Amanda Serrano outpoints gutsy Erika Cruz, rematch with Katie Taylor next

Amanda Serrano added an undisputed title to her rich legacy. And the best may yet be to come.

Serrano endured a vigorous effort by Erica Cruz to win a one-sided decision in an entertaining brawl for all four major titles at 126 pounds on Saturday night at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York.

She is the first Puerto Rican native to become the undisputed champion, which has been her goal for many years.

Next? A rematch with undisputed 135-pound champion Katie Taylor, who successfully defended her belts against Serrano by split decision last April at MSG.

On Saturday, it seemed that this match would be in jeopardy for a while.

Known for her punching power, Cruz fired the first bell and fought Serrano roughly evenly in the first half of the fight, although she cut herself badly at her hairline from an accidental clash of heads in the 3rd round.

However, as the blood continued to flow down her face and she grew weary, Serrano firmly controlled the fight with hard and accurate one-two combinations while Cruz continued to push forward.

“[Trainer] Jordan [Maldonado] shouted: “One-two, one-two.” Get back to basics,” Serrano said. “My left caught it quite clearly. I just listened to the corner.”

Indeed, Cruz showed uncommon determination and resilience, but it was Serrano who landed the cleanest and most devastating punches.

Thus, the official account was not close. Two judges scored the result 98–92 and the third judge scored it 97–93, making Serrano “undisputed” for the first time. Boxing Junkie also went 97-93 to Serrano, seven rounds to three.

Serrano, a seven-division title holder, entered the fray with the IBF, WBC and WBO belts. On Saturday, she added the WBA title to Cruz.

“Finally I did it for my island,” said Serrano, who grew up in Brooklyn. “.. I love you very much.”

Cruz didn’t surprise Serrano with her remarkable efforts.

“Not at all,” she said. “She is the champion of Mexico. I said it from the very beginning. I knew she wasn’t going to just let me take her belt. She worked hard for this, I worked hard for mine. This is what we expected, this is what we were preparing for. We didn’t expect anything less.”

The victory marks perhaps the biggest fight in women’s boxing, the second meeting with the undefeated Taylor.

Eddie Hearn, who promotes both fighters, said after the fight – the first time the two undisputed champions will face each other – it will take place on May 20 in Ireland, Taylor’s hometown. Taylor (22-0, 6 KOs) is a hero in her homeland but has never fought there.

“Kathy is a true champion,” Serrano said. “She came here to New York. … Now she deserves a fight in Ireland. There will be a bigger and better fight.”

If they deliver half the excitement that Serrano and Cruz gave to the Irish fans on Saturday, they will be worth their money.


Alicia Baumgardner easily beat Elhem Mekhaled to become the undisputed 140lb champion.

The story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie.


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