New York

Amanda Serrano vs. Erika Cruz Hernandez: Preview, Prediction & Betting Odds



Amanda Serrano vs. Erika Cruz Hernandez: Preview, Prediction & Betting Odds

Amanda Serrano’s featherweight supremacy will be tested by Erika Cruz Hernandez. 

Manny Pacquiao was known as much for his stunning longevity as his speed and power. But what made “Pac-Man” truly remarkable, was his ability to move up and down in weight without losing strength or stamina. It’s why he was able to win titles in a record eight divisions.

Amanda Serrano is the Pacquiao of women’s boxing in that regard. Since her career started in 2009, the Puerto Rican wonder has won world titles in seven weight classes. In her last fight, she dropped from 135 to 126 pounds and picked up a third featherweight belt.

And though it never happened to Pacquiao, sliding up and down weight classes has cost other fighters their primes. But Serrano, a fighter seemingly built for challenges, is undaunted, as she stays at 126 pounds to unify her  IBF, WBC, and WBO belts against WBA titlist Erika Cruz Hernandez in a unification showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City (8 p.m. Eastern, Saturday, DAZN). 

Watch the fight on DAZN >>


Serrano, 43-2-1 (30 knockouts), Brooklyn-by-way-of-Puerto Rico, is a history-making machine. And if she wins Saturday, she’ll make more, as she will become the first Puerto Rican boxer to win an undisputed title in the four-belt era if victorious. And while the boxing scene is saturated with an absurd number of belts that make such a feat possible in 2023, it shouldn’t take away from Serrano’s goal. She has an opportunity to do something that the great Puerto Rican giants of the past – Wilfred Benitez, Felix Trinidad, Miguel Cotto, and Carlos Ortiz – never could.

She is also doing it two fights removed from arguably the greatest women’s fight in boxing history – her April war with lightweight champ Katie Taylor. It was a vicious battle with momentum shifts and constant action. It had Madison Square Garden – the hallowed halls of boxing lore – on its collective feet and established itself as a landmark fight in women’s boxing history. Whereas fighters like Laila Ali, Anne Wolfe, Lucia Rijker, and Christy Martin put women’s boxing on the map – Taylor and Serrano solidified its standing as a sport that has arrived.

But, with all of these big fights and great wars over the years, is Serrano headed for a fall? And can “Dinamita” take advantage?

Hernandez, 15-1 (3 KO’s), of Mexico City, has been the WBA champ since April 2021, when she beat Jelena Mrdjenovich via technical decision when Mrdjenovich couldn’t continue because of an accidental headbutt. She beat the Canadian in a rematch in September, winning by a comfortable unanimous decision. In between, Hernandez outpointed Melissa Esquivel via split decision.

She is a southpaw who is a strong and throws wide-arced combinations. She is especially effective with the right hook, and when she starts throwing punches in bunches, she is formidable. She is wild at times but is fierce and determined.

Serrano will have her hands full.


Roy Jones  Jr. made history in 2003 by beating John Ruiz and becoming the second reigning light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight title. He then dropped an excruciating 25 pounds to defend his light heavyweight title against Antonio Tarver. Jones won the Tarver fight, but the aftereffects of dropping so much weight adversely affected the rest of his career. Tarver knocked him out in the rematch, and Jones was never the same.

January 30, 2023; New York City, NY, USA; Amanda Serrano poses at Edge at Hudson Yards ahead of her bout versus Erika Cruz on February 4th at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Melina Pizano/Matchroom.

While Serrano is not losing 25 pounds, it is the flip side to Pacquiao’s success in gaining and losing weight. In September, Serrano looked good against undefeated Sarah Mahfoud, adding the IBF 126-pound belt to her collection. But she is 34 now. How much longer can she go at this pace? And will the moving up and down in weight price to be her undoing, like it did Jones.

Though Serrano has fought at the higher weight, it is Hernandez who will have an inch height advantage at 5-foot-6. Physically, Hernandez matches up. She is also two years younger at 32.

This will be another good one. Hernandez comes to fight and throws punches in bunches. Serrano will need all of guile to get through this latest installment of the Puerto Rico-Mexico war. She will, but it won’t be easy.


Serrano by split decision.