19/04/2024

Katie Taylor retained her Undisputed Lightweight title against Amanda Serrano in a razor close encounter that has launched women's boxing (Photo: Matchroom Boxing/Twitter)

Katie Taylor has retained her Undisputed World titles against Amanda Serrano, in a fight that has changed women's boxing forever.

In front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden, Katie Taylor (21-0, 6 KO) defeated Amanda Serrano (42-2-1, 30 KO) to retain the Undisputed Lightweight title in the biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing.

Before the fight was made, there had been decades worth of questions asked as to whether women could sell in professional boxing, but this bout silenced the doubters. As a result, women’s boxing has skyrocketed and the fight has been dubbed by many experts as ‘the fight of the year for both men and women.’

Coming into the showdown, it was clear that both women had given a lot to the sport of boxing. Taylor single-handedly made women’s boxing legal in her home country of Ireland and also helped women compete in boxing at the Olympic Games.

Serrano has also dedicated her entire life to boxing, to the point where she doesn’t own a cellphone and has avoided relationships as she felt they were distractions.

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In recent years, both women had gained more notoriety as promoters started putting them on the undercards of bigger fights. Taylor is a prominent part of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, while Serrano is promoted by the polarizing internet star turned boxer Jake Paul, who she teamed up with to make this fight happen.

When the fight was announced, it recorded the second largest pre-sale in the history of boxing at Madison Square Garden.

Taylor and Serrano were ranked number one and two respectively in the pound for pound women’s ranks and the Puerto Rican moved up two weight classes to make the fight possible.

After Serrano won her first fight in the Lightweight division against Miriam Gutiérrez last December, the super fight was guaranteed to take place in front of the amazing New York crowd.

The Fight

The contest started off with high intensity from both combatants. Serrano started pressing the action with Taylor doing a good job of using her footwork whilst landing her jab on the back foot.

While Taylor utilized the jab, Serrano was landing the much harder punches as the earlier rounds went on.

The fifth round was a nightmare for the Irish champion, outlanded by 30 punches (44-14). In fact, Serrano rocked her badly and almost knocked her down. But Taylor showed no quit, continuing to trade in front of the invested audience.

From the seventh round, Taylor started to take back control by landing the body pucnhes and combinations on the Puerto Rican, who looked to be slowing down.

Using her later round experience, Taylor looked to be moving better than the challenger, while also being the more accurate and defensively sound of the two.

Going into the tenth and final round, the fight was razor close and both women knew that it could decide the result.

Both women threw many big shots, swinging hard in an epic trade-off for the final ten seconds.

When the final bell sounded, many thought the fight could have gone either, but it was Taylor who retained her title by split decision (94-96, 97-93, 96-93).

Aftermath

When speaking to Chris Mannix in her post-fight interview, the 35 year old victor was quick to give credit to her opponent.

“What a fighter Amanda Serrano is,” Taylor said.

“I think were both winners here. Look at what we’ve just done, sold out Madison Square Garden, the biggest fight in female boxing history.

“Both of us have had so many burns over our career and it feels great to be in the position we’re in, what a fight, what a win, what a night.”

Amanda Serrano was quick to thank the fans for making the event as big as it was.

“Look at what we did,” Serrano added.

“They say nobody wants to see women, this place is jam-packed. I appreciate all you guys for coming down.

“We put on a hell of a show, Katie is a great champion, she’s undefeated and I’m truly honoured to have shared the ring with you.

“Look at this crowd. Women can sell, women can fight and we put on a hell of a show.”

Although Serrano believed she won the fight, she didn’t take anything away from Taylor.

“I believe I won” Serrano told.

“I hit her with harder punches I almost had her out one round. It is what it is, I am the smaller girl [and] I am still the champion at featherweight.

“The fans wanted this fight, I came up with two divisions to fight the best, so who’s the true warrior. That says it all.”

As both women agreed on a rematch, Serrano delivered a closing statement on the growth of women’s boxing.

“We’re trying to put women’s boxing on top,” she claimed.

“All of us have to come together, we can’t have one person talking bad about another woman. This is a women’s sport that we’re trying to grow together.

“We can’t be against each other, we’re supposed to support women, to make this sport as big as it is.”

After many years of neglect, it is safe to say that women’s boxing has finally arrived in the mainstream. Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano have proved themselves as box office draws, so much so that a rematch between the two could be worth millions.

Another woman on the undercard that impressed was Aussie Skye Nicolson (3-0) who defeated Paisley Davis (3-2) by Unanimous Decision (60-53×3)

Throughout the fight, Nicolson used her jab effectively whilst also timing her opponent with the straight left. After dominating the whole fight, the 2018 Commonwealth Gold Medalist scored a knockdown with ten seconds to go in the sixth to put a stamp on proceedings.

In victory, Nicolson writes herself into the history books as the first Australian woman to fight and win at the arena regarded as boxing’s spiritual home.

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