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Victory not History Behind Serrano’s 12×3 Request

It appears victory and not history was behind Amanda Serrano’s twelve 3 minute round request on Monday.

Completely unprompted during this week’s London press conference, the seven-weight world champion suggested her undisputed title challenge to Katie Taylor should be a 12×3 fight rather than a 10×2 affair.

The New York based Puerto Rican declared she wanted to take ‘a stand’, ‘pave’ the way for change and make the fight even more ‘icon’.

“I’m a woman for equality and we all talk about equality, on this table multiple times, we’re making history at the Garden being the first women to headline. We’re making the biggest payday for both of us, and I think we should just continue to make this iconic, make changes to this game and if Katie Taylor is willing and ready and able to make this an equal fight of 12 rounds of 3 minutes. If we want to make change, I think we should pave it right now on DAZN. This is all about equality and we should make the change right now,” she said at the top table.

“I understand that this fight is iconic but if we want to make a change for the future and get people to notice it, get these promoters to not talk badly about women, I think we need to take a stand.”

The push for parity between the sexes in the sport is admirable and no one is going to argue with making the greatest female fight of all time that bit greater.

However, Irish-boxing.com understands the pound for pound star’s call for increased rounds was orchestrated by her team and had nothing to with making history.

It’s true Team Serrano and her coach Jordan Maldonado believe longer rounds and more of them would benefit the challenger. They have said so publicly and have also been public about their belief Delfine Persoon would have defeated the Irish icon via stoppage if they had fought in a 12×3 format.

With that in mind it’s likely they would welcome increased time in the ring – but in truth, all parties involved know it’s a nonstarter.

The number of rounds was agreed upon and put in a contract that has been signed by both parties – and while there is scope to change a contract if both teams agreed that’s not going to happen at this late stage. Not to mention a press conference is not the place to start negotiating those changes.

More importantly, upgrading to 12 rounds would threaten the fight’s status as an Undisputed match, thus detracting from the ‘iconic’ element.

The WBC are particularly strong on 10×2’s for their female fights and have been very vocal about not sanctioning any 12×3 bouts. Indeed, they are not big on 3-minute rounds for females as a whole, so any change would more than likely see them withdraw their title.

The greatest female fight of all time would then become an IBF, WBA and WBO unified clash rather than an undisputed, for all the belts bout.

It’s understood the powers that be at Matchroom and DAZN were very keen for both press conferences to run smoothly, void of any perceived ill behaviour.

Those with the potential for volatility or the brash approach were under ‘tone it down orders’ so that the fighters and what they are doing in terms of the history of the sport got the spotlight.

That looked like it had denied Team Serrano the chance to ruffle Taylor’s feathers until the 12 round plan was hatched.

Delivered politely and wrapped up in the history theme the ‘keep it clean rule’ wasn’t broken – but make no mistake about it the 12 round call was a mind game play.

It was a move to put Taylor on the spot before it was a genuine call for a longer bout.

Taylor and Irish fight fans will argue the Irish sporting legend and the reigning champ has better history when it comes to longer rounds, so any call to change things up won’t upset the Wicklow woman.

The Brian Peters managed fighter has twice the number of 10 round fighters under her belt having gone the distance 12 times, and has had to go 10 against a higher calibre of opponent.

Photo Credit Mark Robinson Matchroom.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com