Amanda Serrano continued to prove she’s one of the best women’s boxers on the planet as she earned a lopsided decision over Yamelith Mercado in Cleveland on Sunday night.
To her credit, Mercado hung tough for the first half of the fight but relentless pressure and volume striking from Serrano just continued to chip away at her defense. By the time the fight was in the final round, Serrano was just taking aim and firing while Mercado was doing everything possible to stay on her feet.
When it was over, all three judges gave the fight to Serrano with the scores reading 97-93, 98-92 and 99-91.
“I had a tough Mexican in front of me tonight,” Serrano said after her win. “She’s a champion in her own weight class, but I hope I made everyone proud and happy and that Showtime will have me back again. I’m hoping that I made some of these people here fans of women’s boxing and that I made the sport proud.
“I don’t want to say that I’m No. 1 pound-for-pound, because there are great female fighters like Claressa Shields. As long as I’m at the top with fighters like her, then I’m good.”
Despite giving up size and reach to the champion, Mercado showed little fear stepping into exchanges with Serrano with both fighters swinging hard heavy punches at each other. While Serrano was largely the aggressor as she stepped forward and flicked out a slick jab, Mercado was adept with her footwork to continue to circle out of the way.
When Serrano did step into throw a combination, she would land with solid power but Mercado was giving as good as she was getting in many of the exchanges.
As the fight moved into the fifth round, Serrano was starting to gain confidence while throwing more punches than Mercado was giving back in return. Serrano landed one of her best punches late in the round when she snapped Mercado’s head back with a perfectly timed right hook.
Serrano was also really beginning to dig to the body with her punches, which seemed to taking a toll on Mercado as she began dropping her hands a bit more to protect her midsection.
It was a methodical, old school approach from Serrano as she started to add up the damage done with more shots to the body followed by a flurry of punches to the head. Serrano followed that up in the eighth with another stinging combination that finished with a nice left and right that had Mercado backed up against the ropes.
Serrano’s assault left Mercado with a gash on her left cheek along with an eye that was rapidly swelling as the challenger attempted to make it to the final bell. The punishment continued with Serrano just unleashing punches in bunches but time ran out before she could put Mercado away.
Regardless, Serrano just took over with each passing round until she was in complete control through the end of the fight.
The win moves Serrano to 41-1-1 overall and she’s already thinking about a future showdown with another rising star in the sport of boxing.
“I want that fight with Katie Taylor in the future,” Serrano said. “First I want to fight the other featherweight champions and become undisputed in my weight class. Then we’ll have two undisputed champions against each other when Katie and I fight.”