Serrano becomes undisputed in bloodbath

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Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

WBC/IBF/WBO titleholder Amanda Serrano (44-2-1, 30 KOs) added the WBA title of Erika Cruz (15-2, 3 KOs) with a very exciting ten round unanimous decision to become undisputed female featherweight world champion on Saturday night at the Hulu Theater inside Madison Square Garden in New York City. Good toe-to-toe action early on with Cruz doing way better than expected. Cruz was cut on the forehand from a third round headbutt. Cruz put on a lot of pressure as she windmilled her way in. Serrano rocked Cruz in round six and took over after that as Cruz slowed down. Scores were 98-92, 98-92, 97-93. Fifth straight decision fights for the 34-year-old Serrano.

After the fight, promoter Eddie Hearn announced that Serrano will now face Katie Taylor in a rematch on May 20 in Ireland.

Results from Nicaragua
Baumgardner becomes undisputed

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  • Great scrap! Cruz can fight. She’s not on Serrano’s level of talent, but she can fight and she has a big heart. Whenever. Serrano splits up all of those titles, I expect Cruz to pick up another one.

  • At the risk of sounding sexist or misogynistic, I have to say, the skill level in women’s boxing is so low it’s a wonder they can fill seats.

    Even at the highest levels, you may get one fighter who is semi-solid. Mekhaled really didn’t belong in the ring with her, and despite Baumgardner’s skill, she couldn’t get her out of there, and Mekhaled had no concept of how to fight hurt.

    In the main event, Cruz was tough and made for an entertaining fight, but her skills were on par with someone who had a few toughman fights. The fact that Serrano struggled that much does not bode well. She cannot fight in such a one-dimensional way and expect to beat Taylor. It’s hard to find a female fighter who can actually make in-fight adjustments or has any sort of multi-faceted game.

    I respect anyone who is willing to get in the ring, and the main event was entertaining, but this is the highest level, and it’s abysmal.

    • It’s because women were not created to fight they don’t posess the physical tools needed to box at an elite level. Unfortunately in todays ultra liberal society, woke community is telling women they are the same as men and should aim to become like them.

    • Respect your opinion…but totally disagree…I can point out things in the Ali vs Mathie fight that some male fighters can’t do.two..highly competitive…highly skilled female fighters both under 10 fights…to the untrain eye maybe females can’t fight but someone that knows boxing…. understand under that gender is certainly not an issue and certainly no less competitive and entertaining in this gladiator sport…

      • Well, what this guy is saying is absurd. I’m not saying women aren’t meant to fight. But to ignore the MASSIVE skill gap between male and female fighters is just being completely disingenuous, and only serves to further harm the sport. Their gender, in and of itself, is not the issue at all though. The issue is, like anything, competition. Competition increases the level of any sort of game/business/whatever. Being that women’s boxing is relatively new (in comparison to men’s), and the fact that there are not many skilled athletes choosing boxing has lead to a pretty dismal state.

        There are talented female fighters, but they are relatively few and far between, and anyone who watched these fights tonight (and this is at or near the highest level of the sport) that doesn’t recognize the massive skill gap cannot have an opinion on boxing that can be all that meaningful. Any fighter with serious skills would have annihilated Cruz. I can make a list a page long of how many things she not only does wrong, but things a male fighter simply could not get away with at any sort of high level.

        • Spot on Colby. Although it was a great fight, it had very little fundamental boxing. I was surprised by Serrano as she does posses boxing skills. I guess styles make fights.

    • Obviously you don’t know much about boxing. Serrano started boxing jabbing and moving during the first few rounds, then changed her strategy to go toe to toe when noticed she was being more effective.

  • When you see females battering each other & getting bloody in your heart you know it’s WRONG. Women were not created to fight, they were created to be caregivers. Women’s boxing along with transgender boxers are a real LOW point in society & probably going to get worse.

    • “they were created to be caregivers”

      And to have babies, perpetuate the race! That’s how life works on planet earth!

      The only real women I see in womens boxing are the ring girls.

  • well I have to say that these girls have a lot more hard than some of the men champions and they can scrap too

    • That is absolutely true. They are lacking in skill, but DEFINITELY not heart. They both gave everything they had, and I’m not blaming them at all. It’s a function of little competition. There are so few decent fighters in female boxing that, in its current state, there will be little to no progress on the skills front.

  • The fact that Serrano and Baumgartner are both undisputed champions only demonstrates that women’s boxing is clearly lacking in depth and competition. There are around 10 “total” female boxers (in the entire sport) that have name recognition.

    Add the fact that most of these female boxers are not young. Baumgartner and Carissa Shields are among the rare fighters that are under the age of 30. Current top P4P fighter Katie Taylor will turn 37 in July.

    With all that said, I really enjoyed tonights action.

    • Absolutely. I’m not against women fighting. I don’t think women are inherently unable to fight, but just look at the competition (or lack thereof). This is the top of the game, and this is a level of skill that wouldn’t even get you anywhere near a world ranking in men’s boxing at any weight class. That’s just a fact.

      • Colby I wonder why you seem to feel the need to compare a developing sport, even one that is enjoying success, to one that has been around for…. hundreds of years? The comparison between men’s and women’s boxing, as they exist now, is meaningless. What represents the top of one does not represent the top of the other. And that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that. Women’s basketball, soccer, tennis, hockey- none of them really look like the male version of the sport.

        • Well, because I’m actually looking for these individuals to succeed and improve and also make more money, and that happens with a better sport.

          I’m comparing boxing to boxing. If you think women don’t deserve a comparison to men, then I would question why you feel that way.

          Next, women’s boxing is much newer than male’s. However, the point I’m making (using the one of the only relevant comparisons that is available) is that the skill levels have not grown that much in the past 30 years. If you look at the days of Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker, there isn’t a huge increase in skills.

          Also, boxing of all sorts has far more headwinds than it does tailwinds. Financially, it’s not a great investment (if you don’t believe me ask the people suing Waddell and Reed because of the financial fiasco that was PBC… nearly a half a billion dollars lost). Just because certain people make a lot of money does not mean it’s a healthy industry. Combat sports, especially boxing, are not en vogue amongst the youth in this country. Ask anyone who has been in gyms over the past 50 years, and they will tell you how little activity there is. Ask how many boxing trainers had to supplement their income by moving to MMA. Look at celebrity “boxers” who make far more than even elite world championship boxers. Boxing’s problems don’t simply exist for women’s boxing. However, when you are already coming from behind with the same headwinds as everyone else, it is not an enviable position.

          Also, just because a women’s version of a sport is not flourishing elsewhere is hardly relevant. USA Women’s soccer teams (the biggest sport in the world) have often faired better than the males. Women’s MMA is far newer than boxing, and they have experienced a greater increase in skill levels. There are other examples, but it’s not a useful comparison and is quite sexist and defeatist honestly. Plus, I’m not talking just money. I’m talking skills. Some of the sports you mentioned are suffering because of institutionalized disenfranchisement that, even with solid skills, make it harder to earn a living.

          I don’t know if you lack maturity or this bothers you on some personal level, but the reason I am mentioning this is because we saw boxing at the highest level, and these were skill levels you would see in a JO tournament… maybe.

          But to some up why I’m comparing them in a few words… it is because I care! If you are looking at this honestly and with real data, no sort of boxing can afford any more headwinds. You can sit and watch and ignore the obvious issues, but how has ignorance ever helped any situation progress?

          • Women play sports differently than men do. It doesn’t mean that one is “better” at it. Maybe not for you but, for me, they’re two different sports. In the same way that I’m not going to watch a women’s basketball game and be upset that I’m not seeing dunking and fastbreaks, I’m not going to watch a women’s fight and expect what I would see from two men – at any level. Not because one is better and one is less deserving but, for me, they are 2 different sports and they always will be. I have seen progress. The amateur system is much stronger now, to the point where the two best fighters are former Olympic gold medalists and I the sport will continue to develop on that end. That did not exist to that degree in the days of Martin & Rjiker.

          • You’re saying that the skills for women’s boxing are different from men’s boxing? Explain how that is because it’s the same sport being played out by two equal human beings. What attributes does a woman need that a man doesn’t and vice versa?

            Do you know when women’s boxing started in the olympics? 2012. Pretty difficult for anyone to be an Olympic gold medalist when the sport doesn’t exist. Had the Olympics allowed women’s boxing, Martin, Rijker, and the like would have been front runners.

            Also, the Olympic thing makes no sense even if the sport did exist at the time because there is no outside comparison. That’s like saying you have a class of 10 people who were poor performers, but in this same class it was mandated that a gold star had to be given to the top student. The top student doesn’t have to get any better to win a gold star.

            The amateur system across boxing is NOT stronger than ever. Just look at the ratio of olympic medalists who became world champions in the past vs now. Just because women’s boxing was added to the olympics does not necessarily mean the professional level is all that benefited. Professional and amateur boxing are two totally different games. As a matter of fact, Olympic boxing has gotten so bad, they actually started allowing professional fighters to compete.

            Also, I’m not upset about it, but it doesn’t bode well for the future. You’re totally ignoring the points I’ve made about the major headwinds (these are not debatable) facing boxing. These still face women’s boxing. MMA has still progressed far more in a shorter period of time. I didn’t say women’s boxing has made NO progress, but it certainly is not significant if this is the skill level you get from UNDISPUTED champions. Further evidence that women’s boxing is not in a good state is the fact that there are so many undisputed champions in a four belt era. It’s so much easier to attain in women’s boxing because the competition is not there. If you go 2-3 fighters deep in the world rankings of any division, you won’t find high skilled fighters. When you look at the challenges facing boxing and the skill levels that have been on display at the highest levels of women’s boxing, it doesn’t look that rosy.

      • Unfortunately men are becoming more feminine. This toxic woke culture. Instead of being a traditional male & wanting to protect women you want to watch them beat themselves to death. Now we have sickness in this society of females taking testosterone trying to become boys & vice versa, its all connected. And no women don’t lack heart they are emotionally strong creatures, equal to men but they don’t serve the same purpose as men.

    • And i’m not even addressing the age thing. If you lump that in, the picture gets worse.

  • I really enjoy female boxing and think it’s come a long way. I feel that its not fair to compare it to men’s boxing, rather, compare it to female boxing from 5 to 10 years ago. It’s growing rapidly and as the pay packets increase, so will the participation levels and thus the skill level. The talent pool will definitely increase and I believe that in another few years will be even bigger and better.

    • Is it really growing rapidly though? I agree it’s not an apples to apples comparison. But It would be hard for me to argue that Christy Martin or Lucia Rijker were from an era of less skill, overall. Either of those two would have no issue in competing in today’s sport, and that is going back 20-30 years. So the idea that is growing rapidly is not something I can really justify. Boxing generally is not growing rapidly, so female boxing is also at the mercy of the issues that plague all of boxing.

      • Coby, when it comes to past greats, many can compete in this or any other era ex Hagler, Robinson, Pernell etc.

        • That is HIGHLY debatable first of all. Secondly, who said men’s boxing was doing all that good? It’s not a great industry to be in which is all the worse for women’s boxing. Celebrity boxers on average far outearn real fighters even world champions.

          Boxing, across the board, is not in a good position. Plus, you are acting like there is no ability for skills to crossover into women’s boxing. You’re saying that women need to biologically evolve more? If you aren’t then why wouldn’t women be able to benefit from men’s boxing. Boxing skills are the same for women as they are men. So this idea that it’s this brand new thing does affect competition, but you are acting like women cannot learn from athletes of the past or its like some totally different game.

          It’s nonsensical. Plus why is everyone so up in arms about a very obvious issue that needs improvement? This is not against women at all. It’s a desire to improve a sport that needs improving, and that starts with an honest assessment of the current state.

      • Add Laila Ali and Anne Wolfe to that list. These four were scoring brutal KOs. Was way better than today. But so were the men.

        • The other thing is, you do not see women today who can punch like Christy, Ann, or Lucia even at the higher levels (tends to be very amateurish). They had DEVASTATING knockouts like I have not seen in women’s boxing since.

    • I agree Del. Women’s boxing has come a long way re: skill as the pool has the talent and participation pool has grown. Cruz looked no different than Ponce de Leon or Mayorga or brawlers from the 80s. Also with two minute rounds, women have to scrap head-up more than men.
      Neither sex was meant to fight and take punches in the head all the time.

        • Couldn’t agree more blue. Cruz was crude but effective. And comparable to those you mentioned in Mayorga and co. I’m not gonna hate on the women and am really looking forward to Serrano V Taylor 2 and Baumgartner V Mayer 2 if they can make that one happen also.

  • What a great entertaining fight by both fighters as a fan regardless if it was men’s or women’s boxing both show great heart and determination in this championship can’t wait for Taylor vs Serrano 2 in May in Ireland.

  • I’m generally not a fan of women’s boxing due to their lack of punching power (due to most women lacking upper body strength), but Ann Wolf’s brutal, one-punch KO of Vonda Ward was as pretty as they come! If you haven’t seen that knockout, look it up on YouTube.

  • serrano did what she had to do but i think she was lured into a unneccessary slugfest with the game well conditioned but awkard and sloppy cruz i do believe womens chapionship fights should also be 12×3 rounds i think for Serrano win or lose she needs to get 3 more KOs on her resume and then call it a career at that point she will have all the records for female fighters

  • Congrats to Serrano. However, the novelty of undisputed is becoming dull. Time for one belt to rule them all.

  • Let not forget…two female gladiators stepped in that ring and gave us everything.. actually several that night….this is about their sacrifices and performances…again Congrats to all….further shout out to all the females that bravely defend our all branches…let us not forget that the same way said about “gender” based inequalities concerning protection of our civil liberties…as compared to men ..when given the proper opportunities women shattered that belief….but everyone has an opinion…

  • The Serrano Cruz fight was interesting. Cruz did the same thing walk forward throw 1, 2, 3. Serrano likes those types of rights so she was happy to sit in the pocket with a person who couldnt hurt her.

    1. I was a little concerned that a judge might give too many rounds to Cruz who was the busier fighter, even though there was no skill or punch placement being show.

    2. Cruz was a perfect person to put in rounds with and offered no risk.

    3. Comments about the lack of good female fighters are missing key points. Women’s boxing is new overall so there is no group of women who grew up boxing. Take the low number of women with skills and then spread them out through all the weight classes and it looks even worse.
    You also have to take into account there is no money in women’s boxing overall and they cant make a living at it. Serrano is this far in and most boxing fans didn’t know her until her new promoter Jake Paul got her on his cards. It says a lot that even as a world champion she was broke.

    So unless you have a body and want to use it on only fans like some of the other women you are going to be broke. That means we will not get an influx of talent and may never see it.

    This is no different than most women’s sports like the WNBA for example. If you watch their games the skill level is horrible. They cant sell out events and only get by because the NBA gives them money that the men generate.

    All this to say its not the womens fault that the few skilled ones have no competition, its just the fact they dont generate money that entice new women to come into boxing.

    I think Serrano beats Katie in the rematch, but I also thought she one the first time so what do I know. It would be nice if Serrano could stand up for her promoter and say there will be no “mega” match unless Hearn’s drops the lawsuit against Jake. Thats just my thought, but its because I stick up for those close to me. Serrano would not have landed the first fight without him

    • Derrick you are informed and knowledgeable….so are others including myself…one can only inform others…whether they believe or not is an individual choice…I once had a certain beliefs about female boxers and boxing until I sparred a professional female fighter named Isra Girgrah.,..Google her name …and watch her fight against Christy Martin….watched Isra spar against professional fighters…Isra fought on a Felix Trinidad fight card ..She was the real deal….other professionals that know Isra will agree….Derrick you stated great points of consideration .. staying ignorant to history and facts is not illegal in America right..proper exposure..generates ,..revenue …and it takes off from there…DAZN put on great women’s boxing shows..I am a fan of boxing..has generated a buzz…here we are discussing it…lets see where it goes….Again Derrick good post…

  • Great fight between Amanda Serrano and Erika Cruz. Lots of drama, which always makes for a compelling fight. The one thing that troubled me is the corner of Cruze did not appear to have cut man. At least one that brought some anti-coagulant. They just wiped off the face (a little) and dabbed the cut. Of course, the cut poured blood shortly after the start of the next round. Besides the effect on vision, the loss of blood volume wasn’t helping either. Great theatre, but a fight at this level, one should expect more from the corner. The doctors were correct, the cut wasn’t that bad (and should have been controllable) or they would not have kept allowing the fight to continue. At one point, Erika was reported (by Todd Grisham) to have told the corner to “shut up” and that she knew what she was doing. I don’t blame her.

  • I didn’t know you could get cut on the forehand from a headbutt. Don’t they edit this stuff before publishing it?

  • Yo this was a Great War. Was there in person and sold out audience of men women and even children loved it. Chants of Puerto Rico vs Mexico. In the ring they were warriors. Anyone hating on it has personal issues.

  • Gotta say this was more entertaining than most make fights! God forbid Mayweather vs Pacquiao would’ve lived up to this level of action! Hats off to both women!!

  • Good win for Serrano. Kudos to Cruz too for putting up a good fight. Serrano wants Katie Taylor again, in Ireland. I’m all for Taylor, my favorite female fighter.

    • I was hoping it be in a stadium over there (and thinking about going from NYC if it does) but sounds like some issues (matchroom saying down payment 3x higher than wembley) and may be in arena instead, bummer.

  • Amanda and Erika are incredible Boxers -the complete deal of skill courage determination and sportsmanship-Thank you for giving an inspiring experience

  • Totally Love Serrano, but he had to walk through HELL with a featherweight and now back to 135 for Taylor …..IDK!! She’s really starting to get hit an awful lot and doesn’t pull the trigger like she once did! Obviously it looks like the fight is on, so I’m hopeful that it’s another huge payday and she moves on. Nothing left to prove!!

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