Amanda Serrano is now officially within a conversation of fighting to become Puerto Rico’s first-ever undisputed champion.
If the reigning unified featherweight titlist gets her way, the next two fights will leave her on the short list of fighters to claim undisputed status at two weights.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that an unprecedented move has been taken in the WBA ordering a four-belt unification bout between Serrano (43-2-1, 30KOs)—who holds the lineal/WBC/IBF/WBO titles—and Mexico City’s Erika Cruz, the reigning WBA featherweight titlist. The two sides are granted a 30-day negotiation period, after which time the fight will head to a purse bid and within the winning bid split 50/50 between the top two featherweights.
Serrano is represented by MVP co-founders Jake Paul and Nakisa Bidarian. Mexico City’s Cruz fights for Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
“Dear Amanda—it’s time,” Paul said Tuesday in reaction to his client’s big news. “Time to become undisputed featherweight champion. You have dreamed to have the opportunity to get the WBA title. It’s your time. Thank you, WBA.”
The order comes as the boxing world continues to hold out hope for a dream rematch between Serrano and Ireland’s Taylor (22-0, 6KOs). The two met in an April 30 superfight in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York City, with Taylor claiming a ten-round, split decision to barely retain her undisputed lightweight championship. Serrano won 96-94 on the scorecard of Benoit Roussel, overruled by judges Guido Cavalleri (96-93) and Glenn Feldman (97-93) for Taylor.
Their blockbuster event remains a leading candidate for Fight of the Year, regardless of gender. There were immediate talks of a rematch taking place in Ireland, only for the two sides to head in separate directions.
Brooklyn’s Serrano returned to her natural weight at featherweight, where she is now a three-belt titleholder and lineal championship. Serrano defended her WBC/WBO titles and lifted the IBF belt from unbeaten Sarah Mahfoud in their September 24 unification bout in Manchester, England.
The fight took place three weeks after Cruz (15-1, 3KOs) successfully defended her WBA title for the second time with a repeat win over Jelena Mrdjenovich. Their September 3 rematch in Hermosillo, Mexico saw Cruz pitch a ten-round shutout, winning 100-90 on all three scorecards to retain the title she claimed from Mrdjenovich last April.
Serrano has won titles in a record seven weight divisions, including three separate featherweight reigns. Her current reign dates back to a September 2019 landslide win over then-unbeaten Heather Hardy to regain the WBO belt at Madison Square Garden Theater (now Hulu Theater at MSG). She has since added the WBC and IBF titles to her collection, the latter title win moving her within one more win of boxing immortality in Puerto Rico.
From there, the next step would be to face Taylor next spring in Ireland and with Serrano and her team not having any issue with traveling abroad. In fact, it’s their preference.
“We want to fight Katie Taylor in Ireland, at Croke Park,” Jordan Maldonado, Serrano’s brother-in-law and career-long head trainer and manager, told BoxingScene.com. “She deserves to fight in her home country. In fact, we don’t want to fight her anywhere else except for Ireland.”
With the fight ordered by the WBA, Cruz cannot accept another fight as the sanctioning body’s reigning champ unless agreed by both parties to move in another direction.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox