Amanda Serrano sets up Katie Taylor fight with impressive Hardy win

 

We took a significant step toward what Katie Taylor believes is ‘the biggest fight in female boxing right now’ in the early hours of Saturday morning (Irish time).

Amanda Serrano defeated teak tough Irish American Heather Hardy at the at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, live on DAZN and Sky Sports to ultimately set up a fight with Katie Taylor.

Serrano versus friend and fellow Brooklyn native Hardy was a special fight for New York and a female fight that garnered massive attention, indeed the pair sold the majority of the tickets for a Matchroom USA card topped by Devon Haney.

However, a much talked about ‘mega fight’  between the Puerto Rican and the Irish sensation would be the next level and a potential bill topper- and it’s as close as ever to happening now.

The seven weight world champion and Bray’s undisputed lightweight world champion have been linked for over a year. Taylor has constantly billed it as ‘super fight’ and the most anticipated female fight in the sport at present.

The 30-year-old, whose sister Cindy was outpointed by the trend setting Irish star back in October of 2018, was initially vocal about wanting to fight Taylor and signed a three fight DAZN deal that had a ‘fight Taylor’ clause.

However, the Brooklyn based fighter, went cold on the idea not long after Taylor defeat Delfine Persoon  and was threatening to walk away from the clash.

The seven division world champion was pushing for a higher purse and it seems she got it, as it was revealed that she had signed a contract to fight the four belt champion before her victory over Hardy.

As a result the ‘mega fight’ is now on and if the performance of Serrano and the atmosphere in New York on Friday are anything to go by it could be a special occasion.

The clash is a virtual certainty now, but it may not happen this year.

Irish-boxing.com believe Taylor will fight for a light welterweight world title in Manchester on November 2 and will have three big fight options if she emerges victorious.

Serrano of course, but an undisputed light welterweight clash with Jessica McCaskill has also be discussed and there is always the rematch with Delfine Persoon.

All three should happen in 2020 if the Irish sensation remains unbeaten, but in what order remains to be seen. March in New York would look ideal for the Serrano clash, but Michael Conlan has Paddy’s Day boxed off at the Garden.

‘The Real Deal’ looked destructive as well as skillful from the off. She flirted with stopping the fight from the first round and only pure guts kept Hardy from hitting the canvas in the opening 2 minutes.

The formerly undefeated Hardy, who was decked out in green white and orange, moved more in the second, but Serrano was hurting her anytime she landed.

‘The Heat’ went from looking close to being pulled out to having genuine success in the third round landing off her jab and moving effectively.

Serrano showed a superior skill set in the next two minute installment, but Hardy now felt comfortable enough to march forward and was looking to go to the body. The fifth followed a similar fashion and whilst Serrano was possibly doing the cleaner work Hardy was trying to force the issue. The sixth may have gone the way of Hardy as Serrano looked less dangerous and effective as the fight wore on.

The multi weight world champ was back on top in the seventh showing good variety, pressuring well and looking powerful, but Hardy’s courage and willingness to fight stood out.

Serrano pushed for the finish in the final three rounds, but Hardy showed massive heart to hang in there and was throwing right till the final bell. Serrano the eventual winner by a 98-91, 98-91, 98-92.

 

 

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]