Amanda Serrano did her part Saturday to set up the richest fight in women’s boxing history.
The unified featherweight champion earned a 10-round unanimous decision over Miriam Gutierrez, which kept her in line to fight undefeated, undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor (20-0, six KOs) in New York in 2022. Serrano (42-1-1 30 KOs) is eager to step up in class — not to mention income bracket.
“It’s the megafight for women’s boxing,” Serrano said after her victory on the undercard of the Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley rematch in Tampa, Fla. “It’s two pound-for-pound girls going out there. You have (an) undisputed (champion and a) seven-division world champion facing each other and I think that’s the megafight for women.
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“I think we’re going to blow off those ceilings for women’s boxing. A seven-figure payday for both of us, Madison Square Garden, the big theater, main event. I mean, it’s going to be an amazing night.”
Paul was clear about how big a fight he believes it is.
“That’s its own main event, for sure,” he said, “and I’m so excited. I’m going to do everything in my power to make that fight the biggest female boxing fight in the history of the sport.” Serrano signed with Paul’s fledgling Most Valuable Promotions on Sept. 30. She debuted as an MVP fighter on Saturday.
Taylor locked in her place a week earlier with a unanimous decision over Firuza Sharipova in Liverpool, England. She wasn’t thrilled with how she fought. She hinted that she was looking ahead to Serrano:
“It was not a master class by any means. But all I needed to do was to get the win and I’m looking at bigger names next year,” Taylor said, per DAZN News.
Bigger names, bigger check
The purported purse for Serrano vs. Taylor is unprecedented in women’s boxing. Serrano and Heather Hardy spoke with Sporting News in 2018 about how little money women fighters are paid. Serrano even became an MMA fighter to make extra cash.
“If I would have got the respect and the money that girls deserve, I would have stayed in boxing,” Serrano said then. “To be a female boxer, you have to have a 9-to-5 (job), and it sucks because boxing is a dangerous sport. You have to fully concentrate. You can’t just say after work (that) you’re going to train. Female boxers have to have an extra income.”
She was working full time as a boxing trainer in New York at that point.
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Now she’s fighting under Paul, who is an outspoken advocate for improving fighters’ pay.
“I was scheduled to fight Katie Taylor a couple years ago and I’m telling you, the fight we (were) offered was nowhere near what we’re getting now,” she said, “and I think Jake Paul has definitely helped towards that. What he brings to boxing, it’s something new, something exciting.”
And Paul says that he’s excited Serrano — whom he called a “superstar” and an “awesome person” — is finally getting paid.
“It’s so satisfying because she deserves the money and the notoriety more than I do,” he said. “She’s put in thousands and hundreds of hours in the gym and she deserves the big payday that she’s going to get. And she deserves to be able to retire from boxing —”
“— And not work again,” Paul’s adviser, Nakisa Bidarian, interjected.
“Yeah, and not work again,” Paul continued, “and unfortunately that hasn’t been the case for women’s boxing. They’ve been underpaid and taken advantage of.”
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In April, Taylor told “The Ak & Barak Show” on DAZN she would “love” to take on Serrano in a fight that has been more than three years in the making. “It’s obviously a fight that a lot of people would look forward to. She’s a great fighter. That is a genuine 50-50 fight, I think so,” Taylor said.
One big obstacle, as in most megafights, is television. Serrano has been fighting on Showtime. Taylor, one of Matchroom’s biggest stars, fights on DAZN.
“I’m not really in charge of that. I’m a fighter. I fight wherever the fights are at,” Serrano said.
If a deal is struck, Serrano will be fighting at home next year, for a whole lot of money.
Karisa Maxwell contributed to this report.