Heather Hardy vs. Amanda Serrano Fight Preview and Analysis
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: September 12, 2019
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - This Friday, September 13th at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden women’s boxing will be at the forefront of the boxing world’s radar.
WBO Female Featherweight champion Heather “The Heat” Hardy (22-0, 4 KOs) will be making the first defense of her title against Puerto Rico’s Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano (36-1-1, 27 KOs).
Both women hail from Brooklyn, New York as their hometown and have fought many of their bouts at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
This will be just the second time either fighter has fought at Madison Square Garden including in the Hulu Theater formerly known as The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
While both women are undefeated, Serrano has the edge in experience in championship bouts having won world titles in seven different weight classes.
In her previous bout, Serrano moved down from Super Lightweight (140 lbs) where she won the WBO title and faced Eva Voraberger for the vacant WBO Female Super Flyweight (115 lbs) championship.
Serrano won by first-round knockout joining Manny Pacquiao as the only fighters in boxing history to have won titles in seven divisions.
Hardy at 37 years of age has fought all of her professional boxing bouts in the state of New York.
Most recently she won her first world title in a highly anticipated rematch against Shelly Vincent to capture the WBO Female Featherweight title.
Viewing the bout through a stat sheet, Serrano holds all the advantages being the younger fighter, 30, with more experience; however, boxing is practiced through multiple lenses, not just one.
Hardy to say the least is not intimidated or deterred by the task in front of her.
“I’ve become known as the one who talks about equality and pay, but I’m very grateful and blessed that we’re here,” said Hardy at the final press conference for her bout with Serrano in New York. Amanda Serrano is arguably the best female P4P fighter in the world right now, but I’m the toughest girl I know.”
Hardy being the more popular of the two women, may have the crowd behind her on fight night, giving her more motivation to perform at a higher level.
Four out of Serrano’s last five bouts have ended in a stoppage victory for the Puerto Rican while Hardy has gone the distance in her previous six fights.
Most of Hardy’s fights have proven to be back and forth brawls, but for her bout with Serrano, Hardy may be looking at taking the Puerto Rican the distance in hopes of outboxing her.
Serrano’s lone defeat as a professional came in 2012 in Sweden where she lost a unanimous decision against Frida Wahlberg for the WBC Female Super Featherweight title.
Without question, Serrano has improved since her one loss, but Hardy could utilize the tape of Serrano’s fight with Wahlberg to come up with a strategy to best offset many of her opponent's attributes.
The rise of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) on a global level has put a spotlight on the discrepancies in pay and overall coverage in Female boxing compared to their male counterparts.
Both Serrano and Hardy have participated in MMA bouts with Hardy fighting four times for MMA Company Bellator with a 2-2 record.
Serrano has competed for MMA Company Combate Americas two times gaining a record 1-0-1 and also participated in multiple jiu-jitsu tournaments.
Women’s MMA is light years ahead of Female Boxing in terms of coverage, exposure, and promotion.
There have been multiple MMA pay-per-views that have been headlined by women with success most famously when Ronda Rousey was at her apex.
This year has seen some significant matches take place in women’s boxing.
Claressa Shields took on Christina Hammer for the undisputed Female Middleweight championship with all four major titles on the line and Katie Taylor also fought for the undisputed Female Lightweight title against Delfine Persoon.
When Hardy and Serrano step in the ring to face each other this Friday night, they will be challenging more than just themselves.
They will have the opportunity to show that when promoted correctly, women’s boxing can be a viable commodity.
The impact of the bout may not be felt this year, but in years to come should more women’s boxing be prominently featured on platforms like ESPN and DAZN the future generation will have women like Hardy and Serrano to thank.
(Featured Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing)