Eighteen months after becoming one half of the first women’s boxing event to headline at Madison Square Garden, Amanda Serrano made history again in Orlando on Friday night, retaining her unified
featherweight championship by unanimous decision against Danila Ramos in only the second female fight ever to be sanctioned for twelve three-minute rounds.
Heather Hardy, who has twice lost to Serrano over the more traditional women’s fight distance of ten two-minute rounds, said beforehand that “I wouldn’t want to be in there for three minutes with Amanda,” and there were times during the contest when it appeared that Brazil’s Ramos (12-3, 1 KO) wasn’t too keen on the idea, either.
She spent most of the contest on the back foot, constantly looking to slide out of the range of Serrano’s unrelenting pressure; but she also picked her spots to fire off some combinations of her own in an attempt to deter the suffocating Puerto Rican.
The difference – in class, experience, and power – was clear throughout, however, and the championship rounds saw Ramos desperately struggling to hang on as Serrano sought what would have been her first stoppage since halting Daniela Bermudez six fights and two and a half years ago.
The fight began with the two boxers feeling each other out, but the pattern was set early. Serrano (46-2-1, 30 KOs) stalked forward, chin tucked, firing a southpaw jab that she frequently turned over into a lead
hook and following up with a straight left hand. Ramos, meanwhile, circled away, looking for openings to fire one-twos before resuming her journey around the ring.
By round four, Serrano had begun to close the distance between the two boxers and in the process also began to close Ramos’ left eye.
As she did so, she frequently switched to the body, digging left hands that would eventually slow Ramos down perceptibly.
The narrowing distance forced Ramos to dig her toes into the canvas at times in an attempt to keep Serrano off her, but the Puerto Rican kept coming, moving forward impassively and steadily increasing her pressure and her punch output.
For all her effort and her occasional success, Ramos rarely if ever looked like winning, and the only question over the final three rounds was whether Serrano would be forced to go the distance.
A barrage of body shots in the tenth caused Ramos to wince noticeably and prompted Serrano to unleash a series of powerful combinations that had her rival reeling. Ramos did hit the deck in the eleventh after a violent and prolonged outburst from Serrano, but referee Sparkle Lee ruled it was a slip.
Serrano continued to look for the finish in the twelfth, clearly unaffected by fighting the extra and lengthier rounds, ultimately throwing 1103 punches, of which 338 connected.
Ramos made it to the final bell, but there was no doubt whatsoever about the result, all three judges scoring for Serrano by scores of 120-108.