Throughout her now 14-year career, Amanda Serrano (46-2-1, 30 KOs) has seen the worst and the best parts of the sport.
During fight week for her match with Danila Ramos (12-3, 1 KO), she consistently wore t-shirts with the moniker “Greatness requires sacrifice.”
Read the account of the Amanda Serrano v Ramos fight here.
In her personal life, Serrano has stated that she has restrained herself from having a significant other or even having a personal cell phone to eliminate any distractions outside of boxing.
In the ring, she has fought on non-descript shows in non-televised undercards for low pay.
For years, she was only known to a niche segment of the hardcore boxing fanbase.
Serrano also ventured outside of the United States for opportunities, fighting in Sweden, where she suffered her defeat at the hands of Frida Wallberg in 2012.
She fought several times in the Dominican Republic and won a title in the lightweight division in Argentina.
In 2017, a combination of occurrences set the ball rolling for Serrano's career to change for the better.
Hall-of-Famer Miguel Cotto would step into the ring for the last time in December 2017 after a loss to Sadam Ali.
Boxing fans of Puerto Rico were clamoring in search of the next star to represent the island. Serrano was ready to outwork any contenders to take that crown.
One of the advantages Amanda Serrano has over her peers is that her high-volume style usually results in knockouts.
She is second only to Christy Martin in having the most stoppages in women's boxing.
As a result, she was usually a must-watch whenever she fought.
Serrano, in order to separate herself from her contemporaries, took a page out of Manny Pacquiao and Henry Armstrong's playbook and began gathering titles in as many weight classes as possible.
In one stretch of fights from 2017 to 2019, she won titles at bantamweight and super bantamweight, then jumped to super lightweight, then incredibly back down to super flyweight and back up to featherweight, all within five fights.
Amanda Serrano Has Made Use of Weight Classes
The win at Super Flyweight gave her the distinction of being a seven-division world champion, a record for women's boxing.
In an endeavor to get her name further established in combat sports in general, Amanda Serrano joined the mixed martial arts organization Combate Americas, fighting twice for the league, resulting in a draw and a win via rear naked choke.
The coronation came last year in 2022 in her historic bout with Katie Taylor in front of sold-out Madison Square Garden in the arena's first female main event.
Although she didn't come away with the victory, the bout firmly established her as the heir to Puerto Rico's boxing crown as fans in attendance and on the island were in full support.
Serrano's signing to divisive YouTuber and occasional pugilist Jake Paul's Most Valuable Promotions led to larger paydays, opportunities to set her own path, and access to a broader audience.
Now, at 35, Amanda Serrano is likely in her final chapters and only interested in doing things out of the norm.
Her recent match with Ramos was the first women's championship bout in more than 15 years to be scheduled for 12 three-minute rounds.
Former WBA lightweight and super lightweight titleholder Layla McCarter did the same twice in 2007, although she didn't go the entire distance, scoring two stoppages.
McCarter even fought Serrano’s sister, Cindy, in a six-round fight in 2008 that had three-minute rounds.
Current women's unified minimumweight champion, Seneisa Estrada, fought Marlen Esparza in a scheduled 10-three-minute round bout in 2019 for the WBA flyweight title.
The added rounds and length didn't impact Serrano as she dominated the overmatched Ramos, throwing over 1100 blows through the 12 rounds.
“I've done everything I wanted in boxing in my career,” Amanda Serrano told ESPN after her fight with Ramos.
“So, I think now is just to set different standards as far as women's boxing. I'm an undisputed champion and I think I want to continue to do three minutes.”
Serrano is now one of the biggest names in women's boxing headlining or co-headlining events and is rated as one the best pound-for-pound.
She is currently in the top five of Ring Magazine's women's pound-for-pound list.
Amanda Serrano Has Been Busy
To her credit, unlike most fighters in today's era, she is an active champion, fighting three times in 2023, and in 2021, she not only fought three times in boxing but in one MMA fight as well.
The seven-division champion is now calling the shots as the one who holds all the cards and, more importantly, is now acting like the A-side.
“She's the ‘A side,'” Serrano's promoter, Nakisa Bidarian, expressed to ESPN. “She's the decision maker. You want to fight Amanda Serrano, you come to Amanda Serrano's house.”
With Amanda Serrano now in the driver's seat, the question leads to what direction she will go next.
And who will be her next opponent, as there are numerous options for her in multiple weight classes:
Skye Nicholson (8-0, 0 KOs)
Serrano sits at the top of the featherweight division as the undisputed champion, and in most of her career, very rarely has anyone called her out to fight.
However, Australian Olympian and current holder of the interim WBC featherweight title, Sky Nicholson, has openly stated quite a few times that she wants to fight Serrano.
Nicholson, 28, turned professional just last year in 2022 but isn’t what you would call a novice.
With close to 150 amateur bouts, she won a bronze medal at the World Championships in 2016 at welterweight and a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 at featherweight.
She only lost by a slight margin in the quarter-finals of the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo before deciding to move from the amateur to professional ranks.
At first glance, Nicholson may not seem like the most difficult challenge for Amanda Serrano.
However, Nicholson represents a stylistic challenge for the Puerto Rican. The Australian fights behind a jab and has shown to be elusive in the ring.
With almost 50 professional fights on her ledger, Serrano would undoubtedly be the favorite against Nicholson; yet, the southpaw Olympian isn’t intimidated by the future Hall-of-Famer.
Nicholson acknowledges that Serrano is a challenging fight and is a very tough fighter but views her as being limited with holes in her game.
“I’d absolutely love to have that fight,” Nicolson said in an interview with Sporting News in 2022.
“She’s tough and strong, but I find her very limited. She’s had a lot of professional fights, but she didn’t really have an amateur background. I don’t see her having the skill set to beat me.
“That’s not arrogance; that’s confidence in my ability. I know what I’m capable of. I’m not writing her off. I think we’d have a hard fight, but I’m up for it. I want it.”
The WBC’s stance on women boxing in three-minute rounds in title fights still hasn’t changed.
The only title that wasn’t on the line for Serrano’s 12-round bout against Ramos was the WBC title.
The organization has held its stance against women fighting under the same rule set as men for years.
If the WBC doesn’t change its attitude, it’s unlikely that a bout between Amanda Serrano and Nicholson will take place.
Amanda Serrano is adamant about continuing to fight in 12 three-minute round championship bouts. Nicholson has said that she will abide by any rules set in place by the WBC.
“I will be happy to fight Serrano under whatever ruling the WBC implements,” Nicholson stated on her X account.
Nicholson’s next bout will be against Lucy Wildheart on November 25th.
Alycia Baumgardner (15-1, 7 KOs)
The undisputed super featherweight champion Alycia, ‘The Bomb' Baumgardner, is currently under suspension by the Association of Boxing Commissions.
That’s for a failed drug test following her previous bout with Christina Linardtou. Baumgardner tested positive for banned substances, Mesterolone and Primobolan.
Against Linardtou, Baumgardner avenged the only defeat on her record.
But it's still being determined if the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission will change the bout to a no-contest or if any of the belt organizations will strip the power puncher of her titles.
If Baumgardner is allowed to keep her titles, an opportunity for a clash with Amanda Serrano could arise.
A fight between the two was arguably already being set up.
“Amanda Serrano has definitely been brought up,” Baumgardner said to DAZN earlier this year.
“I love a challenge. I love a great fight with a great champion. A fight with Amanda would be another great fight under my belt.”
In February, Serrano and Baumgardner fought on the same card at the theater in Madison Square Garden.
That night, Amanda Serrano defeated Erika Hernandez in one of the best fights of 2023 to become the undisputed featherweight champion.
That same night, Baumgardner knocked down Elhem Mekhaled twice en route to a unanimous decision and the undisputed super featherweight championship.
Amanda Serrano won her first title at super featherweight in 2011, winning the inaugural IBF championship, stopping Kimberly Connor in two rounds.
Baumgardner has steadily improved, starting with her fourth-round knockout over the then-undefeated Terri Harper in 2021.
She won a close split decision with rival Mikaela Mayer in a grudge match, followed by victories over Mekhaled and Linardtou.
Baumgardner is one of the more athletically gifted fighters in women's boxing. She fights in an ambush style reminiscent of Jean Pascal.
She sometimes explodes with pot shot combinations on her opponents.
Her hand and foot speed have given her an advantage over most of her opponents. However, she has shown to slow down late in fights.
She would likely be an underdog against the iron-chinned and high-volume-pressure style of Amanda Serrano, who has displayed an ability to take punches and turn on the intensity in the championship rounds.
Serrano-Baumgardner would provide the Puerto Rican an opportunity to become an undisputed champion in two separate weight classes.
Katie Taylor (22-1, 6 KOs)-Chantelle Cameron (18-0, 8 KOs) II Winner
Any successful box-office smash hit deserves a sequel, especially when it’s a good one.
A rematch between Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor was to take place this past May in Taylor’s home country of Ireland, but the featherweight champion pulled out of the fight due to an injury.
Instead of making a standard title defense, Taylor moved up to challenge for the undisputed super lightweight title against Chantelle Cameron.
The Northhampton, United Kingdom native walked away with a surprising and earned majority decision over the 2012 Olympic gold medalist.
For Amanda Serrano, Taylor’s loss to Cameron was a signifier to move on from a rematch from her Irish rival, especially if she lost to Cameron in a rematch.
“Maybe it will only be delayed if she comes out on top, beating Cameron, which I don’t think that will happen,” Serrano said in an interview with The MMA Hour.
“But if she does, then maybe the rematch with me will happen. I just hope that Katie does the right thing and she wins.”
“I don’t think it’s a good fight. Our rematch is definitely off the table if Taylor loses. I don’t know what Katie’s going to want to do after that. She’s going to want to retire or I don’t know. I know my career is going to continue.”
— Amanda Serrano (@Serranosisters) November 6, 2023
While Taylor-Serrano 2 may be contingent on Taylor coming out on top in her rematch with Cameron on November 25th, would Serrano be intrigued to move up to super lightweight and challenge the British fighter?
Much like a fight with Baumgardner, a fight with Cameron would be another opportunity for Serrano to become the undisputed champion in another weight class.
Amanda Serrano only made a pit stop in the super lightweight division in 2018, winning the vacant WBO title against Yamila Reynoso by unanimous decision.
The Puerto Rican star has plied her trade in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions for most of her career, and it’s possible that the 140-pound limit was a step too far.
But, regarding fighting Skye Nicholson, Serrano brought up that, at this point, only fights that will generate money interest her.
“But with Skye, I don’t think there’s — right now, I’m at the tail end of my career, and it’s (about) money fights,” Serrano told the MMA Hour.
“I don’t think Skye will bring that. I want to fight the best. I want to fight mainly other champions that are going to make us the money we deserve.”
Whether a rematch with Taylor or a match against Cameron, either one checks the boxes of fighting a champion in a fight that would generate vast income for all participants.
Jessica McCaskill (12-3-1, 5 KOs)
The current undisputed female welterweight champion, Jessica McCaskill, isn't exactly one of the most liked fighters in the sport.
McCaskill and her trainer, Rick Ramos, are brash and don't hold back any punches inside and outside the ring.
The Chicago fighter was a former unified WBA and WBC super lightweight titleholder before moving to welterweight. There, she dethroned long-reigning champion Cecilia Braekhus.
After winning a rematch over Braekhus, she made two more defenses of her titles, scoring two stoppages before deciding to move back down to super lightweight to challenge Chantelle Cameron in an attempt to hold two undisputed titles simultaneously.
McCaskill's effort didn't go her way, losing a unanimous decision to Cameron. After almost a year out of the ring, McCaskill returned to welterweight in her next fight.
Once again, things didn't go her way, resulting in a controversial battle with the United Kingdom's Sandy Ryan, which ended in a split draw.
The decision drew ire from both fans in attendance and observers at home who felt Ryan landed the cleaner punches.
Jermall Charlo's recent failed attempt at moving up two weight classes against Alvarez may have inspired more fighters to stay in their lane. But it doesn't mean the results would be the same for every fighter.
Serrano's intrigue now emphasizes her bottom line, yet the seven-division champion does have an attraction to making history.
Much like super lightweight, the 147-pound limit at welterweight may not be a bridge that Amanda Serrano wants to cross.
But McCaskill's style of unaesthetic mauling plays into the southpaw's hands.
A fight with McCaskill will generate at the box office. Also, the welterweight champion hasn't exactly praised Amanda Serrano in the past.
“She got the big money fight, and that was dope, but she was late on the draw to knock Katie out,” McCaskill said on The DAZN Boxing Show.
“She was late on the fight because she was picky over the money. She might've been able to do more damage before when this fight was supposed to happen.
“If she would've won, then what kind of money is she working with after everything that comes after that? Some people fight for legacy, some people fight for money, and some people fight for belts.”
A win for Amanda Serrano would give her the distinction of being just the second eight-division champion in boxing history, male or female.
Now that Amanda Serrano has the respect of the boxing world as a bonafide star, only money and history will dictate her direction from this point.