Last-Gasp Intervention Forbid Serrano From Fighting

Amanda Serrano’s promoter early Sunday revealed the timeline of how the undisputed featherweight champion went from a planned main event before her home fans in Puerto Rico to a stunning last-minute cancellation that left her in tears.

Nakisa Bidarian, co-founder of Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions (MVP), told Boxing Scene in a text message that the source of Serrano’s eye injury was hair chemical applied on Thursday night.

“Amanda’s eye was irritated on Friday due to a hair product she used,” Bidarian wrote. “MVP was notified of this Friday afternoon.”

That triggered a private doctor’s visit to Serrano on Friday night, according to Bidarian.

“They felt with the prescribed [eye] drops, the irritation in the eye would subside and allow her to perform,” Bidarian wrote.

A crowd of 18,000 flocked to the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan to watch Serrano’s homecoming bout against Nina Meinke – the significance of which earned her placement over Paul’s co-main bout versus Ryan Bourland, which Paul won by first-round TKO.

Serrano, 35, hailed as a pioneer who has helped lift women’s boxing to new heights thanks to the grit she’s displayed in a 15-year career highlighted by her 2022 main event at Madison Square Garden against Katie Taylor, was determined to keep her Saturday night appointment in the ring. 

“Amanda came to the arena with the intention to fight given [that] her eye was starting to feel better,” Bidarian said. “MVP’s position was that she will be examined by the fight-night commission-appointed physicians, and they determine if she could compete.”

Fans inside the arena and those watching the card play out on DAZN were not privy to those behind-the-scenes events, and as the action continued on the main card, social-media reports emerged that Serrano’s ability to fight had been compromised by an eye injury.

“Doctors determined her vision was impaired near the end of [Javon] ‘Wanna’ Walton’s bout and would not approve her to fight,” Bidarian said. “We then had a responsibility to communicate to all impacted constituents involved in the event and determine how best to communicate it to the fans in attendance and those watching at home.”

Walton, star of HBO’s “Euphoria”, fought just before Paul stopped Bourland.

Following Paul’s stoppage victory, Serrano appeared in the ring shielded by sunglasses and it was announced to all that her bout was being canceled, and that all fans would receive full refunds.

“I was willing to go out there,” Serrano told the crowd, who originally booed the announcement, bringing her to tears. “They wouldn’t let me.”

Paul told the crowd that the commission found Serrano’s cornea had been exposed by the hair chemical, which dripped into her eye during a warm-up run, according to an individual close to the situation.

One of the possible reactions to an exposed cornea is vision loss.

“You can’t risk losing your eyesight for one fight,” Paul said.

Serrano vowed to return to the arena and fight again, insisting she will make it back to ultimately retire in the same ring.