The narrative of women in sports often finds itself relegated to the sidelines. It is our mission to change that, to amplify their accomplishments and to weave a tapestry of stories that inspire and empower. Our weekly column Latin Women in Sports seeks to applaud their accomplishments, break down barriers, and champion the idea that in sports, as in life, every voice deserves to be heard.

Amanda Serrano
Amanda Serrano is the first female boxer to make a million dollars off a fight, win a world championship in seven divisions and the first to participate in a three-minute, 12 round, championship bout in the history of boxing. Via Amanda Serrano @serranosisters on Instagram

ALABAMA - Fearless, unstoppable, confident and tough. If you had to choose four words to describe Amanda Serrano, those would appropriately pay tribute to the Puerto Rican's never-ending desire to succeed in women's boxing.

Amanda Serrano best KO's; she has won 65% of her fights via KO (30 KO's)

The beginning of Serrano's journey was challenging, as not even her family was okay with her dream of becoming a professional fighter. Her sister Cindy and brother-in-law Jordan Maldonado tried to stop her. "He had my sister beat me up to discourage me from going into the sport," recalls Serrano during an interview with New York Post. "But she couldn't beat me up. I kept on coming back. I was actually ready for it."

Cindy Serrano is a former boxer herself, holding multiple world titles during her career at the featherweight and lightweight classes. In 2016, the Serrano sisters made history by becoming the first female siblings to hold world championship belts from a major sanctioning body at the same time.

Amanda Serrano began her amateur career in 2008 at the age of 17 and, has used her platform ever since to champion for equality, demanding the same opportunities as her male counterparts and setting an example for Latin women in sports.

In an interview with British newspaper The Guardian, Serrano shared how difficult it was for her and other women, to get opportunities in the world of boxing. "People didn't want to help us," she said. "Getting promoters, getting networks wanting to promote us and take chances with us, it was unheard of."

However, Serrano's efforts have helped push for a change in recent years, as more promoters have started to show support for women's boxing. "Showtime are putting women on, and Top Rank and all these promoters are starting to play women little by little," she said during the interview.

Nicknamed "The Real Deal", Serrano's fighting career has also taken her to the world of mixed martial arts due to lack of funding and disparities between men and women's prize money in boxing. Serrano made her debut in MMA in 2018, fighting a total of three times since then. "We female fighters have to jump around [weight classes] because we don't get as many opportunities for fights or world titles. Wherever I get one I go," she said.

Throughout her accomplished career, Serrano has amassed a record of 46-2-1 with 30 of her wins coming via KO. She made history in 2019 by securing her seventh world title in different weight divisions, making her the only woman in history with such an achievement. Only Manny Pacquiao has won more titles in different divisions than Serrano, with eight.

The now 35-year-old might now be reaching the end of her journey as a professional boxer. In an interview with EFE, Serrano said that her goal is to retire from boxing having won at least 50 fights. "I have talked with my trainer and I told him I wanted to reach 50 wins," Serrano said.

To reach the milestone, she would need to win four more bouts, including her next fight against Nina Meinke, set to take place on March 2. There, she will put her unified women's featherweight titles on the line at the famous Coliseo de Puerto Rico, in San Juan.

In her never-ending pursuit for greatness, Serrano has truly become one of the biggest stars in the history of women's boxing and, more importantly, a trailblazer for other Latin women in sports.

In 2022, Serrano fought Katie Taylor for the undisputed lightweight championship at Madison Square Garden. It was the first time in the venue's more than 140 years of boxing history that a women's fight was the headline card. And just last year, she made history twice by becoming the first Puerto Rican boxer (male or female) to be an undisputed world champion after defeating Mexico's Erica Cruz in front of another sold-out Madison Square Garden.

Amanda Serrano and Erika Cruz threw over 1,900 punches during their fight at Madison Square Garden

Just last December, Serrano closed out a historic 2023 with a fight against Danila Ramos, the first time that a women's championship fight was contested over 12 three-minute rounds. Up until Serrano, female boxers were only able to compete in bouts of 10 (or fewer) rounds at two minutes each.

After her win over Ramos, "The Real Deal" Serrano mad a message for women boxers. "I know the women out there, they saw that it's possible, that we can do it. And me and Danila, we showed that we're capable. There's going to be a lot of women out there that are going to say, 'Yes, they did it. Now I can do it,'" she said.

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