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WBO 126-pound titleholder Amando Serrano staying busy against former foe, targets unification bouts

Photo by Amanda Westcott
14
Dec

WBO female featherweight titleholder Amanda Serrano just wants to fight once more before the end of 2020.

Serrano, who is rated No. 1 by The Ring at 126 pounds, will return to action against Dahiana Santana on Wednesday night, DiBella Entertainment announced Monday evening.

The eight-round junior lightweight bout will take place at the Hotel Catalonia Malecon Center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and will stream live on the DiBella Entertainment and Shuan Boxing YouTube pages (5 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. PT). In the main event, Wilfredo Mendez of Puerto Rico, who is ranked No. 4 by The Ring, will defend his WBO strawweight title against Venezuela’s Alexis Diaz.

Serrano’s fight against Santana is a rematch from their April 2017 clash, which Serrano won via eighth-round stoppage in her adopted hometown of Brooklyn, New York.

The 32-year-old Serrano (38-1-1, 28 knockouts), who is originally from Puerto Rico, was penciled in to face undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor earlier this year, but the fight was postponed a handful of times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Serrano was then scheduled to face IBF titleholder Sarah Mahfoud this month on an all-female fight card, but that event was also cancelled due to the pandemic.

“We had to get Amanda in the ring,” said Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment (DBE). “I happily made a deal with the new Ring City series to feature her on their December 17 card, which already includes Jelena Mrdjenovich.”

Serrano was set to face Taynna Cardoso of Brazil in an eight-round bout, but Cardoso’s pre-fight COVID-19 test came back positive. Undeterred, Serrano kept training, and a replacement opponent, Ana Romina Guichapani of Argentina, was secured.

“We got word that the airport closest to Guichapani in Santa Cruz, Argentina, was closed due to Covid,” said DiBella. “In order to get to the States, she would have to fly out of Buenos Aires, which is a two-and-a-half day drive for her. We couldn’t make it work, but Amanda needed to fight.”

DiBella then secured a rematch with Santana. According to the longtime promoter, to benefit Santana and to make the rematch a bit more interesting, the fight was moved to the Dominican Republic, Santana’s backyard, on a card promoted by Shuan Boxing Promotions.

“I have the best promoter – the best team – that has been trying to put me on multiple cards in December,” said Serrano. “I did my medicals, I have continued training. I’m doing my part, and I’m looking forward to getting back in that ring and fighting again.

“I definitely want to unify with the IBF champion Sarah Mahfoud, as well as the WBC and WBA belts with Jelena Mrdjenovich,” Serrano continued. “Hopefully, that will happen in 2021.”

Mrdjenovich is scheduled to face Iranda Paola Torres on Thursday’s Ring City card on NBC Sports Network (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT). In the main event, Charles Conwell, who is promoted by DiBella, will be facing Madiyar Ashkeyev in a clash of unbeaten junior middleweight prospects. Another DiBella-promoted fighter, undefeated heavyweight prospect Stephan Shaw, will be fighting once-beaten Lyubomyr Pinchuk.

“What a long, strange trip 2020 has been,” said DiBella. “Amanda and manager Jordan Maldonado have been so patient and cooperative, and it’s been frustrating to face so many roadblocks this year.

“Amanda is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. We’ll get through this fight and focus on 2021. It is Amanda’s desire to unify the featherweight division. That’s what we are aiming to do. Amanda’s on a collision course with Jelena Mrdjenovich and Sarah Mahfoud.”

Santana (36-12, 15 KOs), who resides in Santo Domingo, has lost five of her last six bouts, including the aforementioned loss to Serrano.

 

Francisco A. Salazar can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

 

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