Amanda Serrano vs Erika Cruz, Emanuel Navarrete returns
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Amanda Serrano versus Erika Cruz highlights a big night for women’s boxing on Saturday in New York. On Friday, Emanuel Navarrete will face Liam Wilson for the 130-pound title that is still available on Friday in Arizona.
EMANUEL NAVARRETE (36-1, 30 KOS) VS. LIAM WILSON (11-1, 7 KOS)
- When: Friday, February 3
- Time: 10pm ET / 7pm Pacific Time (main event follows)
- Where: Diamond Desert Arena, Glendale, Arizona
- television/stream: GAME, GAME +
- Assignment: Lightweight for kids (130 pounds)
- threatened: WBO title vacant
- Pound-for-pound ratings: Not available
- the odds: Navarrete 11½-1 favorite (multi-store average)
- Also on the card: Arnold Barboza vs Jose Pedraza, junior welterweight; Andres Cortes vs Luis Melendez, junior lightweight; Xavier Martinez vs Yohan Vasquez, lightweight
- Guess: Navarrete KO 9
- Story: Navarrete conquered two divisions. Now, the 28-year-old Mexican will take third place. He’ll make his 130-pound debut against Wilson for the vacant WBO belt, which will earn him belts in both featherweight and lightweight simultaneously. He is not ranked by the WBO. He has a chance to compete for the 130-pound belt because he holds the 126-pound belt. The heavyweight boxer is reportedly not expected to make a decision on the weight class he will be competing in long-term until after Friday’s bout. Navarrete hasn’t lost since he was knocked out in his fifth professional bout in 2012. He was last in the ring this past August, when he stopped Eduardo Baez in six rounds. Wilson is taking a significant step forward in opposition. He’s a little-known Aussie who has only played 12 professional games and has never fought outside of his home country. The WBO No. 3 contender has won two games in a row since he was knocked out in five rounds by Filipino Joe Noynay in July 2021. Wilson is 5’9″ tall.
AMANDA SERRANO (43-2-1, 30 KOS) VS. ERIKA CRUZ (15-1, 3 KOS)
- When: Saturday, February 4
- Time: 8pm ET / 5pm PT (main event after that)
- Where: Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York
- television/stream: DAZN
- Assignment: Featherweight (126 pounds)
- threatened: Serrano’s IBF, WBC, WBO and Cruz’s WBA titles
- the odds: Serrano 5-1 favorite (multi-store average)
- Also on the card: Amanda Serrano vs Erika Cruz, featherweight (for Serrano’s IBF, WBC, WBO and WBA belts); Alycia Baumgardner vs. Elhem Mekhaled, junior lightweight (for Baumgardner’s undisputed championship); Richardson Hitchins vs. John Bauza, junior weight class; Reshat Mati vs. Keith Hunter, junior weight class; Skye Nicolson vs. Tania Alvarez, featherweight; Ramla Ali vs Avril Mathie, base featherweight
- Guess: University of Serrano
- Story: The card has two female matches in which the undisputed championships will take place. Serrano, one of the best female weightlifters, is the star of the show. The 34-year-old Brooklyn product has won major titles in seven weight classes and continues to perform at the elite level despite her ups and downs in the weight classes. She lost the decision to split to undisputed 135-pound champion Katie Taylor last April but has since bounced back pointed out Sarah Mahfoud to defend her 126-pound title in September, her most recent bout. Cruz, 32 years old from Mexico, is not an easy person. She beat Jelena Mrdjenovich by a technical decision (after the decision was subsequently cut) in 2021 and then eliminated her in two rematches at the end of September, proving that she is the one of the best in the business. Baumgardner (13-1, 7 KOs) is about to have a decisive victory, the end Deciding on Mikaela Mayer to win the 130-pound IBF, WBC and WBO titles last October. Elhem Mekhaled (15-1, 3 KOs) was about to lose to Delfine Persoon last May, which makes it hard to understand why she got this chance.
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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2
- Erik Bazinyan vs. Alantez Fox, super middleweight, Montreal, ESPN+.