Amanda Serrano is preparing for a historic bout…
When the 34-year-old Puerto Rican boxer, the undisputed featherweight champion, defends her WBA, IBF and WBO belts against Danila Ramos on October 27 at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida, the two will fight 12 three-minute rounds instead of the official 10 two-minute rounds for title fights in women’s boxing.
Serrano will defend her titles against Ramos, the WBO mandatory challenger, in a fight approved by all three sanctioning bodies and the Florida Athletic Commission and put on by Most Valuable Promotions, run by Jake Paul and Nakisa Bidarian.
“This fight is about more than some belts,” Serrano said in a statement. “We have faced a long and hard battle, united as women, to achieve the same pay, respect, and recognition in boxing.
“Together, on Friday, October 27, we will make history and prove to the world once again how incredible women’s boxing is and that we are just as tough, dynamic, and capable as any man in the ring, if not more so. This is a fight for women everywhere to be treated the same as their male counterparts.”
The number of rounds and the length of rounds for championship fights have been issues in women’s boxing for years — often brought up by many of the top fighters in the sport. When Serrano fought Katie Taylor for Taylor’s undisputed lightweight titles in 2022 — a fight that became the biggest event in women’s boxing history — Serrano lobbied for three-minute rounds but mentioned it publicly only after contracts had been signed. Serrano-Taylor was fought with 10 two-minute rounds.
There have been women’s title fights with three-minute rounds before — notably when Seniesa Estrada stopped Marlen Esparza in the ninth round for the WBA interim flyweight title in November 2019, but Estrada-Esparza was 10 rounds. Other high-level fighters, including pound-for-pound No. 1 and current undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields, have advocated for 12 rounds or three-minute rounds — or both — in the past.
In 2021, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN, “if I could get three-minute rounds, I would sign a number of women.” He believes it could add more excitement and opportunity. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe also told ESPN in 2021 that he believed the longer rounds would increase popularity in women’s boxing. Former Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz also told ESPN in 2021 that he felt world title fights should be three-minute rounds.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaimán told ESPN in 2021 that he would not sanction three-minute round fights because he considers it a safety issue. He said his organization, which sanctions Serrano’s featherweight title, would not change its stance until “there is clear medical research clearance to do any changes.”
In MMA, men and women fight the same number of rounds and same number of minutes — three five-minute rounds for undercard fights and five five-minute rounds for championship fights and main events. This is a step toward giving equal fighting balance to women in boxing too.
Serrano (45-2-1, 30 KO) last fought in August, when she defeated Heather Hardy by unanimous decision in Dallas to defend her undisputed featherweight title. The seven-division world champion will be making the sixth defense of her WBO title and second defense of her WBA belt. Other than a split-decision loss to Taylor as a challenger to Taylor’s undisputed lightweight championship in 2022, Serrano has not lost a fight since 2012, and she has never been beaten as a featherweight, her natural fighting weight.
Ramos (12-2, 1 KO), 38, became the mandatory challenger in August when she defeated Brenda Karen Carabajal by split decision in Buenos Aires. She has won her past four fights — but three have come by split or majority decision. She has fought for interim titles three times — beating Carabajal and losing to Katharina Thanderz and Elhem Mekhaled. Ramos has never been stopped in her career.
In this fight, Ramos will be part of history.
The last known major women’s fights of 12 three-minute rounds came in 2007, when Layla McCarter defeated Donna Biggers on January 5 and Melissa Hernandez on February 14, both in Las Vegas. Neither one went the distance, as McCarter stopped Biggers in the second round and Hernandez in the eighth round. Now, on a bigger stage — the fight will be televised as a main event on DAZN — a 12-round three-minute fight will be happening again.
“Fighting Amanda Serrano for 12 three-minute rounds for a unified championship is set to break the barriers that we women have been looking to do for many years,” Ramos said in a statement. “We will go down in history and in the books.”