Amanda Serrano vs Erika Cruz at Madison Square Garden

The Amanda Serrano Era Resumes on Saturday 


By David A. Avila

(Photo by Lewis Ward/Matchroom Boxing)

Amanda Serrano continues to build an unprecedented journey of formidable accomplishments that no one can duplicate again.

Already the Empire State Building next door seems puny next to her resume.

Serrano, 34, the Puerto Rican fighter from Brooklyn, NY continues the road toward soaking up more jeweled achievements. This time seeks to become Puerto Rico’s first ever undisputed world champion.

“Puerto Rico is my place of birth so its important to represent what’s mine with pride,” said Serrano to the “Come February 4, I’ll do exactly that.”

And of course, as if written by the Gods of war, she will be fighting a Mexican for the distinction.

WBC, WBO, IBF and IBO featherweight titlist Serrano (43-2-1, 30 KOs) heads back to Madison Square Garden to clash with WBA titlist Erika Cruz (15-1, 3 KOs) on Saturday Feb. 4, for the undisputed featherweight world champion.

Whoever wins is the true featherweight champion.

For Serrano, if she wins its yet another accolade dripping with history and glory.

If you know boxing history, any time a Puerto Rican fights a Mexican for a world title it won’t be easy. The record books are filled with glittering showdowns between Mexicanos and Boricuas since 1960. One fan favorite was Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez who accepted all challenges against tremendous Mexican fighters like Carlos Zarate, Lupe Pintor and Salvador Sanchez.

Serrano has taken the same path when given the opportunity and vanquished Yazmin Rivas and Yamileth Mercado. Now it’s Cruz’s turn.

“Defeating a Mexican fighter is not that important to me, what’s important is to be part of a long rivalry, in which both of us Puerto Rican and Mexican have given amazing fights,” Serrano said. “It’s sort of like a tradition that when you match the two countries together you’re guaranteed a great fight.”

Cruz expects a battle too.

“I’m going to give absolutely everything. As a good Mexican, give absolutely everything to win,” said Cruz at the press conference. “I hope God-willing that I can go on to be victorious on Saturday night.”

Mexico City’s Cruz, an unconventional fighter, is a southpaw. Serrano is a southpaw too. Lefty versus lefty usually causes unpredictability. Will it happen with this fight?

So far no one or style has been able to crack Serrano’s blend of power and fighting skills that enabled her to topple fellow pound for pound fighter Daniela Bermudez a few years back. She also traded blows evenly with the great Katie Taylor for 10 rounds in a firefight that fans will remember for decades. Maybe forever in the annals of prizefighting.

One other major accomplishment was becoming one of the first female fighters in America to gain more than $1 million in a single fight when she battled Taylor in April 2022. The other was MMA’s Ronda Rousey who did it nearly a decade ago.

“It’s a blessing to be rewarded for your accomplishments,” said Serrano regarding the major purses acquired recently.

Serrano, the soft-talking, big hitting fighter with world titles in seven weight divisions has been part of the women’s movement longer than any other fighter this era, except a handful like Layla McCarter and Mariana Juarez.

She continues to gather stepping-stones in history like a vacuum cleaner. Any record within her reach Serrano has been able to conquer. This new venture is just another stone on the road for the “Real Deal” Serrano.

“Nothing rates above being a seven-division world champion. It’s only been done by myself and Manny Pacquiao,” said Serrano about her favorite accomplishment.

Now Serrano attempts to become Puerto Rico’s first undisputed world champion.

“My island has never had one and I want to give them that,” Serrano said.

More history will be made by the great Serrano on Saturday night. Years and decades from now American fans will remember this as the Amanda Serrano era.