When Amanda Serrano met Katie Taylor in the ring for the first time, in April 2022, the matchup promised an undisputed lightweight championship blockbuster between perhaps the two brightest stars in women’s boxing.

Somehow, the outcome was even better than advertised, as the first-ever women’s headliner staged at Madison Square Garden sold out the “Mecca of Boxing” and Taylor took a split decision in a barnburner of a fight and a seminal moment in women’s sports.

And now their rematch – which will serve as the co-main to Mike Tyson-Jake Paul at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on July 20 – is guaranteed to be even bigger than the first fight, in at least in one significant way: Serrano and Taylor will fight not at 135 pounds but at 140.

“Listen, everyone knows I’m the unified featherweight champion,” said Serrano at Monday’s press conference in New York’s Apollo Theater, the first of two to promote the card. “I've said many times, anything over that is hard for me. Obviously, 135, I can make it. For the opportunity to fight Katie Taylor, I took the fight. Now, the same thing at 140. Her team said we gotta do it at 140.”

At the presser, Serrano (46-2-1, 30 KOs) talked about “making 140,” but her struggle – rather than a fighter’s typical grind of cutting weight – will be more like a gorge of carb-loading. Moving up two divisions (from featherweight to lightweight) in the first Taylor fight, Serrano came in a full pound and a half below the limit. She’ll have another five pounds to play with headed into the rematch.

“I just got to eat more,” Serrano said. “I’m a proper Latina, so I get to eat a lot more rice.”

Taylor (23-1, 6 KOs) learned recently just how troublesome a move up the scales can be, jumping from lightweight for the first time in her career and challenging for Chantelle Cameron’s undisputed 140-pound crown last May. Taylor, never known as a power puncher, was outworked by Cameron, who threw twice as many punches on her way to a majority decision victory. Although Taylor won a rematch with Cameron in November, her first professional loss – at least in Serrano’s estimation – brought a new dimension to her career.

“We're gonna give, I think, a better fight in the rematch because now she knows how to lose,” Serrano said. “I don't like to lose. We both don't want to lose, so we're gonna go out there and give it our all.”

How the extra weight will affect the action in Taylor-Serrano II is anyone’s guess. But Serrano conceding to two-minute rounds for the fight – she had been adamant about changing the women’s standard to three minutes per, and most recently outpointed Danila Ramos last October under those terms – should help ensure that stamina won’t be an issue. And as one of the fiercest pound-for-pound punchers in the women’s ranks, she’ll continue to pose a danger to Taylor in their exchanges. The fighters traded heavy blows frequently in their first matchup, most notably in a pulsating fifth round in which Serrano hurt Taylor several times and had her holding to stay afloat. 

“I really wanted the fight – the fight is for the fans – so greatness requires sacrifice,” Serrano said. “So once again, I’m sacrificing my body, and sacrificing everything to go up three divisions. The last time was two divisions. I believe I won. I hurt Katie. I think, going up another division, I can do the same thing. My power’s gonna come with me.”