In a resounding call for gender equality in the world of professional boxing, a coalition of current and former female fighters, led by the undisputed featherweight world champion Amanda Serrano, has boldly declared that women boxers should have the same choice as their male counterparts – the option to participate in 12-round title fights.
Traditionally, women’s championship bouts have been limited to 10 rounds, with each round lasting two minutes. However, Serrano, in a groundbreaking move, is set to break these boundaries in her upcoming unified title fight against Danila Ramos later this month in Orlando, Florida. Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) has confirmed that the WBO, WBA, and IBF have endorsed this decision.
Serrano’s fight is a watershed moment for women’s boxing, as it marks the first time a unified championship bout will be contested under the same rules as men’s fights, featuring 12 rounds of three minutes each.
In a unified statement issued by over two dozen female fighters, including legendary boxer Laila Ali, Britain’s two-weight world champion Natasha Jonas, and boxer-turned-UFC fighter Holly Holm, the fighters expressed their collective desire for equality in the sport.
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“We stand together with the desire and dedication to have the CHOICE to perform on the same stage, with the same rules, as men in professional boxing,” the statement reads.
“We have earned the CHOICE of 3-minute rounds, with 12 rounds for championship fights to demonstrate our skill and greatness.”
The fighters assert that their sport has long been “underpromoted and undercompensated,” with female boxers often denied the same opportunities as their male counterparts to “showcase our skill.”
Amanda Serrano elaborated on the need for choice, stating, “Female boxers compete in MMA with 5-minute rounds, the same as their male counterparts. Even in bare-knuckle boxing, women and men compete with the same rules.”
Serrano was part of a historic moment last year when she and Irishwoman Katie Taylor headlined a fight at the iconic Madison Square Garden, marking the first time women had ever achieved such a feat at the renowned venue. Taylor emerged victorious in a split decision, captivating a sellout crowd.
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This advocacy for equal opportunities and choices in professional boxing signifies a significant step forward for women in the sport, and it echoes a broader movement across various disciplines to break down gender barriers.
The demand for equal opportunities and choices for female boxers reflects the broader push for gender equality in the world of sports. Amanda Serrano and her fellow fighters are championing a cause that extends beyond the boxing ring, setting a precedent for other sports to follow.
The move to allow female boxers the option of 12-round title fights is not just about extending the duration of bouts; it symbolizes a shift towards recognizing women’s boxing on par with men’s, and ultimately, this could lead to greater visibility, recognition, and opportunities for female fighters in the future.