Boxing Pick: Over 8 ½ Rounds (-350) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Amanda Serrano puts her undisputed status on the line when defending her WBO, WBC, and IBF world featherweight titles against fellow champion Erika Cruz, the WBA champ, in this Saturday’s main event unification bout.
Continue reading for our in-depth analysis, taking a first look at the women’s featherweight unification championship bout between Serrano and Cruz at MSG, including updated odds, free expert boxing picks, and predictions.
Amanda Serrano vs. Erika Cruz
Undisputed Women’s Featherweight Championship Bout
Saturday, February 4, 2023 – 08:00 PM EST at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden
Amanda Serrano Profile
- Professional Record: 43-2-0 (30 KOs)
- Age: 34
- Born: Brooklyn, New York
- Height: 5'5"
- Reach: 66.5"
- Stance: Southpaw
Fourteen years and seven weight classes later, Amanda Serrano has positioned herself as one of the greatest boxers in the sport's history. She’s obtained championships in all seven weight classes she’s competed in. Still, her days of consistently jumping between weight divisions are over, as the current WBO, WBC, and IBO featherweight champ wants to unify this weight class by taking Erika Cruz’s WBA strap.
One of the Big Three
Serrano is one of the big three names in women’s boxing, alongside Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields – both of whom are chasing undisputed status in their respective divisions. The former notably defeated Serrano as she attempted to become the undisputed lightweight champion last year. And although a rematch is one of the most requested in women’s boxing history, Serrano first wants to solidify her position at featherweight.
Serrano is no stranger to gold, but she didn’t begin collecting featherweight gold until beating Heather Hardy for the WBO strap in 2019. She moved on to Daniela Bermudez for the WBC title in 2021 and then Sarah Mahfoud for IBF championship in 2022. Should Serrano defeat Cruz, she’ll add another accolade to a career already brimming with them.
Furthermore, although she’s finished jumping from divisions, a potential rematch is a fight Serrano yearns for and the one exception she’ll make for switching weight classes.
Artur Beterbiev Boxing Accomplishments
- Unified Featherweight World Champion (Current WBO, WBC, and IBO titleholder)
- The only female boxer to hold championships in more than four weight classes
- Guinness World Record for the most boxing world titles won in different weight classes
Amanda Serrano Available Odds: (-800) at BetOnline
Erika Cruz Profile
- Professional Record: 15-1-0 (3 KOs)
- Age: 32
- Born: Mexico City, Mexico
- Height: 5'6"
- Reach: 64"
- Stance: Orthodox
Obtaining the silver medal at the 2011 Pan American Games was the first big achievement in Erika Cruz’s boxing career. Still, the Mexican-born fighter never imagined she would become a boxing world champion.
After turning pro in 2016, this non-belief became a reality as she reached the heights of the women’s featherweight division and collected the WBA title. But in just her second fight outside of Mexico, competing against Serrano at the MSG will be her most challenging task to date.
In the Footsteps of Dad
Cruz grew up around the sport – her father, Guillermo Cruz, was a pro fighter – and after she became a young single mother at age 15, her dad wanted her to box and create more discipline. Little did he know, his daughter would later arrive at one of the grandest stages of all of them; Madison Square Garden.
Erika Cruz Available Odds: (+500) at BetOnline
How Can Serrano Defeat Cruz?
As the old saying goes, styles make fights, and this bout undoubtedly presents this feeling. Serrano is known for the ability to press forward and dictate the pace of a fight, and most of the time, she finds the finishing shot, as 30 of her 43 career wins have been obtained inside the distance.
However, Serrano won’t find it simple to bully Cruz in the ring, as the Mexican has a proven chin and durability that will unquestionably make Serrano think twice about entering the pocket with no regard for the consequences.
Serrano should remain calm and break the Mexican down before unleashing too much forward pressure. Her lateral movement and speed should be enough to overwhelm the challenger eventually, but hunting for a TKO/KO may not be the wisest approach.
How Can Cruz Defeat Serrano?
Cruz is known for standing her ground, as she loves to stand in the pocket and deliver a plethora of beautiful-to-watch combinations.
Unfortunately, Cruz’s career highlights don’t show her competing against a fighter on the level of Serrano, and this will be the toughest test of her boxing tenure. If she can force Serrano onto her back foot, there’s a chance to put the multi-division champ out of her game, but it's an unlikely scenario.
Serrano vs. Cruz Betting Picks
The available boxing odds are heavily juiced in favor of the seven-division champion. This is no surprise, but I wouldn’t bet such a high moneyline price. However, once the Serrano to win on points odds are released, I’ll be interested in placing a wager on this prop market.
For this bout, we can rely on Cruz’s toughness. She hasn’t been knocked out or stopped inside the distance during her professional career. Although Serrano certainly has the power to break this trend, with everything on the line, the Mexican’s pride and defensive attributes should be enough to force Serrano to the judges’ scorecards.
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Boxing Pick: Over 8 ½ Rounds (-350) at BetOnline
Boxing Pick: Serrano to win on points (Odds TBD)
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.