Erika Cruz Edges Melissa Esquivel; Seeks Unification With Serrano!

Erika Cruz Looks Towards Amanda Serrano Next!

WBA featherweight champion Erika Cruz flexes while eyeing Amanda Serrano
Erika Cruz (left), Amanda Serrano

Erika Cruz Uses Her Experience to Get Passed Melissa Esquivel

The Mexican fans got a treat as WBA featherweight champion Erika “Dinamita” Hernandez Cruz (13-1, 3ko) successfully defended the title against a determined Melissa Esquivel (12-1-1 4ko).

Esquivel has been on a roll since her loss against Paulette Valenzuela back in 2019. Moreover, she is a come-forward fighter who works behind a textbook jab with good defense and counter-punching ability.

Hernandez is coming off the biggest win of her life, defeating former unified champion Jelena Mrdjenovich to capture her first world title back on April 22. She has not lost since 2016 and is a serious come-forward pressure fighter that looks to land that hard left hand.

As members of the Mexican national amateur team, these two have sparred before. So, they are familiar with each other. Esquivel was doing a good job of controlling the pace early on with the jab and straight right-hand. She was using her footwork to beat the southpaw champion to the angles, landing and avoiding any counters.

Cruz had the edge in the experience department. She started coming forward and throwing punches in volume, forcing the challenger up against the ropes as she landed body punches. Furthermore, she found a home for the lead overhand right.


Esquivel, for some reason, decided to stop using her boxing skills and was trading with the champion. Moreover, she was getting caught with punches from all angles. Cruz kept the pressure coming, landing the straight left hand during the exchanges, and she continued the body attack whenever her opponent was up against the ropes.

Going towards the final rounds, Esquivel abandoned the failing game plan of trading with the champion and boxed smart by fighting at a distance, stepping back, and landing the uppercut. She landed the straight right-hand and held whenever she was up against the ropes to stop the action.


Cruz, believing the fight was close, charged forward, attacking the challenger with the overhand right and straight left hand down the middle. Esquivel adjusted too late in the fight. Still, she was having success with uppercuts and straight right-hands.

It was a brawl to the finish as both fighters let their hands go. Esquivel was attacking the body with a good one-two punch combination, as the champion used volume punches to land two hard left-hand counters.

When the final bell sounded, the fans once again paid their respects by applauding loudly in appreciation. In a close fight that could have gone either way, one judge scored it 97-93 Esquivel, and the other two had it 97-92, 98-92 for Cruz.

3kingsboxing scored it 96-94 Cruz. The challenger started coming on too late in the fight, and that was the difference. Cruz made a successful first defense of the title in front of her Mexican fans. During the post-fight interview, she made it clear what her long-term goal is.

“Long-term goal, I would love to take on (unified champion) Amanda Serrano.”

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By: Garrisson Bland

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Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."