The greatest female fighter of all time, Katie Taylor [21(6)-0] could follow in the footsteps of the fighter many believe is the greatest ever to lace them up, Muhamad Ali by becoming a Croke Park bill topper.
Just like Ali and Joe Frazier did in the ‘Fight of the Century’, Taylor and Amanda Serrano wowed at Madison Square Garden in the by far the biggest and greatest female fight of all time on Saturday – and if the pair’s respective promoters get their way they will emulate Ali once again and fight at GAA headquarters next.
The Olympic gold medal winner, former heavyweight champion of the world, and all-time great fought Al Blue Lewis at the Dublin venue in July 1972.
Hearn wants Taylor to follow suit and would like her to top a massive card at the venue 50 years on.
Speaking immediately after the Irish sporting great retained her undisputed lightweight status with victory over the Puerto Rican at the Mecca of Boxing Hearn said:
“I thought Katie just edged the fight. Two women changed the game, tonight, but also provided a fight for the ages,” said Hearn.
“I know this man (Jake Paul) will want to run it back. I see a big rematch, later in the year, but for now, Katie Taylor is a legend of the sport, and Amanda Serrano too. This is a massive night for the sport.
“Katie Taylor is one of the greatest things to ever come out of Ireland. If we don’t go back to Ireland for a fight, before her career is done, it would be a big shame. I think we should have this rematch in Ireland. Let Katie Taylor fight for the first time back at Croke Park.”
Such is Taylor’s popularity that she would probably sell out Croke Park shadow boxing and any number of homecoming opponents could be selected.
However, Youtuber turned boxer turned fight maker, Jake Paul of MVP Promotions suggests the 35-year-old should rematch Serrano, and said the seven-weight world champion would be willing to travel to Ireland.
“The Irish fans are mad. We’ve got some unsettled business. Like I said, that was a draw, at best. I thought Amanda Serrano took it. She had Katie Taylor hurt a couple of times, on the ropes. But it is what it is. Katie is obviously a true champion and if it was a close fight, the judges are obviously going to give it to her. But let’s run it back in Ireland.”
A fight night at the 3Arena had long been promised by Hearn but was put off twice before being shelved ‘indefinitely’ – with Taylor’s manager reasoning that he was advised by the authorities that the climate was “not conducive” to a card in Dublin.
There was talk of Cork and a Taylor festival but that never got beyond the idea stage. Belfast was also mentioned but that never felt right.
This time things feel that bit different and there appeared to be a deliberate effort to float the idea of a 2022 homecoming over the weekend – although Irish fight fans will continue to take any Taylor Dublin talk with a pinch of salt until it’s officially confirmed.
Photo Credit EdMulholland Matchroom.