Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano – What To Know After The Press Conference
It is now official that Katie Taylor will face Amanda Serrano for all four of the lightweight world titles held by Taylor, on April 30th, at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, New York live on DAZN.
Presale begins at 12noon ET on Thursday February 3, with tickets on general sale at 12noon ET on Friday February 4 – tickets start at $56 (plus fees).
Historical Significance – In the modern era, we have a few all-time great women’s boxers, those off the top of my hear are Katie Taylor, Claressa Shields, Seneisa Estrada, Mikaela Mayer and Amanda Serrano. Taylor and Serrano fighting gives a bit of context to where both stand-up in the sport, in terms of history, as well allow both to get high paying fight checks that rival those of their male counterparts.
In short, it is a fight that will define who will be remembered as one of the all-time great women’s fighters ever, and a fight that could usher in a new early of women’s boxing fans.
Meet The Players
“I think that this fight is the most exciting fight in the sport, not just female boxing. This really is the best fight in boxing right now,” said Taylor. “We are both great champions, she has a great record and she’s a great fighter. We have seen the likes of McCaskill and others; but I want to be the best fighter.”
Taylor is one of the most influential and important fighters in women’s boxing history, as her rise through the amateur rankings, winning seemingly every lightweight bout she entered from 2005 until 2016 she lost at the AIBA world’s to Estelle Mossely, in a year that Irish boxing saw a lot of disputes as Michael Conlan, would infamously flip off the judges at Rio 2016 for bad judging as well. Taylor would receive a first-round bye at the 2016 Rio Olympics only to lose to Mira Potkonen in her first bout, something many felt wronged by.
Taylor, who looked to be a historic two-time women’s gold medalist, was robbed of that, and merged over to the pros which I feel she brought on the women’s boxing revolution along with Claressa Shields that now has seen DAZN make a major investment in women’s boxing, which I feel is based around the financial success she showed to have.
Taylor won her first world title a year after going pro against Anahi Ester Sanchez, for the vacant WBA lightweight title. Her first defense would be against a fighter with only seven fights at the time, Jessica McCaskill, who now has gone on to become one of the best of the era, who soundly outpointed. Taylor would beat Victoria Bustos to claim the IBF lightweight title the following year, and also outpoint Cindy Serrano, Amanda Serrano’s older sister as well.
Taylor would claim three of the four major lightweight world titles defeating Rose Volante for the WBO world title with just the elusive WBC world title remaining to claim undisputed.
This is when she met her first career rival in the pros – Delfine Persoon.
Persoon had no respect for Taylor’s craftsmanship, and some of Taylor’s flaw were on display. Taylor is a great athlete, able to go in-and-out of range, but when fighters get to the inside, sometimes Taylor looks like a professional amateur boxer, and not a refined pro, as she gets hit with punches, based on volume, that most professional often do not get hit with. A lot of ringside writers favored Persoon in this bout, but judges gave Taylor a majority decision win, I think the fact that most didn’t give Persoon a chance, and the fight was seemingly dead-even felt as though the victor should’ve been Persoon as she overcame more than Taylor.
Another thing to note is, when fighters are hyped as much as Taylor was – when they have a tough fight, people love to say it was all marketing and a gimmick downplaying her success in the amateur to get such a healthy investment as a pro.
In November of 2019, Taylor would experiment with going up to 140 lbs., by defeating Christina Linardatou, but this was all for not, as Taylor would become a two-weight professional world champion, but only have to date one fight at this weight class.
The pandemic hit and hit the U.K. hard with shutdowns. Prior to the shutdown, Taylor and Serrano were set to face, but with the pandemic – the fight got voided and never rescheduled.
Taylor would emerge from the shadows of August 2020 with a rematch against Persoon, a bit more sustained decision, but looking just as uncomfortable as prior, as Taylor looked mortal, and one might think that age might be catching up to her.
In recent memory, she has had good barnburners with Tasha Jonas and Firuza Sharipov, both of which seemed closer than people probably expected prior to the bout, as Taylor nearing the age of 36-years-old, has some wondering what is left for one of Ireland’s greatest boxers.
The criticism of Taylor has often been she stayed loyal to Ross Enamait, and that possible she hit a ceiling with him, yet Taylor having never lost, it is hard to be super down on anything she has done.
For Taylor, she is a legend regardless of the outcome, but a win here makes a strong case for her as being on the Mt. Rushmore of women’s boxing, and a pioneer for women’s boxing not unlike how Ronda Rousey was for MMA.
I think a big misconception about Katie Taylor is she entitled or pretty girl, etc, but Taylor is a true fighter, a no-nonsense fighter, someone who in her element lives to fight. That along with winning has connected with her fans.
“I’ve had my eyes on Amanda Serrano and this is a fight I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time now,” said Taylor. “This is history right here and all of our hard work is going to be paid off for at this time.
“I have to thank my coach for not accepting the first couple fights. He knew what I was worth and now we are working with MVP, said Serrano when referencing her new promoter, Most Valuable Promotions. “I don’t need to talk bad about any of my opponents. I do all of my talking inside the ring.
Serrano’s achievements in the pros are similar to Taylor’s in the amateurs. Serrano has done everything you could expect a pro to accomplish, yet based on her gender she didn’t find herself on television, and her historic accomplishments were largely unnoticed.
For those unaware, Amanda Serrano is a seven-weight world champion, winning belts from super flyweight to lightweight from 2011 to the present.
Serrano, nicknamed “The Real Deal”, was emerging in a vibrant time in New York boxing as fighters like Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Daniel Jacobs, and even Miguel Cotto, not from New York, but who made Madison Square Garden his home, were all becoming major players in the sport of boxing. Serrano, along with her sister, was building her record up in the mostly New York area, in a world with few vlogs, and even few YouTubers.
Serrano’s lone loss was a fight in which she travel over to Sweden to face Frida Wallberg for a chance at the WBC super featherweight world title.
Serrano would rebuild her career in the Dominican Republic, with a few bouts in Queens, New York sprinkled in for good fun. Serrano would win her first world title against Maria Elena Maderna in Argentina, to capture the WBO lightweight world title via a sixth-round KO.
During this time, Serrano would go on a nine-fight knockout streak, which would be impressive, and somewhat historic for women’s boxing. An interesting name she beat during this run, Carla Torres, the fighter who just beat “Pink Tyson”, on a Top Rank card.
Women’s boxing in 2015 was the wild west and even though Christy Martin, Mia St John, Ava Knight, Kaliesha West, Seniesa Estrada, Marlen Esparza, and Nicola Adams all had success, television distribution was hard for women’s boxing to come by.
Serrano would win the WBO featherweight world title on a Broadway Boxing card promoted by Lou DiBella via a first-round KO against Olivia Gerula, as well as defeat undefeated Ednia Kiss in Puerto Rico in a homecoming bout.
Serrano would defend her title WBO featherweight title at the Barclays Center on a PBC card against Calista Silgado, stopping her in the first round. Both Heather Hardy and Amanda Serrano looked to be fighters who would be televised one day on Premier Boxing Champions telecast as they outsold the men at times, but somehow that never happened, and history will probably shame them for that.
In October of 2018, Serrano defeated Alexandra Lazar to win the WBO super bantamweight title in Puerto Rico, also by first-round KO.
Serrano was proving to be a world-class puncher, who looked to be TV-friendly, and was chasing legacy.
Serrano would fight once again on a Barclays undercard defeating Yazmin Rivas as she defended her WBO super bantamweight title and won the WBC super bantamweight diamond belt as well.
By 2017 though, Serrano’s career was not one of joy, but one of stagnation. She was facing opponents she had faced earlier in her career such as Edina Kiss, who she stopped in three rounds, or Dahianna Santana who came in four pounds overweight. Despite having a historic amount of first-round KOs in women’s boxing, it was hard for Serrano to get fights, and even harder to get her fights in front of more than just the paying attending public.
Serrano seemingly from the outside in felt this boredom as she defeated Yamila Esther Reynoso to win the WBO super lightweight world title, and then four months later fought at 25 lbs lighter, defeating Eva Voraberger for the WBO super flyweight world title.
Eight months later, and with the success of fighters like Katie Taylor as well Ronda Rousey in MMA, upstart DAZN, partner with Eddie Hearn brought Serrano on to face New York rival, Heather Hardy as a fight featured on their televised portion of the card between Devin Haney vs. Zaur Abdullaev, which was part of a WBC lightweight tournament to decide a champion.
Serrano won, as Hardy proved to be a game, but outgunned opponent.
Serrano would fight on DAZN one time prior to this upcoming event, a third-round KO of Simone Aparecida da Silva on the Tevin Farmer vs. Jospeh Diaz Jr. undercard in Miami.
After the bout, Serrano was once again, lost without distribution. She faced an opponent she had stopped years prior, Dahianna Santana, in the Dominican Republic, and then got another world title shot on the upstart “Ring City USA”, which I am not sure what happened to.
A brief tangent, “Ring City USA”, was a boxing syndicated show that wanted to have no loyalties to one promoter, and create ShoBox-like fight platform on Thursday nights on NBC’s sports channel NBCSN, not unlike Tuesday Night Fights on USA network prior. The problem was it felt like it was a coronation of the B-side fighters for the top-tier network, even if untrue, and seemingly the bouts had an assortment of voices, an assortment of fighters, and while well-intentioned, felt like too much all at once.
Serrano headlined a card against fellow pound-for-pound fighter, Daniela Bermudez, in the process of becoming the best featherweight in the world currently in women’s boxing. The dramatic body shot knockout was highlight-reel fodder, yet some fight fans, who were not as tapped into boxing Twitter missed out on the Ring City USA moment in the sport, and Serrano, though now getting respect was still void of a large platform, and large voice in the sport.
Enter Jake Paul.
Paul put Serrano on the undercard of his Showtime PPV bout against Tyron Woodley, and then signed Serrano prior to the Woodley rematch, as Serrano was promoted and broadcast more than ever, as some might say in 2022, Serrano might have more brand awareness than Katie Taylor in the United States.
Not mentioned was Serrano’s endeavors to try other things, a somewhat lukewarm rendition into MMA, that saw her start her career with a draw, she has since won two fights, her last MMA fight in 2021. Serrano also lost a reality show opportunity over the politics between her and Eddie Hearn as well somewhere in this timeline as well.
Serrano has always been a well-respected world champion with a historic world championship run, who just never was put in front of enough viewers, for one reason or another. Paul is able to help with that, and now at the end of her career, she is able to set her legacy.
Was Serrano a big puncher who beat a lot of opponents on mostly power as her defense especially in her last two fights looks a bit laid back, or is Serrano an all-time great who at times has been frustrated and dejected by her level of competition?
This fight will define Serrano.
“13 years, I’ve been professional and every other day I have wanted to quit… never did I imagine making the money I have today. I mean, headlining MSG, like what?”
“Today is about Amanda and Katie, the two best female boxers in the world right now, they deserve this stage, this historic payday and they deserve to settle who is the pound for pound best which is why I’m excited to see this fight.
“It’s also about Anne Wolf, Christine Martin, Leila Ali, Mia St. John and so many other legendary boxers that helped lay the foundations for the ladies to be sitting here today. It’s about Clarissa Shields, Mikaela Mayer, Alycia Baumgardner and other amazing professionals currently in the sport,” said Paul. “Most of all it’s about the future young women and girls all around the world who will see April 30 as a moment that made the impossible, possible, equality as it’s meant to be.”
Paul is a market disruptor, a man with a bigger following than any pro boxer, and the most financially backed prospect in the sport of boxing. Smart, successful, and well equipped to weaponize things as need be, and someone who has as big of a reach as anyone in the sport.
Paul is also a promoter, one of the heads of Most Valuable Promotions, who signed Amanda Serrano.
Paul is a marketing genius, and seemingly has attached himself to women’s boxing and fighters pay in the sport of boxing and MMA, both admirable issues. Right now, Paul has shed his villain image to the sport of boxing and is a breath of fresh air. Despite being viewed as a Disney star, turned internet sensation, Paul is willing to market and stand up for issues boxing often goes voiceless upon, and furthermore, Paul is breaking norms in boxing that need to be broken – as boxing, in terms what is socially okay, has a lot of behaviors and norms that are not right.
Beyond that, Paul is focusing on the vastly superior MMA media, which has platforms like Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour, MMAJunkie, and more, which provide more interesting and interactive content than most boxing outlets, which tend to be text only, and sometimes even behind paywalls. Boxing still creates content like it is in 2006, and the internet is a new endeavor, and worse a lot of boxing writers argue with fans rather than represent the opinions of fans.
Paul is not just for women’s empowerment, fighter pay, I feel like he is also making some forms of boxing content look dated. They don’t understand Paul, because they never learned what he mastered. He understands the present, and they clung to the past, in hopes it would keep a loyal base, only for it to fail as Paul looks to be the best competition to the old boxing alegoric.
Paul has made Triller relevant, has a PPV deal with Showtime, and now is working as co-promoter with Eddie Hearn, and Matchroom Boxing to put on the biggest fight in women’s history. Paul is a force in the boxing industry.
“Welcome to the iconic Madison Square Garden here in New York for the history making occasion, April 30 the undisputed women’s lightweight world championship here from the Mecca of boxing MSG. The first time in 140 years of boxing and combat sport history, two females headline here,” said Hearn. “This is going to be not just the biggest female fights of all time, but one of the biggest fights of all time. Katie Taylor is a huge draw in Ireland and the UK, Amanda here in the US, both women have headlined on major events around the world.”
Hearn might as well be looking at a lot of the same when he sees Paul, as Katie Taylor’s promoter, and the son of Barry Hearn, was an early adapter to social media, video content and be reasonable and accessible to fans. Hearn has created a “Dana White of boxing” persona, as he is at the forefront Matchroom Boxing as much as Anthony Joshua and Katie Taylor.
Hearn has invested in fights, and also has made Canelo, Taylor and Joshua fights feel like big events, something lacking in the modern era, the concert series era of boxing, in which high-quality fighters are coming to town, but the brand is bigger than the fighters seemingly. Hearn, if nothing else, brings forth a show, and is a showman himself.