Amanda Serrano checked off several boxes with her latest win.
Saturday’s ten-round, unanimous decision win over Sarah Mahfoud saw the Brooklyn-bred Boricua southpaw fight for her first Ring magazine title, which also marked her debut in the U.K. Amazingly through title wins in a female record seven weight divisions, it was also Serrano’s first time facing another reigning titlist in a true unification bout.
Serrano prevailed by scores of 99-92, 97-93 and 97-93 to add Mahfoud’s IBF featherweight belt to her WBC/WBO collection in their co-feature battle last Saturday evening at AO Arena in Manchester, England. The win moved her within one title of achieving a lifelong dream of becoming the first Puerto Rican undisputed champion.
“We came here for this and this (points to IBF and Ring belts). We’re going home with this and this,” Jordan Maldonado, Serrano’s trainer, co-manager and brother-in-law told the media during a post-fight press conference. “Was the task met? Absolutely. We won the fight, we’re just one win away from becoming undisputed champion.
“All we got left is the WBA. The champion [Erika Cruz] has been eluding us for a little bit. Hopefully she grows a heart and comes to try to take this. We’re putting a lot more on the table than she is. There’s no reason that she shouldn’t want to try to take this.”
Serrano (43-2-1, 30KOs) was fighting for the first time since her historic pound-for-pound showdown with undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor (21-0, 6KOs) this past April 30. Ireland’s Taylor claimed a ten-round, split decision win in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Serrano was fighting for the second straight time at lightweight, two divisions above her optimal fighting weight but still coming dangerously close to dethroning the Irish superstar.
The two were originally due to collide in May 2020, in fact initially scheduled at AO Arena (also known as Manchester Arena) prior to the pandemic shutting down those plans. In the two years it took for the fight to come back around, Serrano expanded her current title reign from three-time WBO titlist to unified featherweight champ.
The sole remaining titlist in the division is Mexico City’s Erika Cruz (15-1, 3KOs), who has held the WBA title since the first of two wins over Jelena Mrdjenovich last April. A fight with Cruz and a rematch with Taylor represents two more goals that Serrano plans to meet. Another is to make sure her recent trip to the U.K. isn’t one-and-done.
“It was amazing. I had a great time,” Serrano noted after her win. “The fans of Manchester welcomed me with open arms. I was truly honored to be here. I didn’t think I had so many fans over here. It was really cool and I hope it’s not my last time fighting over here.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox