Serrano vs Cruz, Baumgardner vs Mekhaled Double Undisputed In New York
The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee made a rare move by ordering the fight between their Champion, Mexico’s Erika Cruz Hernandez (15-1, 3 KOs) and Puerto Rican WBC, IBF, WBO unified champion Amanda Serrano (43-2-1, 30 KOs) for the undisputed featherweight titles on November 1.
By doing this they have made Serrano the mandatory challenger for Cruz’s title with purse bids set at a 50-50 split should the parties be unable to agree on a deal. However, an agreement was reached for Serrano vs Cruz to headline a Matchroom on DAZN USA card Saturday, Feb 14 at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden, New York, USA.
Much to the delight of fight fans as Matchroom Boxing also represent Ireland’s undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor (22-0, 6 KOs). Taylor and Serrano battled in a historic fight of the contender last April and the rumours are that Matchroom has agreed on a two-fight deal with Serrano; the second being the Taylor rematch.
Taylor and Serrano will rematch on May 20 live on DAZN. The targeted venue is the 12,000-capacity 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland but with recent uproar on social media including an offer from Conor McGregor, the dream 80,000-capacity Croke Park Stadium may still be in play.
Amanda Serrano vs Erika Cruz Carabajal Fight Card
Alycia Baumgardner takes on Elhem Mekhaled for the Undisputed World Super-Featherweight championship.
Baumgardner (13-1 7 KOs) had a brilliant 2022, capped by her victorious trip to London where she unified the 130lbs division against bitter American rival and IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine champion Mikaela Mayer in October via split decision. Baumgardner made it three wins on the bounce in the UK having ripped the WBC and IBO World titles from Terri Harper in Sheffield in November 2021 with a stunning KO and defending the belt for the first time in April in Manchester, shutting out Edith Matthysse over ten rounds.
Like Serrano, the Detroit star just needs the WBA belt to complete the full set, and that belt is vacant with #3 ranked Mekhaled (15-1 3 KOs), and the French former interim WBC champion comes into the bout on the back of a slender reversal in a bruising encounter with Belgium’s former World ruler Delfine Persoon in May in Abu Dhabi.
Brooklyn’s own Richardson Hitchins taking on New Jersey’s John Bauza for the IBF North American and USWBC 140lb titles.
It’s a second fight under the Matchroom banner for Hitchins (15-0 7 KOs) and the unbeaten 25-year-old will defend the IBF belt he won on his first fight with Eddie Hearn in Cleveland in November, his first title fight in the paid ranks and look to add a second strap in the process.
Hitchins fights in New York for the first time since March 2019, and fellow unbeaten man Bauza (17-0 7 KOs) will want to spoil his return to action in the Big Apple. The Puerto Rican from NJ faces both his first title bout and first battle over ten rounds in the paid ranks on the night. Bauza was a national champion the same year that Hitchins represented Haiti in the 2016 Olympics and the pair are familiar with each other having sparred in the past.
Recently-singed Puerto Rican amateur star Yankiel Rivera (2-0 2 KOs) makes his Matchroom debut against Fernando Diaz (11-2-1 3 KOs) over eight rounds. Rivera campaigned in the 2020 Olympics and looks to be fast-tracked as a professional.
Australian star Skye Nicolson looks to take a big step towards World title action against fellow unbeaten fighter Tania Alvarez for the WBC Silver Featherweight title.
There’s another all-undefeated belt battle as Ramla Ali faces title action for the first time in the paid ranks as she meets Avril Mathie for the IBF Intercontinental Super-Bantamweight strap.
Two more undefeated fighters taste action on the card as Aaron Aponte (6-0-1 2 KOs) looks to get back to winning ways against Joshua David Rivers (8-1 5 KOs) following his entertaining split draw on the Canelo-GGG card in Las Vegas in September, and Brooklyn’s Harley Mederos (4-0 3 KOs) fights in New York for the first time against Mexico’s Julio Madera (4-2 2 KOs).
Serrano vs Cruz Start Times, TV Channel And Main Event Ring Walks
Serrano vs Cruz will be live on DAZN around the world in over 200 countries.
The main card action starts at 1:00 am BST (8 pm ET, 5 pm PT). The preliminary action, shown on the Matchroom and DAZN YouTube channels, is scheduled to begin at 9:30 pm BST (4:30 pm ET, 1:30 am PT).
Serrano Cruz main event ring walks are expected at approximately 4:00 am BST (11 pm ET, 8 pm PT).
Serrano vs Cruz Weights, Running Order
Before The Bell:
8 x 3 mins Super-Lightweight contest
Aaron Aponte 138.6lbs vs. Joshua David Rivera 138.8lbs
(Hialeah Gardens, Florida) (La Mesa, California)
4 x 3 mins Lightweight contest
Harley Mederos 134.2lbs vs. Julio Madera 133.6lbs
(Brooklyn, New York) (Mexico City, Mexico)
10 x 2 mins WBC Silver and WBA Continental Super-Middleweight titles
Shadasia Green 167.2lbs vs. Elin Cederroos 167.4lbs
(Paterson, New Jersey) (Vasteraas, Sweden)
10 x 2 mins IBF Intercontinental Super-Bantamweight title
Ramla Ali 121.4lbs vs. Avril Mathie 121.4lbs
(London, United Kingdom) (Sydney, Australia)
10 x 2 mins WBC Silver Bantamweight title
Skye Nicolson 125.6lbs vs. Tania Alvarez 124.8lbs
(Yatala, Queensland, Australia) (Barcelona, Spain)
LIVE ON DAZN FROM 8 PM
8 x 3 mins Flyweight contest
Yankiel Rivera 112.4lbs vs. Fernando Diaz 111.8lbs
(Bayamon, Puerto Rico) (Riverside, California)
10 x 3 mins IBF North American Super-Lightweight title
Richardson Hitchins 139.6lbs vs. John Bauza 139lbs
(Brooklyn, New York) (North Bergen, New Jersey)
10 x 2 mins Undisputed World Super-Featherweight championship
Alycia Baumgardner 129lbs vs. Elhem Mekhaled 129lbs
(Detroit, Michigan) (Paris, France)
10 x 2 mins Undisputed World Featherweight championship
Amanda Serrano 125.4lbs vs. Erika Cruz 125.4lbs
(Brooklyn, New York) (Mexico City, Mexico)
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