As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Amanda Serrano will face Erika Cruz in a Puerto Rico vs. Mexican battle for the Undisputed World Featherweight championship and Alycia Baumgardner takes on Elhem Mekhaled for the Undisputed World Super-Featherweight championship at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday February 4, exclusively live worldwide on DAZN.
Seven-weight World champion Serrano (43-2-1 30 KOs) looks to become the first Puerto Rican born fighter to take home the title of undisputed, as she finally gets the opportunity at Featherweight where she has ruled since 2019, after her history-making Lightweight clash with Katie Taylor at Madison Square Garden last April. Serrano faces off against Cruz in her hometown of New York City after a convincing win over Sarah Mahfoud in Manchester, England to add the Dane’s IBF title to her WBO and WBC belts at 126lbs.
The missing piece of the jigsaw is the WBA crown that belongs to Cruz (15-1 3 KOs). The Mexican became WBA champion in April 2021, ending the long reign of Canadian Jelena Mrdjenovich in West Point, New York. Cruz defended the title in Mexico in November 2021 and then met Mrdjenovich in a rematch in September in Mexico and won via shutout on points. The 32 year old, nicknamed ‘Dinamita’ will pose a big threat to Serrano’s hopes of becoming undisputed and put a spanner in the works of the Taylor rematch.
Baumgardner (13-1 7 KOs) had a brilliant 2022, capped by her victorious trip to London where she unified the 130lbs division against bitter American rival and IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine champion Mikaela Mayer in October via split decision. Baumgardner made it three wins on the bounce in the UK having ripped the WBC and IBO World titles from Terri Harper in Sheffield in November 2021 with a stunning KO and defending the belt for the first time in April in Manchester, shutting out Edith Matthysse over ten rounds.
Like Serrano, the Detroit star just needs the WBA belt to complete the full set, and that belt is vacant with #3 ranked Mekhaled (15-1 3 KOs), and the French former interim WBC champion comes into the bout on the back of a slender reversal in a bruising encounter with Belgium’s former World ruler Delfine Persoon in May in Abu Dhabi.
There’s a stacked card in support of the Undisputed double-header, and it’s led by Brooklyn’s own Richardson Hitchins taking on New Jersey’s John Bauza for the IBF North American and USWBC 140lb titles.
It’s a second fight under the Matchroom banner for Hitchins (15-0 7 KOs) and the unbeaten 25 year old will defend the IBF belt he won on his first fight with Eddie Hearn in Cleveland in November, his first title fight in the paid ranks and look to add a second strap in the process.
Hitchins fights in New York for the first time since March 2019, and fellow unbeaten man Bauza (17-0 7 KOs) will want to spoil his return to action in the Big Apple. The Puerto Rican from NJ faces both his first title bout and first battle over ten rounds in the paid ranks on the night. Bauza was a national champion the same year that Hitchins represented Haiti in the 2016 Olympics and the pair are familiar with each other having sparred in the past.
Staten Island talent Reshat Mati lands a big step up in his second title fight as he challenges on fellow New Yorker Cletus Seldin for his WBA NABA Super-Lightweight title. Mati (13-0 7 KOs) picked up the WBC Youth title at 140lbs in Mexico City in October in a tough tussle with Eduardo Rodriguez, outpointing the Mexican in his first ten round action.
Experienced banger Seldin (26-1 22 KOs) will provide an even tougher test in Mati’s second bout with a belt on the line, with ‘The Hebrew Hammer’ will want to extend his five fight KO winning streak as he returns to the ring for the first time since October 2021 when he knocked out William Silva in his Brooklyn backyard.
There are two more female title fights on the card, as Australian star Skye Nicolson looks to take a big step towards World title action against fellow unbeaten fighter Tania Alvarez for the WBC Silver Featherweight title and there’s another all-undefeated belt battle as Ramla Ali faces title action for the first time in the paid ranks as she meets Avril Mathie for the IBF Intercontinental Super-Bantamweight strap.
Nicolson (5-0) will look to bag belt number two just one month shy of a full year in the paid ranks having bagged the Commonwealth title on home turf in Queensland in October, completing a unique double having won Commonwealth gold for her country in the same state in 2018. It will be a night of firsts for Spaniard Alvarez (7-0 1 KO) as ‘La Violenca’ fights outside of Spain for the first time and in her first ten round bout for a belt.
Ali (7-0 2 KOs) and Mathie (8-0-1 3 KOs) also fight for their first title in the paid ranks, with Somali Olympian Ali heading into the contest after recording her second KO win and second in the first session of a fight in Saudi Arabia, the first female fight held in the country, while Florida based Aussie Mathie kept her unbeaten record intact with victory in her only fight of 2022 in June in Atlanta.
Two more undefeated fighters taste action on the card as Aaron Aponte (6-0-1 2 KOs) looks to get back to winning ways against Joshua David Rivers (8-1 5 KOs) following his entertaining split draw on the Canelo-GGG card in Las Vegas in September, and Brooklyn’s Harley Mederos (4-0 3 KOs) fights in New York for the first time against Mexico’s Julio Madera (4-2 2 KOs).