Amanda Serrano has been lighting up her opponents for many years. At 33 years old she has been a professional fighter since 2009 and has only lost one fight. She has a 42-1-1 record for her professional boxing career, and has a 2-0-1 MMA record. Her calling card: pure power.
The undisputed women’s featherweight champion has 30 knockouts to her name, 21 of the coming after her sole defeat in 2012, but Serrano wasn’t generating much buzz, or any major paydays, and she reasonably has grown frustrated at times during her career. She was so frustrated that she made a real effort to become a professional mixed martial artist. That’s right, her solution to her money problems was to jump into a new sport late in life, that is controlled by Dana White.
Serrano then began to get some better purses and last year she caught the most fortunate bounce of her career. She got plugged in with Jake Paul.
Paul took his YouTube fame to the squared circle for the first couple of times at Triller Pay Per View fight/concert/spectacles — one of those events had Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson host a russian slap-fighting match from a forklift as one of the prelims. Then Paul got a Showtime boxing match with former UFC champion Tyron Woodley. He wanted a woman fight on the card and Showtime suggested Serrano.
She won her first fight on a Paul card by unanimous decision against Yamileth Mercado but the bout wasn’t that entertaining. The selling point of the fight was Serrano’s explosive power, but she was not able to show it off in that bout.
However, Serrano impressed Paul enough, and when he began his promotion company in Fall 2021 he signed Serrano. She rewarded his confidence in her on Saturday by moving up two weight classes and put on a dominating performance in a unanimous decision victory against Miriham Gutierrez who was not only much older, but also much less experienced with only 15 professional fights going into Saturday. Gutierrez’s face after the fight showed just how much power the smaller Serrano posseses.
Now Serrano is in line for what is going to be the biggest payday of her career against the 20-0 Katie Taylor. Negotiations broke down the first time they tried to schedule this bout, but with Paul’s team behind her time including his manager, former UFC CFO Nakisa Bidarian, this could be the biggest women’s combat sport event of all time.
Pushing Serrano’s career does not make Paul a champion in the fight for equal rights for women. He denies the accusations, but there are accusations out there of sexual misconduct on his part as well as general bullying. What he is for Serrano is the most fortunate break she has received in her career.
Serrano has won nine titles from 115 to 140 pounds in her 12-year, 40-plus fight professional career. All of that work, winning, and knockouts, and it appears that 2022 will provide her the opportunity to become one of the most famous athletes in her sport, and possibly in the world. If it takes an unlikeable YouTube star for her to get there, hey, this is capitalism. Success and niceness don’t necessarily go hand in hand, and most certainly not in the fight game.
Paul is a jerk, but that jerk is about to get her the biggest reward of her career. Sounds like a better plan to me than learning a new sport to go work for Dana.