Amanda Serrano to defend title in rematch vs. Heather Hardy
Women’s boxing star Amanda Serrano’s next fight is for high stakes against an old rival.
Serrano will put her undisputed featherweight title on the line against Heather Hardy in the co-main event of the Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz card Aug. 5 in Dallas, officials told ESPN on Thursday. Serrano beat Hardy, her fellow Brooklyn resident, in a grueling unanimous decision victory back in 2019 to win the WBO women’s featherweight belt.
With a win in August, Serrano will seek a rematch with Katie Taylor in Taylor’s home country of Ireland. The two fought last year in what was the first-ever women’s headliner at Madison Square Garden and one of the biggest women’s boxing matches ever. Serrano is promoted by Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions.
“Amanda is one of the most decorated and elite athletes ever and is on path to become the winningest female boxer of all time,” Most Valuable Promotions co-founder Nakisa Bidarian said in a statement. “After some much-needed recovery time, Amanda is excited to return to the ring and remind fans why she is the most devastating puncher in women’s boxing. If Amanda prevails in the fight, the plan is to immediately pursue the rematch with Katie Taylor in Ireland.”
Serrano (44-2-1) has won two straight since falling to Taylor in a close split decision in April 2022. She is the first Puerto Rican-born undisputed world champion in boxing history. Serrano, 34, has 30 knockout victories in her career and has lost just once — the Taylor fight — in 11 years. She has won titles in seven different weight divisions.
“I am the undisputed featherweight champion today because Heather Hardy agreed to fight me in 2019 for her WBO title,” Serrano said. “That was the first step in my current run at featherweight. It’s only right that I give her the opportunity to earn it back. I’m excited to once again share the card with Jake and put on an exciting war.”
Hardy (22-2, 1 NC) has fought just once since Serrano spoiled her undefeated record in 2019. “The Heat,” who is promoted by Lou DiBella, fell via unanimous decision to Jessica Camara in May 2021. Hardy, 41, has also competed in MMA under the Bellator banner. She was the WBO women’s featherweight champion in 2018 and 2019.
“I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity,” Hardy said. “In 2021, I came back to boxing with a renewed passion for the sport. My late trainer told me, the day before he died, that 2023 would be my year. Now, I have the opportunity to prove him right and become an undisputed champion. Thank you to Amanda and team for keeping their word on giving me the rematch, but come fight night, I only have winning on my mind and stealing the show from Jake Paul and Nate Diaz.”