Wednesday, October 04, 2023  |


Amanda Serrano punishes game Heather Hardy over 10, retains undisputed 126-pound championship

Photo courtesy of Queensberry Promotions
Fighters Network

Amanda Serrano was just as dominant against Heather Hardy during their rematch on Saturday in Dallas as she was during their first bout in 2019, but the underdog’s effort and spirit in going the 10-round distance was more impressive and moving this time given her age (41), career trajectory and comparative inactivity coming into the co-feature to the Jake Paul-Nate Diaz pay-per-view event.

Serrano (45-2-1, 30 KOs) was the busier, faster, harder-hitting and more-accurate puncher throughout the 10-round undisputed featherweight championship, which she won by unanimous decision and lopsided scores of 99-91 and 100-90 (twice). Hardy (24-3, 4 KOs) was game and defiant (often talking back to Serrano after getting nailed), willing to take three punches to land one.

The former WBO featherweight titleholder fought with a face that was bruised and swollen by the second round. After taking vicious lefts to the body and head during the first two rounds, Hardy willed herself into the fight by landing right hands in Round 3. She connected with enough 1-2 combos and left hooks to earn Round 5 on one of the official scorecards. However, Serrano, a future hall of famer and currently No. 4 in The Ring women’s pound-for-pound rankings, was in command from the opening bell to the brutal final seconds of the fight which saw Hardy absorb an inhuman beating.

Former two-time welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter, who was part of the DAZN PPV broadcast, questioned if the fight should have been allowed to continue past Round 8. Referee Laurence Cole and ringside physician visited Hardy’s corner between Round 8 and 9. The veteran fighter was determined to go the distance and her corner was determined to let her.

Near the end of Round 9, Hardy was checked out by a ringside physician because of a hairline cut she suffered. The fight could have ended then and there, and few would have complained, but Hardy definitely would have. She let everyone know she wanted to fight on.

“I gave everything I had today,” an emotional Hardy said during the post-fight interview that she shared with her fellow Brooklynite. “(I gave) everything for three months (during camp). I have no excuses. That was everything.”

Serrano, who won her first featherweight title from Hardy and has gone 7-1 since (only losing a split decision to Katie Taylor in the 2022 women’s fight and event of the year), only had praise for Hardy and gratitude for where she is now in her career.

“She’s as tough as they come,” Serrano said. “I’m happy I gave her the opportunity to make six figures.

“We was there (in women’s boing) when nobody cared for us. We were paid nothing.”

They’ve come a long way. The journey — at least at the world-class level — has likely ended for Hardy. It continues for Serrano, who is in position for high-profile events vs. the likes of undisputed junior lightweight champ Alycia Baumgardner, who was one of the DAZN PPV commentators.


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