Source: Fundora to defend belt vs. Cruz Jan. 27

Boxing

Gabriela Fundora will defend her IBF flyweight title against Christina Cruz on Jan. 27 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, a source told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein on Thursday. The fight will be on the undercard of the Jaime Munguia-John Ryder super middleweight bout.

Fundora (12-0, 5 KOs) won the title by defeating Arely Mucino by fifth-round KO in October. Fundora, ESPN’s No. 2 flyweight, scored two knockdowns in that fight, showcasing power and great technique.

The fighter from Coachella, California, also earned decision victories over Tania Garcia and Maria Michel Santizo in 2023, after fighting five times in 2022. Fundora was expected to face WBC, WBO and WBA flyweight champion Marlen Esparza to crown an undisputed champion, but that fight will have to wait.

Fundora is trained by her father, Freddy Fundora, and is the younger sister of former junior middleweight interim champion Sebastian Fundora.

Cruz (6-0), of New York, is the IBF No. 5 ranked fighter in the division. She competed three times in 2023, all one-sided decision victories over Josefina Vega, Nancy Franco, and Amy Salinas. She turned professional in 2021 after a long amateur career of more than 130 fights.

This is big step up for Cruz on her first title fight. She’s never fought more than eight rounds and her opponents have a combined record of 38 wins and 31 loses.

Information from Michael Rothstein was used in this report.

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