In a war full of blood and heart, "The Real Deal" became the first fighter (man or woman) from Puerto Rico to become undisputed.
Amanda Serrano was able to break a fighter's heart. On Saturday night in New York, in a war from start to finish, the Brooklyn fighter walked out of Madison Square Garden with the undisputed featherweight championship (WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and IBO) around her waist by defeating Erika Cruz.
Serrano managed to overcome the complicated first third of the fight that the Mexican boxer made thanks to a disorganized and aggressive style, and then prevailed on the scorecards by 98-92, 98-92, and 97-93 to add the only missing piece to her puzzle and become the first undisputed champion of Puerto Rico (man or woman).
"I am very emotional and happy about what I am experiencing. We made it. I wasn't surprised, Erika was a Mexican champion, she worked hard, that's what we trained for. I didn't expect anything less than what she gave me this night. They sent me back to basics and I was listening to my corner who asked me to go 1-2, which worked", said Amanda at the end.
The fight was very complicated and highly demanding as due to a clash of heads Erika suffered a cut on her scalp which caused a huge bleeding, but despite the possibility of the fight being stopped, the Mexican didn't stop throwing punches and pushing.
With her corner unable to stop the bleeding, but determined not to let go of the victory, Cruz kept working the remainder of the fight, but Serrano found support in her mid-range strikes that eventually led her to victory and improved her record to 44-2-1 with 30 KO's.
But the challenges don't stop there for the seven-division champion, as she has now announced that her next fight will be in Ireland and will be a rematch against Katie Taylor on May 20.
Don't miss the details of the night of boxing in NY here:
"We made it. I wasn't surprised (by Erika), she was a Mexican champion, she worked hard, that's what we trained for. I didn't expect less than what she gave. I have to go back to basics and I was listening to my corner who asked me to go 1-2. I have unfinished business with Katie, I want the rematch", Amanda Serrano
Serrano is the first indisputed champ of Puerto Rico
Erika knows she has to go for it all, she throws punches toe to toe. Close range, head down, throwing hooks from right to left. Amanda defends what she has, focused on getting more IQ in and holding her ground. A Mexico vs. Puerto Rico war. The canvas, full of blood. They heard the 10 seconds and neither took their foot off the gas.
The bleeding could not be controlled by Erika's corner and they simply put Vaseline on her. Amanda has the superior boxing skills and boxing IQ, but Erika's heart keeps her in the fight. Amanda now takes clearer control of the fight, using distance and timing.
Erika Cruz with a hook lands a hard uppercut to the head of Amanda, who takes distance to get her straight punches in. Despite her complicated outlook because the cut, Erika doesn't take a step back. Amanda looks to be more effective, with more structure, which helps her to maintain the lead
Erika Cruz goes for the volume of punches, lands hooks, and uppers. Erika lands a couple of hooks and causes Serrano to stand and trade punches, the worst of her outlook. Erika's physical condition is on point, as she endures a bloody war.
Amanda out of rhythm has no effective strategy to be able to break down an opponent who does not stop. Amanda is cut on the right eyebrow. Amanda puts Erika in bad shape, who goes into the clinch. She keeps throwing punches and the bell stops the round.
Cruz goes with her heart first, her tricky style helping her land punches in no particular order (in all directions) to the face and in the stomach. Erika doesn't let Serrano get any distance, nor pick up the pace.
Although they couldn't stop the bleeding in the corner, Erika Cruz keeps looking for the toe to toe fight and preasure. Serrano's face also shows signs of war. The Mexican settles into her uneducated, but effective style.
Erika keeps the pressure at maximum level, still with hooks, very low. Amanda could be looking for the upper to help her change the pace. With a bad entry, in which Erika stuck her head in, the mexican got cut on the forehead, in the hairline. She is bleeding profusely.
Erika already inflamed Serrano's cheekbones a bit. Erika lowers her head and connects again to the stomach and switches punches to Amanda's face. Erika does not step back and presses. She does not have a polite style, but the strange way of boxing gives her some advantage. She doesn't let Amanda get comfortable, hook to the jaw, Erika lands two straight punches to the face.
The bell rings to announce the first round of this historic fight ... Erika comes out swinging, Amanda Serrano with quick and powerful hands. Erika is looking for the short distance hitting ribs and pressuring. Straight punches are the key for Serrano, Erika doesn't back down, no respect.