After claiming titles in seven different weight classes, Amanda Serrano could get her second shot at undisputed status. The WBA has officially ordered featherweight champion Erika Cruz to face Serrano, who holds the other three belts at 126, and given the pair 30 days to negotiate before a 50/50 purse bid.
It’s a very good fight on its own merits, pitting the clear #1 and #2 at 126 against one another. Cruz (15-1, 3 KO) will be the underdog, as would any woman below 130 against Serrano, but she does have two solid wins over Jelena Mrdjenovich and a split decision over Melissa Esquivel.
She’s as good an opponent as Serrano (43-2-1, 30 KO) is likely to find unless “The Real Deal” decides to jump into the 130 lb blender with Alycia Baumgardner and Mikaela Mayer.
It does, however, present a number of weird implications. In their statement, the WBA states that “there is no need for special permissions,” which implies that Serrano and Cruz are both free of any mandatory challengers. This is weird, because while Serrano did only just recently claim the IBF belt, she’s had just one featherweight fight in the last year. You’d think the WBO and WBC would have challengers for her.
Even if they don’t, it’s eyebrow-raising that the WBA can apparently just order an undisputed fight. Not that a higher authority putting their foot down and forcing the best to fight one another is necessarily a bad thing, but it makes you wonder why they haven’t done that for, say, Beterbiev vs. Bivol or Fulton vs. Akhmadaliev or Crawford vs. Spence.
While I’d love to see a relatively innocuous fight like this upend the traditional mandatory system, the answer’s probably just “we can’t technically do this but nobody cares enough to stop us.” Which, you know, fair.
Now the question is whether Serrano will take the fight, because I can’t imagine her accepting a 50/50 split against someone who’s not Katie Taylor.