Amanda Serrano didn’t hesitate to travel abroad to add another title to her collection.
The record-setting seven-division champion now gets to enjoy a well-deserved homecoming for the final phase of her quest to become the first-ever Puerto Rican undisputed champion.
Brooklyn’s Serrano is in the heart of training camp for her four-belt featherweight championship clash versus WBA titlist Erika Cruz (15-1, 3KOs). Their bout headlines a February 4 DAZN show from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City, a venue that has already produced fond memories for the 34-year-old Boricua southpaw—and with hopes of at least one more in store.
“It’s a dream come true. We’re fighting at the Hulu Theater where the dream began,” Serrano told BoxingScene.com. “It’s where I beat Heather Hardy to get my baby (the WBO featherweight title) back for the first piece of the puzzle. It’s the same place where I made history becoming a seven-division world champion.
“Now we’re about to make history once again.”
Serrano (43-2-1, 30KOs) already owned the all-time mark for all women and any boxer from Puerto Rico when she entered the ring for her September 2018 vacant WBO junior welterweight title win over Yamila Esther Reynoso in her home Brooklyn borough.
She was officially 24 ¼ pounds lighter for her WBO junior bantamweight title fight with Eva Voraberger just four months later in their January 2019 clash at MSG’s Theater (now Hulu Theater). Serrano needed just 35 seconds to become a seven-division champ before returning to featherweight, where she is at her optimal prime.
The first fight back at her preferred weight also took place at Hulu Theater, where Serrano—born in Carolina, P.R. but raised in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn—outpointed fellow Brooklyn native Heather Hardy in September 2019 to enter her third WBO featherweight title reign while also claiming the interim WBC title.
She was upgraded to full titlist in 2021 when Jelena Mrdjenovich was unavailable to defend her crown in an ordered title fight. Wins over Daniela Bermudez and Yamileth Mercado followed before two consecutive trips to lightweight.
The latter came last April 30, when Serrano came oh so close to dethroning undisputed 135-pound queen Katie Taylor (22-0, 6KOs) in their instant classic at Madison Square Garden. The first-ever women’s fight to headline the main room came in front a sold-out crowd and drew universal praise but left Serrano just short of claiming the first undisputed championship for her beloved island as Ireland’s Taylor was credited with a split decision win.
Serrano flew to England in her renewed quest to collect all the featherweight belts. She did so in soundly outpointing previously unbeaten IBF champ Sarah Mahfoud last September 24 at AO Arena in Manchester, with her sights then set on the WBA crown.
In an unprecedented move, the WBA ordered the undisputed championship in launching its ‘One Boxing’ initiative. A deal was eventually reached between Most Valuable Promotions—founded by Jake Paul and Nakisa Bidarian who signed Serrano in 2021—and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
:At first, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘Pinch me, is this real’ because we’ve had a lot of let downs from this sport,” admitted Serrano. “But now, we finally get this opportunity to fight for undisputed in the featherweight division, my division. I’m super glad the WBA mandated Erika so we can have the opportunity.
“The final part was Eddie Hearn and getting everything together. Now we have the fight February 4. I’m super pleased and excited.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox