Connect with us

Featured Articles

Every Joe Gans Lightweight Title Fight – Part 4: Rufe Turner

Published

on

Every-Joe-Gans-Lightweight-Title-Fight-Part-4-Rufe-Turner

Gans left the ring without a scratch – The Brooklyn Eagle, 25th July, 1902.

Rufe Turner was a puncher.

Between the dawn of the twentieth century and his July 1902 confrontation with Joe Gans, he went 16-3-2; all but one of the victories came by stoppage and all his losses were on points. Turner dried up during the last decade of his career but in his pomp, he was all knockouts and jaw. He had faced down fellow punchers, men like Mike “Dummy” Rowan or “Irishman” Tim Hegarty, but he had never faced a composite puncher like Gans.

For Turner though, in 1902, there was no choice. His pursuit of the lightweight championship was the pursuit of a knockout, stop or be stopped, hurt or be hurt. There was no other way.

Three weeks before he would mount his assault on the title, Turner was working his magic on an inexperienced fighter named Willie Lewis in Stockton. Lewis, who was noted as “making a speciality of black men” in The Stockton Daily Record, worked well, attacking Turner two-handed but walked into what one ringsider called Turner’s “sledgehammer punch”; the result was a ten-count which finished long before Lewis regained consciousness. Turner spoke the name Joe Gans; Joe Gans (pictured) bid him west.

“[Turner] has agreed to box Joe Gans fifteen rounds before the Acme Club, Oakland, on the night of the 24th,” The San Francisco Call reported two days later. “The fight between the two colored men should be a good one.”

Turner, like Gans, was African-American.

There is a perception that fights between two fighters of African descent was of no interest to the American public in 1902, but this is not true. First, there was an emerging class of “sporting men” who were African-American, and they had money to spend, sometimes spent it on gambling and when they gambled it was often on fights. Second, there was a whole generation of white gamblers who bet upon what they saw, and who would bet on anything, including a prize-fight staged between two fighters of whatever race the promoter might wish to source. Finally, there was stardust – if a black fighter was special, the public would pay to see him.

Still, that Gans reigned as champion so soon after his quit job against Frank Erne and his widely derided fake with Terry McGovern spoke of his irresistible quality. The storm that was Jack Johnson was, even then, gathering for a crack at the heavyweight championship but men like Gans, the wonderful George Dixon and the Barbados Demon, Joe Walcott, beat him to the punch in lifting championships; but a certain conduct was expected of these men, there were limits. While Johnson would turn those expectations on their head in what was probably the most important contribution sport ever made to redressing black-white relations in that troubled time in America’s history, Johnson drew the colour line when he came to power, refusing title shots for most of the African- American fighters who had dogged his steps to a title shot.

Gans, in his third title defence, met the most dangerous lightweight puncher in the country who shared his heritage and that is worth noting. The San Francisco Chronicle, which, it will be remembered from Part Three, was most accusatory of Gans over the McFadden fight, could not have been happier noting that there was “no more worthy opponent in California” and that Turner could be favoured “if he can only forget he is going against the champion lightweight.”

Gans set up training quarters minutes south of Oakland in Alameda.

“I have fought hard for the championship,” he told pressmen. “And now that I have it, I will take no chances losing it. This fellow Turner may be a good, clever fellow, but he will find he is up against a seasoned fighter…You can bet your money I will be the winner.”

The Oakland Tribune stood in admiration:

“The hardy, clever fighter is in the most amiable mood,” one writer purred of his visits to the Gans camp. “Cheerfulness has always been a characteristic of Gans, and it is a characteristic which aids wonderfully in the development of a man training for a fight…[his] muscles are hard as steel and his limbs supple, and every joint moves with an ease.”

Turner, at first, was silent, but his people were not; a special train was scheduled to bring his admirers to the fight. “Turner is looked upon as invincible in Stockton,” stated The Tribute. “His wonderful showings in the ring of late has his stock way up.” Meanwhile the pugilist himself prepared overwhelmingly with heavy sparring, his normal course, but those who knew him were struck by a single difference, specifically a care over his work that had not been present before; where once he had done as he pleased, now he sought council, although nobody could convince him to move his fight camp to Oakland.

Despite the fuss, Gans-Turner suffered stiff competition in terms of build-up. No less a figure than James J Jeffries boxed his first defence of the world’s heavyweight title against former champion Bob Fitzsimmons the same weekend, and locally, in San Francisco. I submit that Jeffries dwarfed even John Sullivan as a superstar from this era, although he had not summited quite yet. Nevertheless, The Call was not alone in noting “unusual interest” in the Gans-Turner fight. Gans, already, was providing competition for the biggest and brightest, and for all the heavies stole many of the headlines, the draw of the eyes of the sporting world to the area could only benefit the two lightweights. Many who had spent fight week in San Francisco for the Jeffries fight spent the evening before in Oakland for the Gans fight. The Acme Athletic Club would be filled to near capacity.

Turner pulled his training two days before the fight and two pounds underweight, a picture of relaxation. He went off to San Francisco and then Oakland the following day. The same day, Gans worked hard but somehow took on a sliver of weight and was forced to run miles the day before the fight, up to ten by some reports. Battles with the weight were not unusual for Joe and usually entailed taking off only those final, stubborn ounces. Turner seemed principally interested in Joe’s weight and even when he was told that Gans continued to spar with former foe Herman Miller while Turner rested, it was the champion’s poundage that moved him. Turner apparently insisted often and loudly in the final days that Gans should make 135lbs, on pain of a $200 forfeit, something that would return to haunt him. To his credit he was also dismissive of any notion as to the fight being another fake, laughing or shaking his head whenever a newspaperman suggested it.

The interest was such that some local papers were by now outright favouring the lightweights over the heavyweights, The Stockton Evening Mail complaining that Jeffries was so the superior of Fitzsimmons that the fight was a foregone conclusion. The Los Angeles Times meanwhile, broke ranks and became the first paper to pick Turner, favouring him for not only his vaunted punch but also for the ease with which he made weight. It is fascinating to note then that it was Turner, not Gans who took extra weight to the ring, coming in at half a pound over while Gans hit his mark. It was Turner, and not Gans who was subject to the fine and muttered accusations of an unfair advantage.

These were thrown into sharper relief by the condition of Gans who had “trained down fine” in the parlance of the day, ribs visible beneath his flesh, his face angular and taught. It is testimony to his discipline and his commitment to his art that he would still be making the 135lb limit some seven years later.

Discipline and professionalism seem the cornerstones, too, of his victory over Turner. It was clear within minutes that Turner had a single chance and that chance involved Gans carelessness intersecting with a flush overhand right, so Gans set out to eliminate those errors and minimise those risks, and this, he did, throughout the fight – until the very final seconds.

Gans could and perhaps should have taken out his man in the first, however, as Turner was clearly overwhelmed by the occasion. It needs to be remembered that this wasn’t a twenty-two-year-old Olympic hero getting the first of five title shots at one of twenty “world titles” spread across four different divisions and separated by increments as small as three pounds; this was a black slugger boxing in an openly racist era against a pound-for-pounder for the only world title he would ever be matched for – and he probably knew it.

It should be remembered, too, that The Chronicle had made Turner a slender favourite but only if “he can forget” the enormity of the occasion. There were some questions concerning Turner’s championship minerals and these proved to be well-founded. According to The Tribune, Turner “evidently feared the champion” and “went down three times in this round from sheer nervousness.” Making sense of this is not easy, and reports are contrary, some describing scuffling but most agreeing that Turner was taking to the canvas without a punch being thrown, much less landed. Gans intimidated people. Even Elbows McFadden, who shared so many rounds with the champion seemed over-wrought in their most recent and final contest. Turner was visibly afraid.

For his part, it can only be imagined the horror Gans was filled with as the spectre of yet another faked fight loomed but Turner gathered himself, recovered his mind and set out in earnest to win the world’s championship. Gans remained cautious.

“Joe saw that the work cut out for him was easy,” The Chronicle wrote, “and he took his time, fighting a careful, waiting battle with the right ever ready to put an abrupt ending to proceedings when the proper time arrived…no matter what position he got in during the mix he never left either the head or body unprotected.”

Gans, careful, shifting, feinting, but never extended, allowed Turner to develop momentum. Key for Joe Gans: it does not matter unless the offence is absolutely elite. Momentum does not matter, fluidity, cohesion, speed, none of it matters because Joe Gans has an absolute measure of any fighter merely excellent with whom he takes to the ring.

“His blocking was wonderful,” reported The Tribune, “and it may be said that Rufe only succeeded in getting one really good clean blow [in the entire fight].”

This “one blow” remark is disputed, notably by the gambler Finny Jackson, who from a ringside seat saw Turner land two good body punches in round three. Whatever occurred in the third, Turner began to overreach in the fourth and his long and painful execution began. At round’s end, a rapid left-hand counter dropped Turner for the nine count; when he regained his feet, Gans hit him again with a reverse one-two and Turner was dropped once more, saved only by the bell.

This is important to note. Joe’s perennial critics at the San Francisco Chronicle alleged after this fight that Gans let Turner survive into the fifteenth to allow his manager to collect on bets. It is true, such things were not unheard of but here in the fourth Gans blasted Turner to the deck for a nine count and then pasted him again when he made it up, only the bell interrupting the count. If Joe was trying to avoid the early knockout, he was playing with fine margins.

Turner landed a good right hand high on the head in the fifth and enjoyed his best round of the fight in the sixth, landing the one good blow identified by The Tribune, a left-handed body shot so violent it lifted Gans from the canvas. This sounds hyperbolic, but it was reported in both The Tribune and The Chronicle and the champion’s offence was momentarily stymied. His defence, meanwhile, seems almost to have been impregnable these occasional punches aside, while Turner threw and threw and threw and wilted. Gans meanwhile “never wasted a punch” even according to the ever-critical Chronicle, boxing with absolute economy in the face of a fighter attempting to throw himself into relevance.

The San Francisco Examiner saw a total of three clean punches landed by Turner, their favourite a right hand to the heart in the eighth. Nevertheless, this was another round that saw Turner spilled to the canvas, though he was up quickly and straight back to the fight. It was in the tenth that the fight started to feel cruel, Turner dropped twice, first on his face with an uppercut to the stomach, then with headshots that sent him crashing through the ropes. The bell saved him for a second time, a fact once again overlooked by The Chronicle which itself reported the awful beating Gans administered in the thirteenth in another round where perhaps only the bell and a hard head combined to see Turner through.

The San Diego Union and Daily Bee has Turner hitting the deck in the fourteenth but no other source repeats the claim. In the fifteenth, Gans closed the show. In a repeat of the thirteenth, Gans landed headshots almost at will, eventually putting Turner out of his considerably misery. This was an experienced, powerful man but against Gans he appeared little more than a middling sparring partner. “Gans never took a chance at any stage,” noted The Bee.  “Even when Turner was groggy and an easy mark…he kept away or jabbed easy ones to Rufe’s face.”

Nevertheless, there was marked admiration for Turner’s staying power which was considerable.  “You’re alright old man,” Gans told his fallen opponent as the two shook hands. “There was sincerity,” reported The Chronicle, “for the Stockton boy made a truly brave showing.”

The Stockton boy fought on and in fact went fifteen fights and two years undefeated. In 1905 he even found his way back into Joe Gans’ ring, though for a six-round no-decision rather than a championship fight. Most sources made Gans a handy winner, but the fight contained none of the spite Gans unleashed against him in the fourth round of their title fight.

Turner fought another twenty years, a third and fourth career, fading but never falling entirely to pieces. He fought on several occasions for something called the “Orient Lightweight title” and supposedly made the acquaintanceship of Pancho Villa, even showing him a thing or two in the line of punching according to Bill Miller, who had indeed spent some time in that part of the world.

Jack Kearns, too, sang Rufe’s praises as a puncher and even spun a tall tale in which he boxed Turner, stopped on his feet after nine. Some sources have him boxing into the early 1920s, his fourth decade as a fighter. Turner was never going to make a champion in the early 1900s, but he likely had the punch and the heart to hold a strap in our own time.

Gans emerged from this fight without a mark on his face and he was not for resting upon his laurels.  Al Herford, campaigning as always on Joe’s behalf, began work in tempting Jimmy Britt into the championship ring. First though, there was the matter of Gus Gardner who he met just two months after dusting Turner in a fight that had originally been named a title fight only for Gardner to miss the weight by three pounds. If there were any truth to the notion that Gans had held back against Turner, he certainly did not do so against Gardner, who he blasted out in five of a scheduled twenty.  Gardner does not appear to have landed a meaningful punch. Once more, reporters made the claim that a Gans opponent appeared to be “nervous” and in the case of a writer for The Waterbury Evening Democrat, outright scared.

Still, Gardner fared better than Jack Bennett who Gans knocked out in two one-sided rounds five days later. Bennett was a seventy-fight veteran who had, in the preceding eighteen months, been in with the likes of former welterweight champion Rube Ferns, George McFadden, Mike Sullivan, not to mention Joe Gans himself. But something had changed. Bennett now “appeared to be afraid of the champion” according to the Washington Evening Star.

Gans dropped him twice in the first and then put him away with his new pet, a reverse one-two, in the second.

The following month Gans departed once more for Canada, Fort Erie, the site of his great triumph over Frank Erne. His opponent was an old foe, one who had extended him twenty-five rounds in 1898, the veteran Kid McPartland.  But the question now seemed a different one to that which was usually asked, not as to who could beat Joe Gans, but as to who could face him without fear.

This series was written with the support of boxing historian and Joe Gans expert Sergei Yurchenko.  His work can be found here: http://senya13.blogspot.com/

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Featured Articles

Alycia Baumgardner vs Elhem Mekhaled: Female Splendor at MSG 

Published

on

Alycia-Maumgardner-vs-Elhem-Mekhaled-Amanda-serrano-Erika-Cruz-Choi Hyun Mi-Mikaela-Mayer-Delfine-Persoon

Alycia Baumgardner vs Elhem Mekhaled: Female Splendor at MSG

Two bouts between women, which will turn the winners into undisputed champions in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions, will create an electrifying atmosphere this Saturday, February 4th at Madison Square Garden.

In the duel between the two southpaws, Puerto Rican Amanda Serrano (43-2-1, 30 KOs), based in Brooklyn), will defend her 126-pound WBC, IBF and WBO titles, while Mexican Erika Cruz (15-1, 3 KOs) will defend her WBA title.

Also, of great interest will be the fight between American Baumgardner (13-1, 7 KOs), 130-pound WBC, IBF and WBO champion and her opponent, French challenger Elhem Mekhaled (15-1, 3 KOs), who will try to snatch Baumgardner’s titles and get the vacant WBA title, which belonged to the undefeated Korean Choi Hyun-Mi (20-1, 5 KOs).

Choi, who was born in Pyongyang, North Korea but left the country with her family at the age of 14 and settled in Seoul, South Korea, was declared “Champion in Recess”, as she suffers from a medical condition that prevents her from fighting. Once she fully recovers, she will have the possibility of facing, as a mandatory challenger, the winner between Baumgardner and Mekhaled.

For Baumgardner, who was born 28 years ago in Ohio, but now lives and trains in Michigan, the fight in New York will once again allow her to showcase her skills in the United States after three consecutive fights in the United Kingdom.

In her most recent bout, Baumgardner defeated her compatriot Mikaela Mayer (17-1, 5 KOs) in a difficult brawl, from whom she snatched the IBF and WBO belts, while retaining the WBC belt. The bout was October 15th of last year at the O2 Arena in London. Two of the officials, Steve Gray and John Latham, scored the fight 96-95 in favor of Baumgardner, but Terry O’Connor saw it 97-93 for Mayer.

Four days later, Choi unanimously defeated Canada’s Vanessa Bradford (6-4-2, 0 KOs) in Seoul, earning the Asian her ninth successful defense of the WBA super featherweight crown, which she has held since May 2014, when she anesthetized the now retired Thai, Siriwan Thongmanit.

The following month, in November, the WBA ordered Choi to defend her belt in a mandatory duel against Baumgardner, making the winner the undisputed queen of 130 pounds.

ELHEM MEKHALED FILLS THE VACANCY OF SOUTH KOREAN CHOI

To fill the vacancy of the South Korean Choi, the IBF Committee awarded the position to Mekhaled who ranks third in the women’s 130-pound rankings.

Former interim WBC titleholder, Mekhaled, 31 years old and born in Paris, has recently lost by unanimous decision to Belgian Delfine Persoon (47-3, 19 KOs) at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi where they disputed the vacant WBC silver belt.

The duel against Baumgardner not only allows Mekhaled to debut in the United States, but also provides her the opportunity to become the undisputed champion at 130 pounds.

Mekhaled emphasized that the February 4th event has great significance for women fighters and that this is a sign that the discipline is growing, with more and more fight cards in which women exhibit the leading role.

The French boxer said that after winning the interim title in 2015, she waited a long time for the opportunity to fight for the regular belt, but unfortunately it never materialized.

Mekhaled explained that after a long period of focusing on her personal life and not really training, she accepted the duel with Delfine Persoon with only two weeks of preparation, which led to the setback against the Belgian boxer.

“Since my WBC interim 2019 title, I’ve been waiting for this moment,” said Mekhaled. “Maybe fate has played well; instead of one belt, they’re all on the line. I am super excited to fight on February 4th at the legendary MSG in New York. God knows how determined I am! It’s my time to shine. Thank you to my advisor Sarah Fina.”

Article submitted by Jorge Juan Álvarez in Spanish.

Please note any adjustments made were for clarification purposes and any errors in translation were unintentional.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

How good is Jake Paul? Shane Mosley’s Answer May Surprise You

Published

on

How-good-is-Jake-Paul-Shane-Mosley's-Answer-May-Surprise-You

Few celebrities in the world today are as polarizing as Jake Paul. The 26-year-old Cleveland native who fights Tommy Fury in an 8-round match on Feb. 26 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has fervent fans and equally fervent detractors. To long-time aficionados of boxing, especially those born before the arrival of the internet, Jake Paul and his ilk are widely looked upon as a scourge.

Paul first entered the squared circle on Aug. 25, 2018, at the Manchester Arena in England. He fought fellow YouTube star Deji Olatunji in the co-feature to a match between their respective older brothers, Logan Paul and the “influencer” known as KSI. The combatants promoted the event on their social media platforms

These were exhibitions fought with headgear. Jake Paul stopped Olatunji whose corner pulled him out after five rounds. However, the results wouldn’t appear on boxrec, the sport’s official record-keeper.

No serious boxing fan paid this curious event any heed, but the folks that profit from the sport without taking any punches stood up and took notice. The on-site gate reportedly exceeded $3 million. The event reportedly generated 1.3 million pay-per-view buys worldwide (youtube charged $10 a pop) with nearly as many beholders catching a free ride on a pirate stream. A new era was born, or at least a new sub-set of a heretofore calcified sport.

Jake Paul had his first professional fight on Jan. 30, 2020, in Miami. In the opposite corner was a British social media personality of Saudi Arabian lineage who took the name AnEsonGib. Paul stopped him in the opening round.

Paul fought once more that year, knocking out former NBA star Nate Robinson, and three times in 2021, opposing Ben Askren and then Tyron Woodley twice. Askren and Woodley were former MMA champions who had fabled careers as U.S. collegiate wrestlers, but both were newcomers to boxing.

According to Forbes, Jake Paul made $31 million from boxing in 2021. And therein lies the rub. While thousands of would-be future champions, many with deep amateur backgrounds, toiled away in boxing gyms honing their craft while hoping to attract the eye of an important promoter, a guy like Jake Paul came along and jumped the queue. It just ain’t fair.

In preparation for his pro debut against AnEson Gib, Paul spent time in Big Bear, California, training at the compound of Shane Mosley. A first ballot Hall of Famer (class of 2020), Mr. Mosley needs no introduction to readers of this web site. And when he says that Jake Paul is legit, one is inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

“I taught him the fundamentals,” says Mosley, “but Jake was a good listener and a hard worker. He’s a good athlete and he has a boxer’s mentality. We took him down the street to Abel Sanchez’s gym and had him spar with real professional fighters. He would spar with anybody and when he got caught with a hard punch he wouldn’t back down. He loves the sport and he relished the competition.”

Mosley stops short of saying that Jake Paul could hold his own with Canelo Alvarez – Paul preposterously called out Canelo after out-pointing 47-year-old MMA legend Anderson Silva in his most recent fight – but with so many titles up for grabs in this balkanized sport, it wouldn’t   surprise Mosely if the self-styled “Problem Child” latched hold of one before this phase of his life was over.

A three-time national amateur champion and a world champion at 135, 147, and 154 pounds as a pro, Shane Mosley put Pomona, California on the boxing map. He represented that city in LA county throughout his illustrious career. His son of the same name was born there.

Mosley fought twice in his hometown as he was coming up the ladder and will be back there again on Feb. 18 when Shane Mosley Jr appears on the undercard of a Golden Boy Promotions card at Pomona’s historic Fox Theater. It’s not official yet so we won’t divulge the name of Shane’s opponent, but the main event will pit Luis Nery against Azat Hovhannisyan in a WBC Super Bantamweight Eliminator, a match that shapes up as an entertaining skirmish as both have fan-friendly styles.

Shane Mosley Jr Sr

Shane Mosley Jr & Sr

Shane Mosley Jr, who turned 31 in December, will never replicate his father’s fistic accomplishments; his dad set the bar too high. But the younger Mosley is a solid pro who is on a pretty nice roll, having won five of his last six since losing a 10-round decision to Brandon Adams in the finals of season 5 of The Contender series. In his last outing, he out-slicked rugged Gabriel Rosado to win a regional super middleweight title.

The elder Mosely has been working with his son at Bones Adams gym in Las Vegas and will be in junior’s corner on Feb. 18. It will be a double-homecoming for Pomona’s favorite sons.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Arne K. Lang’s third boxing book, titled “George Dixon, Terry McGovern and the Culture of Boxing in America, 1890-1910,” has rolled off the press. Published by McFarland, the book can be ordered directly from the publisher or via Amazon.

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Amanda Serrano Seeks Undisputed Status at 126 with Katie Taylor on the Horizon 

Published

on

Amanda-Serrano-Seeks-Undisputed-Status-at-126=with-Katie-Taylor-on-the-Horizon

After becoming the boxing icon of Puerto Rico last year, Amanda Serrano will try to make history again when she faces the Mexican southpaw Erika Cruz on February 4th at the Hulu theater in Madison Square Garden.

Promoter Eddie Hearn stated, “Puerto Rico vs Mexico fights always deliver fireworks, and we can expect nothing less when Amanda and Erika meet. Their clash of styles will make for a brilliant spectacle as Amanda and her army of fans return to the scene of her history-making fight of the year with Katie, and we can expect a similar atmosphere to one of the greatest nights the sport has ever seen.”

Champion in several sanctioning bodies, Serrano (43-2-1, 30 KOs) will put her WBC, IBF and WBO featherweight belts on the line, while Cruz (15-1, 3 KOs) will be defending the WBA belt. If she succeeds, the thirty-four-year-old Serrano, a native of Puerto Rico who has lived in Brooklyn, New York since childhood, will become the first boxer from Puerto Rico to hold the four most recognized belts in boxing.

“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 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!”

The Puerto Rican boxer, who has won 30 of her 46 fights within the distance, said that if Cruz has a tactical plan in place that consists of exchanging punches, the bout will not go the 10 scheduled rounds.

Last September, Serrano unanimously defeated then-undefeated Dane Sarah Mahfoud (11-1, 3 KOs, in Manchester, England. Previously, in April, Serrano lost a split decision to Ireland’s Katie Taylor (22-0, 6 KOs) who successfully defended her four lightweight belts. Two judges scored the fight (97-93) for Taylor and the other (96-94) in favor of Serrano.

Taylor and Serrano became the first female boxers to headline a boxing match at Madison Square Garden. The two ladies also made history by each receiving a check for more than a million dollars which had an increase from pay-per-view earnings.

Referring to a possible rematch against Taylor, Serrano commented that if she beats Cruz, as expected, and if/when she meets Taylor for the second time (possibly in May in Ireland), it would be an epic duel between two undisputed champions: Serrano at 126 pounds and Taylor at 135.

Even though Serrano longs for a rematch with Taylor, she realizes that her immediate challenge is Cruz and has assured us that she is in excellent shape physically, technically, and mentally. She has increased the amount of sparring in camp, focusing on aggressiveness and explosiveness. She’s also added a sports massage therapist to her team which has helped with recovery.

In regard to a second confrontation between Serrano and Taylor, promoter Eddie Hearn stated, “For Serrano to become undisputed at 126 and then fight Katie again for the undisputed at 135 at Croke Park in Dublin, it would make that rematch even bigger if you can imagine that.”

Cruz, 32 years old and born in Mexico City, has put together a win streak of 14 following her loss to compatriot Alondra González on June 25, 2016, in Puebla, Mexico. Cruz conquered the WBA world belt on April 22, 2022, when she defeated Canadian Jelena Mrdjenovich who was unable to continue in the seventh round due to a cut caused by an accidental headbutt.

Erika Cruz

Erika Cruz

Five months later, on September 3, Cruz faced Mrdjenovich for a second time and again came out with her arm raised, this time winning by unanimous decision in Hermosillo, Mexico, where she retained the WBA title for the second time.

Cruz is looking forward to the matchup with Serrano. “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 lbs.”

Article submitted by Jorge Juan Álvarez in Spanish.

Please note any adjustments made were for clarification purposes and any errors in translation were unintentional.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-A-New-Foe-for-Broner-and-an-Intriguing-Heavyweight-Matchup
Featured Articles1 week ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: A New Foe for Broner and an Intriguing Heavyweight Match-up

Jermaine-Wallin-and-Otto-Wallin-Losing-Can-Be-Winning-or-Not
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Jermaine Franklin and Otto Wallin; Losing Can Be Winning, or Not

Artur-Beterbiev-I'd-prefer-to-fight-Bivol-because-he-has-the-one-thing-I-need
Featured Articles1 week ago

Artur Beterbiev: “I’d prefer to fight Bivol because he has the one thing I need”

A-Shocker-in-Manchester-Liam-Smith-Stops-Chris-Eubank-Jr-in-Four
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Shocker in Manchester: Liam Smith Stops Chris Eubank Jr in Four

Anthony-Yarde-I-am-at-my-bst-when-I-fight-fire-with-fire
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Anthony Yarde: “I am at my best when I fight fire with fire.”

Saul-Rodriguez-Showcased-in-Garcia-Promotions-Event.jpg
Featured Articles4 days ago

Garcia Promotions’ Event in San Bernardino was a Showcase for Saul Rodriguez

R.I.P.-Former-Heavyweight-Champ-Gerrie Coetsee-aa-South-African-Sporting-Icon
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

R.I.P. Former Heavyweight Champ Gerrie Coetzee, a South African Sporting Icon

Swamp-King-Jonathan-Guidry-Vanquishes-Bermane-Stiverne-in-Miami
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

‘Swamp King’ Jonathan Guidry Vanquishes Bermane Stiverne in Miami

Tank-Davis-TKOs-Garcia-Boots-Ennis-Shuts-Out-Chukhadzhian
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Tank Davis TKOs Garcia; Boots Ennis Shuts Out Chukhadzhian

Guillermo-Rigondeaux-Refuses-to-Hang-Up-His-Gloves
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Guillermo Rigondeaux Refuses to Hang Up His Gloves

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-Roiman-Villa's-Remarkable-Rally-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Roiman Villa’s Remarkable Rally and More

The-Greatest-Boxing-Book-Never-Written-and-More-Literary-Notes
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

The Greatest Boxing Book Never Written and More Literary Notes

Naoya-Inoue-Puts-the-Super-Bantamweight-Division-on-High-Alert
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Naoya Inoue Puts the Super Bantamweight Division on High Alert

Avila-Perspective-Chap-219-Tank-and-Company
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 219: Tank Davis and Company

David-Dynamite-Stevens-KOs-Sean-Hemphill-on-ShoBox
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

David “Dynamite” Stevens KOs Sean Hemphill on ShoBox

Adrien-Broner-has-a-bew-Opponent-Ivan-Redkach-is-Out-Hank-Lundy-is-In
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Adrien Broner has a New Opponent: Ivan Redkach is Out; Hank Lundy is In

Mickey-Bey-Didn't-Lose-Faith-as-his-match-with-Tevin-Farmer-Kept-Falling-Apart
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Mickey Bey Didn’t Lose Faith as his match with Tevin Farmer kept Falling Apart

Jaron-Boots-Ennis-A-Pure-Fighter-on-the-Cusp-of-Breakout-Year
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis – A Pure Fighter on the Cusp of a Breakout Year

Romain-Villa-Storms-Back-in-the-Final-Frame-to-Upset-Rashidi-Ellis-on-Showtime
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Roiman Villa Storms Back in the Final Frame to Upset Rashidi Ellis on Showtime

Devin-Haney-vs-Vasily-Lomachenko-A-High-Stakes-Duel
Featured Articles1 week ago

Devin Haney vs Vasily Lomachenko: A High Stakes Duel

Alycia-Maumgardner-vs-Elhem-Mekhaled-Amanda-serrano-Erika-Cruz-Choi Hyun Mi-Mikaela-Mayer-Delfine-Persoon
Featured Articles2 hours ago

Alycia Baumgardner vs Elhem Mekhaled: Female Splendor at MSG 

How-good-is-Jake-Paul-Shane-Mosley's-Answer-May-Surprise-You
Featured Articles9 hours ago

How good is Jake Paul? Shane Mosley’s Answer May Surprise You

Amanda-Serrano-Seeks-Undisputed-Status-at-126=with-Katie-Taylor-on-the-Horizon
Featured Articles24 hours ago

Amanda Serrano Seeks Undisputed Status at 126 with Katie Taylor on the Horizon 

Beterbiev-Remains-Focused-on-Dmitry-Bivol-after-Knocking-Out-Anthony-Yarde
Featured Articles1 day ago

Beterbiev Remains Focused on Dmitry Bivol after Knocking Out Anthony Yarde

Andy-Ruiz-and-Filip-Hrgovic-on-the-Road-toOleksandr-Usyk
Featured Articles3 days ago

Andy Ruiz and Filip Hrgovic on the Road to Oleksandr Usyk

Artem-Dalakian-Sunny-Edwards-and-the-Most-Storied-Title-in-Boxing
Featured Articles3 days ago

Artem Dalakian, Sunny Edwards, and the Most Storied Title in Boxing

Emanuel-Navarrete-Aims-to-Become-Champion-in--Third-Weight-Class-on-Friday
Featured Articles4 days ago

Emanuel Navarrete Aims to Become Champion in a Third Weight Class on Friday

Saul-Rodriguez-Showcased-in-Garcia-Promotions-Event.jpg
Featured Articles4 days ago

Garcia Promotions’ Event in San Bernardino was a Showcase for Saul Rodriguez

Alexis-Rocha-KOs-Brave-but-Overmatched-George-Ashie-on-DAZN
Featured Articles5 days ago

Alexis Rocha KOs Brave but Overmatched George Ashie on DAZN

Artur-Beterbiev-TKOs-Anthony-Yarde-in-a-London-Firefight
Featured Articles5 days ago

Artur Beterbiev TKOs Anthony Yarde in a London Firefight

Jake-Paul-vs-Tommy-Fury-onFeb-26-in-a-Potential-Pay-Per-View-Blockbuster
Featured Articles6 days ago

Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury on Feb. 26 in a Potential Pay-Per-View Blockbuster

Avila-Perspective-Chap-223-A-Lively-Weeend-in-SoCal-with-Three-Fight-Cards-in-Two-Days
Featured Articles6 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 223: A Lively Weekend in SoCal with Three Fight Cards in Two Days

Artur-Beterbiev-I'd-prefer-to-fight-Bivol-because-he-has-the-one-thing-I-need
Featured Articles1 week ago

Artur Beterbiev: “I’d prefer to fight Bivol because he has the one thing I need”

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-A-New-Foe-for-Broner-and-an-Intriguing-Heavyweight-Matchup
Featured Articles1 week ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: A New Foe for Broner and an Intriguing Heavyweight Match-up

David-Benavidez-and-Caleb-Plant-Both-Want-Canelo-Alvarez
Featured Articles1 week ago

David Benavidez and Caleb Plant Both Want ‘Canelo’ Álvarez

Devin-Haney-vs-Vasily-Lomachenko-A-High-Stakes-Duel
Featured Articles1 week ago

Devin Haney vs Vasily Lomachenko: A High Stakes Duel

Swamp-King-Jonathan-Guidry-Vanquishes-Bermane-Stiverne-in-Miami
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

‘Swamp King’ Jonathan Guidry Vanquishes Bermane Stiverne in Miami

A-Shocker-in-Manchester-Liam-Smith-Stops-Chris-Eubank-Jr-in-Four
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Shocker in Manchester: Liam Smith Stops Chris Eubank Jr in Four

David-Dynamite-Stevens-KOs-Sean-Hemphill-on-ShoBox
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

David “Dynamite” Stevens KOs Sean Hemphill on ShoBox

Jermaine-Wallin-and-Otto-Wallin-Losing-Can-Be-Winning-or-Not
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Jermaine Franklin and Otto Wallin; Losing Can Be Winning, or Not

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement