A massive Katie Taylor homecoming will move one step closer if Amanda Serrano secures victory in New York on February 4.
Serrano will face Erika Cruz in a Puerto Rico vs. Mexican battle for all the featherweight marbles at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
It provides the seven-weight world champion with a chance to unify a division for the first time, something she was adamant she wanted to achieve before looking at a massive Taylor repeat.
So if Serrano does manage to become the first Puerto Rican born fighter to become an undisputed champion it should clear the path for a blockbuster Croke Park meeting with Taylor.
The fact the fight with Cruz plays out on a Matchroom promoted, DAZN broadcast bill also suggests a two-fight deal and a Taylor rematch is written into the contract.
“This is a pivotal moment, not just for me and my own career but for my home island of Puerto Rico,” said Serrano. Earning the opportunity to be an undisputed lineal champion is something most fighters only dream about but becoming the first boxer from Puerto Rico to be an undisputed champion would make it even more special. I look forward to entering the ring on Saturday, February 4th in my hometown of NYC back at Madison Square Garden, taking on a Mexican champion in Erika Cruz and making Puerto Rican history. I encourage all my fans to turn up and tune in!”
Taylor had wanted to fight Serrano in Croke Park in September of 2022 but the MVP fighter elected against discussing a repeat in favour of following her undisputed dream.
A convincing win over Sarah Mahfoud in Manchester, England saw her add the Dane’s IBF title to her WBO and WBC belts at 126lbs leaving the WBA crown that belongs to Cruz the missing piece of the jigsaw.
She can complete the undisputed puzzle next month and pave the way for one of the biggest-ever nights in Irish sport.
“We’ve come to realize nothing is unachievable for Amanda and she is truly setting the tone for a historic 2023 as she goes head-to-head with Mexico’s Erica Cruz in her fight first of the year,” said MVP co-founder Nakisa Bidarian. “Being the first Puerto Rican born fighter to take home the title of undisputed lineal champion is a goal we have discussed since she joined MVP fifteen months ago.” With an unwavering commitment to boxing, Amanda’s focus has always been to be one of the best to ever step into the ring. The fact that the Puerto Rican greats, like Felix Trinidad, Wilfredo Gomez, Carlos Ortiz and Miguel Cotto never achieved undisputed status but that Amanda Serrano will with a win, is a testament to her and her team’s greatness.”
“I am grateful that this opportunity was finally given to me after many years of work,” said Cruz. “I have always gone against everything, but God is on my side, and he has given me the strength to achieve my goals. It’s time to make history and give Mexico its first unified champion at 126 pounds.”