Amanda Serrano and Alycia Baumgardner might at some point discover themselves on a collision course.
For now, the 2 will chase historical past on the identical New York Metropolis present.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that plans are finalized for 2 undisputed championships atop a February 4 DAZN present from Madison Sq. Backyard’s Hulu Theater in New York Metropolis. Brooklyn’s Serrano will face Mexico Metropolis’s Erika Cruz for all of the featherweight chips within the night’s headlining act, whereas BoxingScene.com has discovered that Baumgardner’s quest for the undisputed junior light-weight championship will come versus France’s Elhem Mekhaled.
Unbeaten red-hot prospects Ramla Ali and Skye Nicolson–who represented Somalia and Australia, respectively within the 2020 Tokyo Olympics—are additionally anticipated to seem in separate bouts. On the lads’s facet of the game, BoxingScene.com has discovered that there ongoing efforts to finalize an opponent for Brooklyn’s Richardson Hitchins, a consultant of Haiti within the 2016 Rio Olympics and present unbeaten junior welterweight contender.
Serrano will danger her lineal/WBC/IBF/WBO featherweight championship, whereas the visiting Cruz (15-1, 3KOs) brings her WBA title to the desk to crown the division’s first ever undisputed queen. Extra historical past is pursued by Serrano (43-2-1, 30KOs), as a win will depart the record-setting seven-division titlist as the one Puerto Rican boxer ever—male or feminine—to grow to be undisputed champion.
Fittingly, the hunt lands on the identical venue that noticed Serrano reclaim her WBO featherweight title in a September 2019 landslide win over then-unbeaten titlist and fellow Brooklyn native Heather Hardy. The 34-year-old Boricua southpaw has since claimed the WBC title by way of improve from interim title standing when Jelena Mrdjenovich was unable to honor her obligatory title protection.
The IBF title was added to Serrano’s assortment following her dominant ten-round win over undefeated Sarah Mahfoud of their September 24 unification bout in Manchester, England.
Three weeks previous to Serrano-Mahfoud, Cruz posted the second protection of her WBA titie in a repeat win over Mrdjenovich. The ten-round digital shutout noticed Cruz prolong her present 14-fight win streak in addition to her title reign courting again to an April 2021 technical choice victory over Mrdjenovich in West Level, New York.
For Serrano, it’s additionally a second try at changing into undisputed champion along with her earlier effort happening in MSG’s most important room. She fell simply in need of making historical past as Eire’s Katie Taylor escaped their April 30 superfight with a break up choice win in entrance of a sold-out crowd. Their immediate traditional has dominated awards season, together with BoxingScene.com’s runaway favourite for 2022 Girls’s Struggle of the Yr—and on this author’s opinion, the very best general struggle of 2022 no matter gender.
Taylor-Serrano was additionally accompanied by a second undisputed championship. Baltimore’s Franchon Crews-Dezurn soundly outpointed Sweden’s unbeaten Elin Cederroos to defend her WBC/WBO tremendous middleweight titles and declare the lineal/WBA/IBF championship along with her historic win.
Baumgarder (13-1, 7KOs) is now poised to create comparable historical past because the first-ever undisputed junior light-weight champion.
The hard-hitting and multi-talented 28-year-old from the higher Detroit space unified all however one divisional title following her ten-round, majority choice win over Mikaela Mayer. Their October 15 grudge match noticed Baumgardner defend her WBC title and snatch the IBF/WBO belts from Mayer of their unification bout because the co-feature of an all-women’s card at The O2 in London.
For Baumgardner, it was the third struggle in a row in jolly previous England. The journey started along with her first title win, a fourth-round knockout of unbeaten WBC champ Terri Harper final November 13 in Sheffield, England. Wedged in between the title wins was a ten-round shutout over former unified featherweight titlist Edith Soledad Matthysse on April 16 in Manchester.
Following the win over Mayer, Baumgardner and her group—together with co-promoters Marshall Kauffman (King’s Promotions) and Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Boxing)—petitioned the WBA to order an undisputed championship. The transfer got here shortly after the sanctioning physique took an analogous measure in calling for a Serrano-Cruz conflict as a part of its ‘One Boxing’ marketing campaign to crown an undisputed champion in each weight division.
With the decision got here utilized strain positioned on WBA junior light-weight titlist Hyun Mi Choi (20-0-1, 5KOs), the longest reigning energetic titlist on the time—male or feminine. It ended with the North Korea-born, Seoul-based two-division titlist submitting an damage exemption simply because the struggle was destined to go to a handbag bid listening to. The WBA break up the child, downgrading Choi to ‘Champion in Recess’ whereas allowing Baumgardner to vie for the now vacant title in opposition to the highest-ranked obtainable challenger.
Mekhaled (15-1, 3KOs) is ranked quantity three by the WBA. The previous interim WBC titlist endured her lone profession defeat in her most up-to-date begin, dropping a aggressive unanimous choice to former WBC light-weight champ Delfine Persoon of their fiercely contested ten-round slugfest on Might 21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The struggle endured a quick cancellation and a location change as each boxers flew house throughout struggle week after which again to the Center East as soon as plans had been restored for the Floyd Mayweather-Don Moore exhibition bout on the high of the invoice.
The upcoming showdown with Baumgardner will mark the U.S. debut for Mekhaled, who will practice within the states for the bout.
It should additionally function the primary U.S.-based struggle for Baumgardner since changing into champ. She has not fought in-country since an eight-round choice win over Vanessa Bradford final August 14 in Orlando, Florida.
Serrano makes her fourth general look on MSG grounds, all in title fights.
Her first struggle at MSG Hulu Theater got here in January 2019, when she knocked out Eva Voraberger in simply 35 seconds to win the WBO junior bantamweight title. The struggle befell 25 kilos under her earlier struggle when she claimed the WBO 140-pound belt in a September 2018 win in her Brooklyn house borough. The 2 wins ran her title assortment to seven divisions, a document for all feminine fightes in addition to any Puerto Rican boxer.
In her subsequent struggle after the win over Voraberger to increase her personal divisional title document, Serrano returned to her pure featherweight body for the aforementioned victory over Hardy. Three profitable defenses have come of Serrano’s third tour as a featherweight champion, together with two fights at light-weight throughout that stretch—a ten-round win over former title challenger Miriam Gutierrez final December 18 in Tampa, adopted by the historic conflict with Taylor.
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox