Women's Boxing Picks Up Where It Left Off In 2022 With A Huge New York Card

Amanda Serrano and Alycia Baumgardner will be in action in NYC
11:00, 05 Jan 2023

If you thought women’s boxing was leaving its big, history-making nights in 2022 then think again. 2023 is set to kick off with an absolute bang, as WBC, WBO and IBF featherweight champion Amanda Serrano headlines the Hulu Theater At Madison Square Garden against WBA titlist Erika Cruz. Serrano fought in the main MSG building last year, as her and Katie Taylor became the first women to headline the venue. Taylor beat Serrano via split decision in a bout we crowned The Sportsman Fight of the Year.

As well as a blockbuster, undisputed championship main event, the card features the return of ‘The Bomb’ Alycia Baumgardner. The 28-year-old was last seen beating Mikaela Mayer to unify the WBC, WBO and IBF super featherweight titles on the historic all-female O2 Arena card.


Baumgardner was seen as a controversial victor in some quarters and Mayer, who she beat via split decision, was raging at the result. ‘The Bomb’ has steadfastly refused to grant a rematch thus far, though her protestations have softened a little over time. But that fight can wait for now. At MSG, Baumgardner will take on 15-1 contender Elhem Mekhaled. The WBA are putting their vacant title on the line, making this an undisputed championship fight.

While the card is headlined by two undisputed title fights, there is also a deep well of talent throughout the show. Unbeaten prospects Ramla Ali and Skye Nicholson will write the next chapters in their respective journeys. Ali faces unbeaten fan favourite Avril Mathie while Nicholson takes on Tania Alvarez for the vacant WBC silver featherweight title.


But the true crown jewel here is Serrano. A true living legend of the sport, the 34-year-old won her first world title way back in 2011. She is a seven-weight world champion. The only woman and only Puerto Rican in history to hold titles at more than four weights. She has lost just twice in 45 fights. They call her ‘The Real Deal’ and rarely has a nickname been more appropriate.

It is heartening to see women’s boxing continue to build upon the incredible year its just had. What makes this New York card so exciting is the permutations coming out of it. Baumgardner could leave the Big Apple wearing undisputed gold, adding even more spice to a Mayer rematch. Serrano remains in the Taylor orbit and a rematch between the pair would be a lucrative white-knuckle ride. The next steps for Ali and Nicholson will be fascinating, too.

So once again we prepare to be thrilled by another stacked card. Women’s boxing is once again proving more adept at putting its money where its mouth is with the biggest fights. Let’s hope it continues in this gloriously apolitical way. No pretence, no posturing, just fights. This is how boxing should be.

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