on the card was Skye Nicolson, on the card was Ramla Ali. An amazing night of women’s boxing. Guess what? Tonight, at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, she did the exact same gate as that entire card did in New York City back in February. She’s the A-side. She’s the decision-maker. You want to fight Amanda Serrano? You come to Amanda Serrano’s house.”