Katie Taylor’s fight against Amanda Serrano revives the debate around 2-minute rounds in women’s boxing
As female fighters have more and more opportunities in combat sports, the debate over equal pay and equal time continues.
On Saturday April 30, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano will participate in the Main Event at Madison Square Garden. They will make seven figures for the fight, unheard of in women’s boxing. It’s the start of something that will hopefully continue down the line.
Taylor and Serrano help lead the way, but one factor still in question is even time. Women’s boxing is known for having ten two-minute rounds, instead of the standard three-minute rounds that men compete in.
It’s a topic that has sparked debate among fighters, promoters, medical professionals and commissions alike. This is especially true when female MMA fighters face off in five-minute rounds that can go up to 25 minutes.
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Claressa Shields, the undisputed middleweight champion, was a big defender in the three-minute rounds. Shields, along with fighters like Marlen Esparza, has tried to convince governing bodies and anyone who will listen that there needs to be change.
“I care about sport and I know full well that [round and fight length] That’s why we don’t get paid like men and also why women’s boxing isn’t considered on the same level as men’s boxing,” Shields told Yahoo Sports. “We don’t even go three minutes. For example, forget the 12 rounds, but we don’t even box the three minute rounds. A lot of fans have told me that they feel like they’ve been cheated in our fights. ’cause they’re two minutes away…. They want to see their favorite fighter get knocked out, they want to see their favorite fighter look smart and have enough time to perform, and two minutes isn’t enough .
Is there a valid reason why women don’t get a fair share of time? Should there be an extra minute in every women’s bout? The Sporting News takes a look at the debate and sees if there are any conclusions that could argue for or against three-minute rounds.
What science and research say about 2 vs. 3 minute rounds
The WBC, led by Mauricio Sulaiman, has been against three-minute rounds for women’s boxing. Research provided by his team indicates that women are at greater risk than men. There are other studies that might explain why three-minute rounds should or shouldn’t be the norm.
Research is shared.
In 2020, a study published in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine concluded, by DAZN“Female athletes appear to experience more severe concussions than male athletes, in part due to a lower biomechanical tolerance threshold for head impacts.”
However, a December 2021 Case Study examination of 23 athletes found no such link. This study found that although head trauma had a different impact on men and women, there was no significant difference in the magnitude of the impact.
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In a study of American Brain Injury Association, traumatic brain injury in women was treated differently than I was. Women expressed a greater intention to report sports-related concussions and are more likely to report headaches and nausea/vomiting. Men, however, have a higher incidence rate of TBI than women through adulthood.
Dr. Patrick Hof, Irving and Dorothy Regenstreif Research Professor of Neuroscience in the Nash Family Neuroscience Department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, was interviewed in 2015. A case in the 90s, titled “drunken punch”, showed that more research was needed to determine whether women’s brains needed more time to heal in order to avoid CTE or other post-concussive symptoms. drastic. However, there was not enough research on CTE and women in sport (at that time, at least).
What Taylor, Serrano and Other Fighters Say About 2-on-3 Minute Rounds
Serrano has been a three-minute round defender in the past. She even asked Taylor to do the fight for three minutes at a press conference in February.
“We both earn the biggest salary,” Serrano said, via the boxing scene. “I think we should continue to make this fight iconic, make [changes] in this game. If Katie Taylor wants it, I’m ready and able to make it an even fight: 12 rounds, three minutes… It’s a matter of equality and we should make the switch right away. So, Katie, are you in? »
Taylor, the champ who has fought in some hotly contested fights at MSG before, said it wouldn’t make a difference in the fight.
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Speaking to The Sporting News, Taylor went on to say: “I think the two minute lap is very fast and very quick. It makes for a very exciting fight. With three minute rounds they say there will be a lot more knockouts. Sometimes I don’t think there will be. Look at the lighter weights in men’s boxing. There are very few knockouts because you don’t hit hard enough.
Seniesa Estrada fought Marlen Esparza in 2019 for the WBA interim flyweight title. They requested that the fight be three-minute rounds, and Golden Boy complied. It was a great fight that raised awareness of the subject. Outside of the WBC, the WBA and other sanctioning bodies are reviewing other research regarding the round schedule.
Senior Boxing Scene Writer Jake Donovan told The Sporting News he agreed with Serrano’s sentiment and said the commissions needed to talk to the sanctioning bodies who all needed to be on board. The New York Athletic Commission in this case should approve something like this for Taylor and Serrano. The California State Athletic Commission found documents against WBC position. CSAC’s Andy Foster was open to something between Estrada and Tenkai Tsunami in 2021 if the WBO and fighters approved it. Tsunami didn’t approve, so those rules never materialized for the fight.
Mikaela Mayer joins Shields on a quest for change. The WBO, IBF and The Ring super-featherweight champion told The Sporting News: “I think we should do three-minute rounds. This is the next step. The talent pool and skill level are high enough now that women are given three-minute rounds. This will separate the good from the great and allow us to showcase our skills more. More knockouts and more excitement can come from that… Think about how fights can change in the second half. This is when your discipline and conditioning sets in. I think women deserve this chance.
” What should be ? All governing bodies need to get on the same page. It just can’t be, ‘Hey girl, let’s make a statement, and do three-minute rounds for this fight.’ No. We deserve to be equal in all areas, to be properly compensated for our work. We need everyone to be on the same page. It depends on the governing bodies. »
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Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn is a true advocate for women in sport. He told The Sporting News perhaps three-minute rounds could be used for more established fighters. He was fine with a fast style, which grabs people’s attention. Young prospect Skye Nicolson is on the fence with two rounds against three minutes, but told The Sporting News it didn’t really make sense why it hadn’t been discussed further.
What happens next
There are mixed reviews when it comes to two- or three-minute rounds with compelling arguments on either side. While two-minute rounds can create entertaining moments. The three-minute rounds could be a real catalyst for change and attract more viewers.
Can anything be done about this?
Only time will tell based on the commission, as well as further research. The idea that Taylor versus Serrano is happening is the first step. With enough data out in the open, maybe something can be done. Until then, fast-paced fights will continue to be the norm.