Serrano sequel befitting of Taylor’s homecoming

“It’s time to return to Ireland now.”

Those were the words of Eddie Hearn following Katie Taylor’s latest defence of her lightweight titles against Argentina’s Karen Elizabeth Carabajal.

The undisputed Taylor defended her world belts for the seventh time with a comfortable points victory that extended her unbeaten record to 23-0.

And having taken her army of fans to London, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and the US, a homecoming fight now awaits Taylor in 2023.

As Hearn confirmed, a fight in Ireland is the next natural step for Taylor as she continues to fly the flag for her country and dominate the sport of women’s boxing.

A bout in front of 80,000 at Croke Park (possibly on St Patrick’s Day if rumours are to be believed) would be an occasion befitting of Taylor’s remarkable career so far. 

It would also be one of the most significant sporting events ever seen in Ireland and one certain to catch the imagination of boxing fans in the Republic and beyond.

The prospect of home advantage on top of her formidable record means Taylor will be the overwhelming favourite with all the best betting sites in Ireland, regardless of her opponent.

Who that will be is, as yet, unconfirmed although a rematch with Amanda Serrano is the choice of Taylor and the ideal opponent for such an occasion.

The Puerto Rican, who Taylor defeated by a split decision in their historic fight at Madison Square Garden in April, has confirmed her interest in a second fight, though, Serrano’s unification fight with WBA featherweight champion, Erika Cruz, is believed to be pencilled in for the New Year, meaning any potential bout won’t take place until May at the earliest.

This is not expected to be a problem, however. A potential May/June time frame is viewed as a positive for organizers given the fact it will be an outdoor stadium fight. 

And the sheer magnitude of the event is deserving of a stellar competitor and they don’t come more competitive than Serrano.

The fact Serrano could come into the fight looking for undisputed status at two weights (if, as expected she defeats the Mexican, Cruz) just adds another layer to what would be a fascinating rematch in which both women put everything on the line.

The obvious fight for so many reasons, it’s difficult to see it not being made. But, as we know, striking a deal isn’t always that clear-cut in the world of boxing.

So if not a sequel with Serrano, then who next?

Alycia Baumgardner has been mentioned. The American beat fierce rival Mikaela Mayer earlier in October and has not ruled out moving up in weight to take on either Taylor, Serrano, or even Clarissa Shields in the future.

It’s widely expected, however, that Baumgardner takes on Hyun-Mi Choi next in early 2023 for an undisputed bout. If so, a summer fight vs Taylor might come too soon.

MMA star Cris Cyborg has also said she’s open to fighting Taylor who shares the same willingness to get in a ring with the Brazilian at some point.

As one of the biggest names in MMA, selling tickets wouldn’t be an issue if it were to be Cyborg. But the widely shared view among fans and experts is that her lack of boxing experience will take something away from the occasion.

Whoever’s in the opposite corner of the ring, Taylor’s homecoming will be an event in itself. 

But if it features Serrano, Ireland can look forward to one of the greatest sporting occasions the country has ever seen.

Photo credit Ed Mulholland Matchroom.

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