By Jack Hirsch
AMANDA SERRANO versus Danila Ramos was not a particularly noteworthy matchup upon its making but became so after being scheduled for 12 three-minute rounds, a sizeable jump from the 10-twos we normally get for championship bouts in the female code.
This is progress, we were told, equal rights for women. The dawn of a new era. Serrano, with the clout of Jake Paul’s MVP Promotions backing her, made the fight at Caribe Royale into what we were constantly told was a historic occasion.
Serrano is a classy boxer and individual. Jake Paul threw her career a lifeline a few years ago when Serrano was contemplating leaving boxing to concentrate on MMA. Women’s boxing could not have a better spokesperson than Serrano but if the Brooklyn-based Puerto Rican’s fight with Ramos is any indication of what is to come then she might be taking her brethren down the wrong path.
Serrano clearly won every round and was rewarded as such on the scorecards of judges’ Steve Weisfeld, Lisa Giampa, and Brian Garry all of whom had it 120-108. Sparkle Lee refereed.
In victory, Serrano looked good, but failed to inspire. Part of it had to do with Ramos’ conservative approach. For the most part she was in survival mode, moving around the ring and being content to last the course. Although Serrano’s CompuBox numbers were comparable to those of past matches she seemed to hold back at times, doubtless over the concern of the distance she was navigating for the first time.
Southpaw Serrano periodically tried to pick up the pace in the first half, but was content to control the match with her jab. By the second half, Ramos was weary and bruised. Serrano, meanwhile, targeted the body and applied a lot more pressure.
When it was over, Serrano was beaming, not so much over successfully defending her IBF, WBA, and WBO featherweight titles (the WBC would not sanction the match), but because she felt she proved women could handle the longer distance. Serrano said that in the future she will not partake in title matches unless it’s the same championship distance as that of the men.
In April 2022, Serrano lost a 10-round split decision to Katie Taylor at Madison Square Garden. It was one of the more thrilling contests of modern times fought over a duration of 20 minutes. Shorter rounds enabled that excitement, we’d venture.
What is unclear is if Serrano-Ramos proves to be a one off or if this will lead to a universal change. Without question, heartier investigations into both the safety and plausibility of such a switch is required.
In the chief support, Damien Lescaille from Miami, scored an explosive ninth round stoppage over Atlanta’s Ray Barlow in their scheduled 10. Southpaw Lescaille dominated, having Barlow down in the fourth round and in trouble throughout. After a counter right hook put Barlow down for the second time in the fight in the ninth, referee Christopher Young stopped it at 2-58 of the round.
Antonio Vargas impressed in his unanimous 10-round decision over former belt-holder Hernan Marquez. The 2016 USA Olympian from Kissimmee put the Mexican down in the second and eighth rounds on the way to garnering 99-89 scores from all three judges.
The Verdict – Serrano’s desire for longer fights is understood even if the plausibility is far from.