Seven-weight world champion Amanda Serrano admits she was surprised when she received the news that IBF champion Sarah Mahfoud was set to accept a unification fight taking place in Manchester on September 24.
The Brooklyn-based Puerto Rican southpaw, who holds the WBC, WBO and IBO featherweight world titles, was set to force a mandatory WBO mandate against Yamileth Mercado in August at Madison Square Garden.
The proposed show was ultimately cancelled, leaving the 33-year-old without a date, resulting in her management team teaming up with Queensberry to place ‘The Real Deal’ on the Joe Joyce-Joseph Parker heavyweight undercard at the AO Arena.
Much to her delight, the undefeated Dane and IBF World Champion Mahfoud decided to share the Manchester stage with her for a unification match.
“It’s thanks to my team, the August 6 fight fell through and I said ‘I need a fight, I need a fight,'” Serrano said in recounting the events. “They put me on this card and I am very honored to be on this card and honored to have the opportunity to unify in my division.
“Both are tough fights, Mercado and Mahfoud, one was my mandatory with the WBO and the other is a champion. Of course, you always want to fight the champions and I have been looking for this fight for a couple of years, for her and the WBA, the two belts that I need to be undisputed.
“I couldn’t believe she took the fight, I was like ‘yeah!’ Everything happens for a reason, the timing was great and she decided that she wants to fight now, so let’s do it. It’s in Manchester, my first time fighting there and the UK fans are amazing and I just hope they come out and support the fight.”
Serrano admits she hasn’t looked back closely at her last fight, the epic clash with Katie Taylor that took place in New York in April, and delivered the best possible statement on behalf of women’s boxing.
“In a way, I have dibble-dabbled, but I always see my mistakes, which is good so you can fix it in the next fight.
“It was a great night, a great event and I didn’t want to ruin it because we put on a great show, both of us. There was blood, sweat, tears in the ring that night and the fans came out and supported us.
“So I just wanted to leave it at that. I just wanted to remember it the way I remember it,” she added, before noting that he doesn’t view the split decision reversal as a blot on his record.
“You know what, I feel like you never lose, you learn and I feel like I never lost that fight. I’m getting back into my weight class and I’m back where I’m comfortable, at 126 pounds, where I’m strong and where I’m champion.
“I’m unifying and I feel like I’m back in my division right now.”
Tickets for ‘Nowhere to Run’, the heavyweight clash between Joe Joyce and Joe Parker on September 24 at the AO Arena, Manchester, to be shown exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office, are priced from £ 40 and are on sale now exclusively at Ticketmaster. co.uk.
‘Nowhere to Run’ – Joe Joyce (14-0, 13 KOs) v Joseph Parker (30-2, 21) in a No. 1-No. 2 heavyweight clash with the WBO taking place on September 24 at the AO Arena, Manchester. The WBO international and intercontinental championship belts, along with the WBC silver title, will be on the line.
Also featured is the IBO super featherweight world championship fight between champion Michael Magnesi (21-0, 13) of Italy and British champion from Belfast Anthony Cacace (19-1, 7).
Seven-weight world champion and Puerto Rican superstar Amanda Serrano (42-2-1, 30) will unify her WBO, WBC and IBO featherweight titles with the IBF championship held by undefeated Sarah Mahfoud (11-0, 3 ) from Denmark.
British welterweight champion Ekow Essuman (17-0, 7) will make a third defense of his title and bid for ownership of his Lonsdale belt when he faces mandatory challenger Samuel Antwi (14-1, 6) and the championship. IBO middleweight international will be in play when Nathan Heaney (15-0, 6) comes in with Jack Flatley (19-2-1, 4).
Raven Chapman (3-0, 2) takes a big step up in her class against former IBF world champion Jorgelina Guanini (10-4-2, 1) for the vacant WBC international featherweight championship.
British super middleweight champion Mark Heffron (28-2-1, 22) will fight over eight rounds, with Kirkby super lightweight Callum Thompson (4-0, 1), Liverpool middleweight James Heneghan (7-0), super lightweight Batley Amaar Akbar (3-0) and Thetford cruiserweight Tommy Fletcher (1-0, 1) rounding out the undercard.