Can Taylor continue her rise in showcase fight?

Katie Taylor has established a reputation as a premier fighter in the history of women’s boxing, boasting a formidable unbeaten record in her 21 bouts. Taylor will now make further headlines in the sport with her fight against Amanda Serrano, as the two women will become the first to headline a card in Madison Square Garden. The contest promises to be a huge moment for women’s boxing not only in Ireland and the United States but around the world.

Providing a leading women’s fight with the platform that has launched and enhanced the careers of many great fighters in boxing history will break down significant barriers for further growth. Serrano is the favourite to win the contest according to outright boxing odds at 8/11, although a price of evens for Taylor highlights how close the bookies believe the fight will be in New York in the boxing tips. The quality of the spectacle could make or break the short-term future of women’s sport as a bout that features excellence and drama will certainly put both Taylor and Serrano into the mainstream. As it stands, both are currently known among only hardcore boxing fans.

Taylor will be putting her WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring female lightweight titles on the line against Serrano, who has a great deal of experience in the ring compared to her opponent. The Puerto Rican began her career in 2009 and has lost just one of her 44 bouts, which came 10 years ago against Frida Wallberg. Since then, Serrano has been flawless in the ring winning her last 28 consecutive fights. She has faced challenges in her last two outings as Yamileth Mercado and Miriam Gutierrez were able to take the 33-year-old the distance, but Serrano made enough of an impact in the bouts to win both contests on points decisions. Her experience and nous, especially of crowds in the United States, will come to the fore against an exceptional fighter in the form of Taylor.

Taylor had to be at her best in her last outing at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool as Firuza Sharipova provided a firm test of her credentials. The Irishwoman was taken all the way to the 10th round, but she still secured a comfortable victory on points to defend her crowns for the fifth time on the bounce through scores of 98–92, 97–92, 96–93.

Taylor’s technique and stamina have guided her to success in her five successful defences, but she may need more in her locker against the experience of Serrano, who could have the armoury to send her to the mat. Her last bout in America was a close call against Delfine Persoon, who gave her all against the 35-year-old, but narrowly lost out. Taylor will need to match that performance and then more against Serrano. It will be the biggest fight of her career. Never before has she faced a fighter with the experience of Serrano, even the elder sister of the Puerto Rican, Cindy, who she defeated in 2018.

It will be a massive showcase event for women’s boxing, but Taylor must put that out of her mind if she is to continue her rise in the sport.

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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com