Katie Taylor criticises “mentally fragile” Amanda Serrano for MMA switch

Katie Taylor [10(5)-0] defends her WBA and IBF lightweight titles this Saturday night in Boston versus Cindy Serrano [27(10)-5(0)-3] in perhaps the highest-profile bout of her pro career to date.

However, the Bray boxing legend cuts something of a frustrated figure having seen Serrano’s younger sister, Amanda, recently retire from the sport.

Six-weight champion Amanda, noting the lack of financial rewards from boxing, has elected to focus solely on her mixed martial arts career and scored her first win in the octagon this past weekend.

Serrano [35(26)-1(0)-1] had previously been quoted sending some fighting talk the way of Taylor, stating her belief that she could knock out the Wicklow woman.

With Taylor being the most financially-lucrative fighter in women’s boxing, a move to MMA rather than facing the Matchroom star, would seem illogical – especially considering the trash-talk and the natural storyline that is bolstered by her older sister taking on the Irishwoman this weekend.

Taylor can’t seem to get her head around the younger Serrano’s decision and told the42.ie that “it’s a stupid time, really, for her to go into MMA and claim there’s no money involved in women’s boxing when there’s plenty of big fights actually there for her: there’s myself, there’s the likes of Mikaela Mayer, there’s Jessica McCaskill who just won a world title, and so many more.”

“I’m definitely open to it, and she has claimed that she’s open to it. Whether she actually wants the fight or not, I’m not too sure.”

Taylor’s manager, Brian Peters, has been keen to point out that Serrano’s record number of titles, impressive as they may be, have come largely in vacant title fights.

Winning belts in six weights from bantamweight to light welterweight inclusive, Serrano has boxed in nine world title fights, winning eight and losing one. Five of these have been vacant title fights – with Maria Maderna being the only champion she has dethroned – and the WBO super bantamweight strap being the only belt she has defended.

Taylor legitimately rates the New York-based Puerto Rican but is unimpressed by her record.

“She’s good enough that she shouldn’t need to fight for all those vacant titles,” noted 32-year-old Taylor.

“She’s good enough to go after some of those big names, and I don’t know why she hasn’t done that.”

“I think she’s mentally fragile at times — that’s what her biggest problem is, really. I don’t think she wants the big fights. Maybe she’s afraid to lose.”

“That’s just my thoughts on it, I don’t know if that’s the way it is. But a fight between us is one people have been talking about for the last year or so, and the fight has to happen.”

First thing’s first, Taylor must get through the elder Serrano at the TD Garden, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

36-year-old Cindy is a former WBO featherweight champion and has contested titles as high as welter.

While Amanda is on her mind, Taylor has not overlooked her upcoming challenge and stressed that “these are the types of fights that I do relish: Cindy is a very experienced fighter; she comes in with something like 35 fights, so she’s going to bring something different to the table — I think the majority of it I won’t have seen before. And I actually can’t wait for that.”

“She has a great work rate: she throws a lot of punches over the 10 rounds. I saw two rounds of her sparring and she looked definitely well-conditioned and well prepared for Saturday night.”

Read Gavan Casey’s tremendous interview with Katie Taylor in full HERE


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie