By: Sean Crose
WBA Featherweight World Titlist Jelena Mrjdenovich defended her belt as the headline event of Thursday’s Ring City Card which was aired live on the NBC Sports Network from West Point, New York. The 41-10-2 Mrjdenovich put her belt on the line against the 12-1-0 Erika Cruz. The fight was a scheduled 10 round affair.
First up, the 22-2-1 Deiner Berrio squared off against the 13-0 Juan Pablo Romero in a scheduled 10 round welterweight bout. Romero had a good first, but Berrio came around a bit in the second. Romero went on to win the third. Berrio had a hard time pulling the trigger in the fourth. Romero was the more active of the two in the fifth, though Berrio had his moments. Still Romero continue to do well in the sixth and seventh.
In the eighth, it appeared that Berrio, who looked to be fighting in the style of Roy Jones, may have through he was doing better than he was. The ninth was essentially the same as the previous rounds. Berrio came forward and swung with bad intentions in the tenth. It proved, however, to be too little, too late, as Romero walked out with a split decision win.
Next up, welterweights Angel Ruiz, 16-1, and Bibirzhan Mominov, 2-0, battled in a scheduled six rounder. The first was something of a feeling out process. Mominov appeared to edge the second, then moved in effectively in the third. Both men exchanged leather fiercely in an exciting fourth chapter. A low blow landed on Ruiz put a pause to the action in the fifth. Then, after a lengthy break, Ruiz promptly knocked Mominov to the canvas. Mominov got up and held on, but it was an interesting turn of events. The fighter got dropped again – albeit quickly – in the seventh. With that in mind, Mominov banged away in the eighth. It wasn’t enough. Ruiz was able to step out of the ring with a decision win.
It was time for the main event. The opening round was a rather fast paced affair. Cruz came on strong again in the second, while Mrjdenovich moved to maintain range. Mrjdenovich spent the third trying to keep away from Cruz’ whirlwind of punches. Mrjdenovich kept distance for most of the fourth, but Cruz caught up with her. Cruz clearly looked to be the stronger of the two fighters in the fifth. The fight was stopped in the sixth due to a bad accidental cut Mrjdenovich had suffered, though the doctor allowed the fight to continue. The defending champion had an air of defeat about her by this point. Not that it mattered. The referee stopped the fight due to Mrjdenovich’s bloody face the following round in order to keep the champion from receiving more damage.
The fight went to the cards…and Cruz was crowned the new WBA Featherweight World Titlist.