Livescore Sunday, May 19

The refusal of Amanda Serrano to compete in an undisputed featherweight fight because of issues over 12-round contests is “frustrating”, says WBC champion Skye Nicolson.

Serrano vacated her WBC title in December after the organisation refused to sanction fights of 12 three-minute rounds.

Women’s bouts are usually contested over 10 two-minute rounds.

The other major governing bodies – the IBF, WBA and WBO – now allow contests of 12 three-minute rounds, and Serrano retained those titles by beating Danila Ramos over 36 minutes last October.

Australian fighter Nicolson claimed the WBC featherweight belt earlier this month, comprehensively outpointing Sarah Mahfoud in Las Vegas, and called out Serrano for a unification bout afterwards.

Serrano, who has 46 wins from 49 professional fights including 30 knockouts, is one of the greatest female fighters of all time.

But Nicolson criticised her for her stance on the WBC’s rules, adding that the other governing bodies have “opened up a can of worms” by allowing longer bouts.

“Of course it is frustrating, all the other females are fighting 10 two-minute rounds, and she’s just come out and said, ‘this is what I want to do and what I am doing’,” Nicolson told BBC Sport.

“The other sanctioning bodies allowing that has caused a disruption in our division – now there isn’t an undisputed champion, it is very hard to make an undisputed fight when she does not want to abide by the rules that are set for everyone.

“I have no problem fighting 12 three-minute rounds, if that was the only way of fighting her I would do it. But I want to be undisputed.”

‘I’ve been on cloud nine’

Nicolson, 28, who has won all 10 of her professional fights, has catapulted herself into the conversation for major bouts following her demolition of Mahfoud.

Despite the fight going the distance, the judges scored the fight 100-90 100-90 99-91 in favour of the UK-based boxer.

“I’ve been on cloud nine,” Nicolson said of her post-fight emotions. “I felt very nervous, which I don’t usually but I had a lot of pressure on myself, a lot of expectation to put in a good performance.

“I want the other belts, it’s not that I want Serrano, it’s nothing personal, but she’s got the belts. So that’s the biggest fight out there for me, and I want to prove I am the best featherweight on the planet.”

Nicolson may have to wait however, with talks over a rematch between Serrano and Katie Taylor advancing.

Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC Sport last week that a second meeting with Serrano is “the favourite” to be confirmed out of the options available, and that talks are at an advanced stage.

Nicolson, however, says she does not feel passed over, and that it is up to her to raise her profile to the extent that she cannot be ignored by Serrano.

Serrano, aged 35, is entering the latter stages of her career – and Nicolson is determined to catch her before she retires.

“I don’t feel hard done by, all I can do is keep proving I am a fight worth making,” she said. “That is by beating who they put in front of me, becoming a bigger name, and hopefully the risk v reward for her becomes outweighed before she retires.

“I was completely written off as an opponent for Serrano six months ago, and now it’s 50-50 among the public about who would win.”

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