Amanda Serrano kept the WBC and WBO featherweight titles tonight in San Juan, Puerto Rico, knocking out Daniela Bermudez on a ninth round body shot to secure her 40th career victory.
Serrano (40-1-1, 30 KO) more or less lived up to her reputation as probably the best puncher on the women’s side of the sport, and also as one of the elite pound-for-pound fighters. Bermudez (29-4-3, 10 KO) is a three-division champ and also was universally considered top 10 pound-for-pound, but she had no real answers for Serrano in this fight. All three judges had the fight a shutout, 80-72, at the time of the knockout, and Bad Left Hook had it 79-73 for Serrano.
Serrano was quicker, more athletic, the better puncher, just the better fighter in basically every way. Bermudez showed tons of toughness by continuing to come forward against Serrano, but she was largely picked apart on the way in, and Serrano gradually broke her down.
A left hand to the body led to a delayed reaction from Bermudez in the ninth, and when Daniela took a knee, she indicated she was done there, taking the 10 count. Serrano had done strong body work throughout the fight, something else she generally invests in, and paid off big here.
“We knew she was tough, she’s a Latina, she’s from Argentina,” Serrano said. “They are very tough women. We were ready for a 10-round war. It just happened, the body shot.”
Asked if she wanted to move up in weight — possibly to face Mikaela Mayer at 130 or Katie Taylor at 135 — Serrano said she’s focused on featherweight right now.
“I want to become undisputed. I want to be the first undisputed champion from Puerto Rico,” she said. “IBF, WBA, nothing against any champion, I want those belts. If they want to become undisputed champion, they need to come through me, too, so we need each other.”
For the record, the WBA title is held by Canada’s Jelena Mrdjenovich (41-10-2, 19 KO), while Denmark’s Sarah Mahfoud (10-0, 3 KO) has the IBF title. Serrano would be a heavy favorite against either.
- Carlos Caraballo TKO-4 Leonardo Baez: Leonardo Baez did what he could trying to follow his twin brother Eduardo’s win in the fight before this one, but he was facing a much better opponent, period. The 25-year-old Caraballo (14-0, 14 KO) looked like a potential serious contender in the making here, battering Baez (18-4, 9 KO) for four rounds with precision power punches that dissected the hard-nosed Mexican and forced a corner stoppage in the fourth round. Baez is no elite fighter or anything, but he’s tough as hell and the type of guy who can expose pretenders and make for a tough night. Caraballo just shredded him here, landing monster uppercuts and powerful hooks until the Baez corner had seen enough, making a compassionate stoppage — they knew their guy wasn’t going to give up, and bless Baez, he did everything possible trying to get into this fight. It just wasn’t happening.
- Eduardo Baez UD-8 Abimael Ortiz: Baez (19-1-2, 6 KO) was terrific here, just drowning Ortiz (8-1-1, 4 KO) in volume for pretty much the entire fight, and that’s not to say Ortiz never did good work in this junior featherweight matchup, because he did. The Puerto Rican A-side landed good shots on his Mexican rival, and went for it in the eighth and final round, knowing he was down, but that constant pressure and work from Baez was just too much, I think it sort of shocked Ortiz a bit in some rounds, even. The pace just stayed the same — fast — for Baez all the way. Baez, 25, has only ever lost to Mauricio Lara, back in 2017 when both were young. He doesn’t have the look of an elite guy or anything, but he can fight, and 122 has openings for guys like him to get decent opportunities. Judges had this 79-73, 79-73, and 80-72 for Baez. Bad Left Hook had it a slightly closer 78-74 for Baez.
- Juan Carlos Camacho SD-8 Marvin Solano: A competitive fight, home guy Camacho (12-1, 6 KO) getting the split nod over Nicaraguan veteran Solano (23-6, 8 KO), who’s been in with some really good fighters over the years but caps at a certain level for being a real threat. The 24-year-old Camacho is aggressive but not always effective with it, not a big puncher, doesn’t figure to cause major problems at 115 or 118 on the world level. Solano, 30, will go on to more fights like this, winning a few, losing some.
- Midyael Sanchez SD-8 Ryan Pino: It’s hard to be too mad about a fight pretty fairly scored 76-75 across the board — two judges for Sanchez, one for Pino — but you have to feel for Pino (8-6-2, 4 KO), who was gunning for an upset win on his birthday, came off the canvas in the second round, and took over the second half of this fight, including pouring big pressure on late. But Sanchez (9-1, 6 KO) gets the win; he doesn’t seem to have a big future or anything. He struggled here against a club-level fighter, and lost to Patrick Cora in his last fight in 2019. Cora’s a decent prospect, this fight was more damning, plus he’s 26, not a pup. Bad Left Hook scored it 76-75 for Pino, and I think there was an argument to give Pino every round past the second, in all honesty. But he just didn’t pull it out on the cards, and it’s not a robbery, just questionable, controversial in the sense that any fight like this is.
- Oscar Collazo UD-6 Francisco Bonilla: Good fight for the 24-year-old Collazo (3-0, 2 KO) to get in. At his age he doesn’t have to be on the mega fast track, but he’ll want to step up within the next few years, and a fight like this one can help on that journey. Bonilla (6-10-3, 3 KO) didn’t have the power or skills to really bother him — scores were 60-54 across the board — but the journeyman did land some clean shots and show Collazo it’s probably going to be a good idea to tighten up against guys who do have the power or skills down the line. But Collazo, who will settle in at 108 or 112, looked good on offense, too, creative, a little slick, and can fight off the back foot.
- Arely Mucino UD-8 Lucia Hernandez-Nunez: A rust-shaker win for Mucino (29-3-2, 10 KO), who is a real world-level flyweight, fighting for the first time in two years here as a 115-pounder. Hernandez-Nunez (7-11, 0 KO) didn’t present much challenge, and was dropped in the eighth round. Scores were 80-71 across the board.
- Angel Carranza UD-4 Eduardo Melendez: Easy but useful win for prospect Carranza, now 2-0 (1 KO). He’s a 19-year-old junior lightweight, scored a quick knockdown in the first and then journeyman Melendez (5-30, 1 KO) just kept away and survived the distance, basically. Part of that is going to be Carranza getting some lessons that he needs to get better at cutting off the ring, because it’s not like Melendez had some exceptional footwork to play keepaway or anything. Valuable fight for a young boxer. All three judges had it 40-35.