Amanda Serrano is the new undisputed featherweight champion, winning an out-and-out war over 10 rounds with Erika Cruz tonight in New York.
Judges scored the fight 97-93, 98-92, and 98-92, which were all fair cards. Bad Left Hook had it 98-92 unofficially for Serrano, but the scores don’t tell the story of this incredible fight.
Serrano was one-half of the clear best women’s fight of 2022 — and maybe the Fight of the Year, period — in her Madison Square Garden classic with Katie Taylor, and just might have secured that honor again here against Cruz, who gave every single ounce of blood, sweat, and energy she had.
Cruz (15-2, 3 KO) came at Serrano from the opening bell the way Cruz comes at everyone, winging shots and throwing, throwing, throwing punches, tagging Serrano (44-2-1, 30 KO) plenty throughout the bout.
But a cut on Cruz’s forehead, caused by a clash of heads, probably sapped some of her strength as the fight wore on, not that you would know it from just her output. Cruz was hurt on a big shot from Serrano in round six, and by round nine, Cruz was basically totally out of gas, though she fought incredibly hard still in the final four minutes.
It was simply an unbelievable, phenomenal effort from Cruz, and from Serrano, who had to deal with that pace, with getting hit a lot, and trying to find a way to get into as much of her own rhythm as was possible. She managed it, but this was no easy fight, and nowhere close to a standard 7-3, 8-2 sort of affair.
“It’s a sigh of relief. I finally did it for my island,” Serrano said to cheers from the Puerto Rican fans.
Asked if Cruz surprised her, Serrano said, “Not at all. She’s a Mexican champion. I knew she wasn’t going to let me just take her belt. She worked hard for this, I worked hard for mine. We trained for this. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
“I’ve successfully completed all my dreams. Becoming undisputed champion was great,” Serrano said as she avoided answering what she wants to do next, before her trainer popped his head in to say, “We go to Ireland next.”
Serrano then said she has “unfinished business” with Katie Taylor.
Matchroom Boxing then ran a promo for Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano 2 on May 20 in Ireland, and Taylor came into the ring.
“The rematch between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano is on,” promoter Eddie Hearn stated.
“The last fight was an epic fight, and I think the next one is going to be the same,” said Taylor.
“She deserves to fight in Ireland, and it’s going to be a bigger and better fight over there,” Serrano said. “I know what I need to do.”
Serrano vs Cruz highlights
It's a bad cut for Cruz after a head clash... #SerranoCruz pic.twitter.com/QfkKyoKxYx— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) February 5, 2023
WHAT AN ENDING TO ROUND SIX!— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) February 5, 2023
Watch #SerranoCruz LIVE on https://t.co/FoiaUucI53 pic.twitter.com/YcyWfKc6Rs
Blood, guts and thunder #SerranoCruz | @DAZNBoxing pic.twitter.com/6Q6ACvfEMK— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) February 5, 2023