Outcomes and highlights: Erika Cruz takes WBA title from Mrdjenovich
Erika Cruz scored an upset in tonight’s Ring Metropolis USA foremost occasion, dominating in opposition to Jelena Mrdjenovich to take the WBA featherweight title and probably transfer on to a fair larger bout with Amanda Serrano.
Cruz (13-1, 3 KO) received on technical choice scores of 70-63 throughout the board, after the combat was stopped early within the seventh because of cuts on Mrdjenovich (41-11, 2, 19 KO). For the reason that foremost lower was dominated to be brought on by a conflict of heads (replays confirmed it might effectively have been a punch that did it), it went to the playing cards. At that time, there was little question; Cruz had received each spherical.
Dangerous Left Hook scored the combat 70-64 for Cruz, giving the 25 seconds of the seventh spherical a 10-10 as an alternative of going 10-9 both method.
Mrdjenovich, the 38-year-old Canadian veteran, simply had an terrible night time right here. The Ring Metropolis staff felt she “bought outdated,” and possibly, however nonetheless you slice it she was getting tagged by the aggressive Cruz from the primary spherical, and it by no means stopped. Cruz isn’t probably the most technically sound fighter, however she was touchdown her broad pictures frequently, and Mrdjenovich by no means bought out of the beginning blocks right here.
Coach Johnathon Banks urged Mrdjenovich between each spherical to field and famous she was “giving the combat away” a few instances. Ultimately, Jelena by no means discovered the rhythm, and Erika Cruz received her first world title in convincing trend.
Cruz devoted the combat to her father, who has educated her all through her profession however couldn’t be on the combat tonight.
“Each spherical that glided by, I considered my father. I couldn’t come this far and disappoint him, and I didn’t try this,” she stated. “We’ve the belt!”
Amanda Serrano, the WBC and WBO titleholder who lately fought on Ring Metropolis USA, was watching the fights and congratulated Cruz by way of social media, and likewise let it’s identified she desires to do a three-belt unification.
Normally this would possibly get a fast bullet level recap with some highlights beneath, however this one was wild and dramatic and deserves a bit extra consideration.
Ruiz (17-1, 12 KO) was combating for the primary time since 2019, when he misplaced a second spherical KO in opposition to Javier Flores in California. He determined to interchange his father within the nook with veteran coach Manny Robles, and he took this combat in opposition to Mominov, a Kazakh fighter who got here in unbeaten.
Mominov had the higher of the primary spherical rounds, however he’d additionally proven one thing else he’s grow to be identified for: Soiled techniques. He went low on Ruiz a couple of instances, after which within the fifth actually cracked Ruiz with a nasty low blow. Ruiz took most of his allotted 5 minutes to get well, then got here again simply firing. Not solely did Mominov lose a degree by deduction (deserved) for the foul, however he was dropped within the fifth spherical, too, and unexpectedly the combat was on.
Mominov went down once more within the seventh spherical, and although he fought exhausting attempting to win it within the eighth, it was too little, too late. Ruiz bought the win on scores of 75-74, 76-73, and 76-73. Dangerous Left Hook had it 75-74 for Ruiz. Mominov is now 12-1 (8 KO).
- Juan Pablo Romero UD-10 Deiner Berrio: Romero stays unbeaten, going to 14-0 (9 KO) with a transparent win over Berrio, who drops to 22-3-1 (13 KO). Romero, a 31-year-old Sergeant within the Mexican Military, isn’t actually a prospect and doesn’t appear to be he’s going to be a late blooming contender, however he fought within the Olympics in 2016 and is a good, well-disciplined fighter at 140/147. Berrio, a Colombian based mostly in Los Angeles, is 30 so he’s no younger fighter, both, and he simply didn’t throw sufficient. He gave a last-ditch KO a shot within the tenth and closing spherical, throwing what he had, however he solely had a couple of half-round of that in him. Dangerous Left Hook had the combat 97-93 for Romero.
- Christian Mbilli TKO-5 Jesus Antonio Gutierrez: A enjoyable combat to observe, however in the end actually one-sided, with Mbilli (18-0, 17 KO) taking some pictures from Gutierrez (27-5-2, 14 KO) however largely having his method, pouring on the stress from the opening bell and by no means relenting. Mbilli is a bit small in top at tremendous middleweight, standing simply over 5’8”, however he’s sturdily constructed and has plenty of power and a few energy. “The sport plan was to destroy him spherical by spherical,” Mbilli stated, and that labored. Gutierrez hung robust however went down within the fifth, was actually achieved there, however bought up and was dropped once more for the end. Mbilli is 25, born in Cameroon however fights out of France, and has confirmed keen to journey, combating at dwelling, in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. a pair instances now. He says he’s “prepared for everybody” after this combat. Somebody to observe.
- Jalan Walker D-6 Angel Antonio Contreras: A step up for Walker, who simply turned 19 in January, and it doesn’t fairly repay, nevertheless it’s not an enormous setback, both. He was disillusioned however composed about it in his post-fight interview. Scores had been 58-56 for Walker, 58-56 for Contreras, and 57-57. I scored the combat 58-56 for Walker and felt it was nearer to 59-55 Walker than something nearer than that, however the final three rounds had been aggressive, Contreras (11-4-2, 7 KO) positively received the sixth spherical. Walker (8-0-1, 7 KO) stays a superb prospect at featherweight, he’s somebody high promoters ought to nonetheless have an eye fixed on. He made some tactical errors right here, staying within the pocket a bit an excessive amount of, which was enjoyable for us to observe but in addition gave the 26-year-old Contreras the one actual likelihood he needed to win this and even be aggressive. However he’ll be again.
- Daniel Bailey KO-1 Luis Alvarado: Bailey is a 24-year-old Military vet and four-time Military champion, on the present right here for apparent causes on either side, I’m certain. Alvarado (1-3, 0 KO) didn’t actually appear to wish to be right here. He took a shot to the chin, went down, complained he was hit behind the pinnacle (he wasn’t), and it was over in 27 seconds when he took the ten rely. Bailey has labored with the Terence Crawford camp, so commentator Jamel Herring knew him effectively and spoke extremely of him. For those who’re in or close to Myrtle Seashore, Bailey will probably be combating Might 15 on a card promoted by Christy Martin.