Even after her razor-thin defeat at the hands of Katie Taylor in the biggest fight in women’s boxing history back in April, it is difficult to keep Amanda Serrano down. She always keeps an upbeat attitude in front of the press and fans, and the recent conference call to promote her upcoming featherweight title unification bout against Sarah Mahfoud on September 24 at the AO Arena in Manchester was no exception.
There was a moment, though, when Serrano’s smile shone with an even brighter glow.
“I am extremely excited. You can tell by the smile on my face,” said Serrano, even before this writer could finish his question about her excitement on the possibility of becoming the first-ever Ring magazine featherweight champion. “I love making history, I love being the first at doing things, and I am super honored.”
Serrano (42-2, 30 knockouts) already made history when she fought for the inaugural Ring magazine lightweight belt against Taylor, but that defeat only made her desire to get the legendary ‘Rocky’ belt just grow even further.
“The first time (I fought for the Ring belt) was in my last fight but this time is where I feel comfortable in my division, so I plan to take that Ring belt back with me to Brooklyn,” said Serrano, adding that her days jumping from one weight to the other in search for challenges, paydays or achievements are behind her. “The only weight I will go up to is 135, to fight Katie Taylor. I am at 126, so it’s either that one or fighting Katie Taylor.”
The one jump in weight she wouldn’t rule out, however, is the one that could net her yet another one of those Ring belts.
“Since you put it that way, wherever the Ring magazine titles are, I guess I am gonna have to go for it,” she said, with a laugh, when asked if she would reconsider the possibility of jumping to another division if a Ring title fight becomes available. “But right now I am going to have to get that belt first and then fight Katie. But hey, I am up for any challenge.”
Before her anticipated rematch against Taylor, Serrano will have to deal with Mahfoud (11-0, 3 KOs), an unbeaten champion that she will have to defeat in what will be her UK debut as chief support on the ‘Nowhere To Run’ show headlined by Joe Joyce vs Joseph Parker.
“I’ve been looking to become undisputed featherweight champion for a long time,” said Serrano, mentioning that 126 is her natural weight at this point, and also mentioning the difficulties that have surrounded her negotiations with both Erika Cruz-Hernandez and Jelena Mrjenovich, two champs who are set to collide in a rematch soon. “I hope (Erika and Jelena) put on a hell of a show and they come out healthy, and by the end of the year we could fight with the winner.”
The fact that her next fight will take place during a historic month of September, where an all-female boxing card featuring Claressa Shields-Savannah Marshall and Mikaela Mayer-Alycia Baumgardner will only be the highlight of one of the best months in women’s boxing history, Serrano said that she is only too happy to be part of it.
“I am excited. Those are great fights. You have to tune in. I am just happy to be part of the women who are making the noise and who are putting female boxing on the map. There’s talent there, there’s heart, there’s strength. I can’t wait to see those fights.”
The growth of women’s boxing, of which she has been an instrumental part, will be in full display during that month.
“Surprised? No. Excited? I think it going very slowly, but I think that the sport and the women have evolved with time,” she said about that. “We have great talent, we are lucky enough to have a lot of girls coming from the Olympics into the pro rankings, and you see how much the women are changing as fighters. They’re just coming along. Surprised, I am not. I am just happy.”
In the bigger picture, however, it is not only the happiness of seeing women’s boxing flourish what keeps her going.
“Being an inspiration, a role model for young girls,” she says, mentioning the one thing that remains most important in her agenda. “Yesterday I saw a young girl and she had tears in her eyes because she said I was her role model. And I love to do that for young girls, give them hope and let them know that women can do anything that they put their minds to. That’s my motivation.”