Over the years, women’s boxing has seen a boom period, from main event fights in sold-out arenas to historic purses. Dominant stars such as Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano, Claressa Shields, Chantelle Cameron, and more have taken over and put their divisions at the forefront while old-school figures attempt to halt their momentum.
In a sport where the best often avoid the best, especially at heavyweight, the women step up and take risks.
Serrano, a multi-division champion, has already been part of historic moments. Her fight with Katie Taylor in April 2022 was the first time two women headlined at Madison Square Garden. “The Real Deal” has also become a multi-millionaire thanks to her new partnership with Jake Paul, who has taken her reputation to new heights. Now, the 34-year-old looks to make more history when she defends her status as featherweight champion against Danila Ramos on October 27.
The fight, part of a Most Valuable Prospects card, will mark the first women’s fight since Layla McCarter vs. Melissa Hernandez in 2007 to be scheduled for 12 three-minute rounds.
WATCH: Amanda Serrano vs. Danila Ramos, live on DAZN
“This fight is about more than some belts. We have faced a long and hard battle, united as women, to achieve the same pay, respect, and recognition in boxing,” Serrano said. “Together, on Friday, October 27, we will make history and prove to the world once again, how incredible women’s boxing is and that we are just as tough, dynamic, and capable as any man in the ring, if not more so. This is a fight for women everywhere to be treated the same as their male counterparts.”
Undisputed, Serrano will not defend the WBC featherweight title in this fight. The WBC, led by Mauricio Sulaiman, has been against three-minute rounds for women’s boxing and will not sanction this bout. Research provided by his team states that women are at a greater risk, at least compared to male boxers. However, there has been research that has proven against the WBC’s case. The California State Athletic Commission also found documents against the WBC’s position.
Sulaiman will not budge, telling Chris Mannix there are clear reasons for the fight not happening, comparing women’s boxing to other sports.
Thank you Chris por posting the @WBCBoxing position . Tennis – women play 3 sets, basketball the basket is shorter and the ball smaller and those are not contact sports. We stand by safety and well-being of the fighters
— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) September 6, 2023
In MMA, women’s bouts go the full five minutes like male fighters, lasting three to five rounds.
Regardless, the fight will join the rare women’s boxing bouts looking to make history. Here’s a brief rundown of the women’s fights that have been scheduled for 12 three-minute rounds.
MORE: The case for two vs. three-minute round in women’s boxing
What women’s boxing fights have had 12 three-minute rounds?
The most recent women’s boxing matches to be scheduled for 12 three-minute rounds involved Layla McCarter. In two bouts in 2007, she beat Donna Biggers (TKO 1) for the WBA lightweight title and Melissa Hernandez (TKO 2) to retain.
McCarter believes the time has come for the WBC and any doubters to accept change in the sport.
“It should be mandatory to have everyone fight under the same regulations,” McCarter told Ringside Report. “We have to fight for it every time we want to fight 3-minute rounds. I think it is a sexist policy that has no base in reality. It is the same excuse when they tried to ban us from boxing in the first place. I hate the policy. In Nevada, I pushed the change to allow women to fight 3-minute rounds, and they said, ‘I don’t see a problem with it. If it is an approvable fight, and you both agree. Sure. We will make it like a waiver system for now.’ Keith Keizer (The Nevada State Athletic Director at the time) helped me with that, and the Commission approved it.”
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The last known fight to feature three-minute rounds was Seniesa Estrada vs. Marlen Esparza in 2019 for the interim WBA flyweight title. The fighters made the request and promoter Golden Boy complied, though it was only a ten-round bout. In a back-and-forth affair, Estrada beat Esparza via technical decision following a cut to the latter’s head.
“I’ve had so many fights where I’ve had the girl out on her feet, but the bell rings. She has one minute to recover. It’s not enough time. There would be more knockouts if we did three-minute rounds,” Estrada told Sky Sports.
Serrano and Ramos are ready to put their name in the history books with this latest contest for gold.