While two men were 2,500 miles away participating in a unification bout, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano were busy taking women’s boxing to another level. The two trailblazers became the first women in history to headline a boxing card at Madison Square Garden. They provided a match that was entertaining from start to finish. For ten diverting rounds, Taylor and Serrano stood toe-to-toe and overwhelmed the fans with non-stop action as they battled for Taylor’s WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO titles. In the end, the 35-year-old champion was able to rally back, and earn a split decision victory in a bout that has been placed in the category of an instant classic.
For multiple decades women’s boxing has been fighting for respect. On Saturday, April 30th in front of a sellout crowd of 19,187, the sport of women’s boxing finally received its crowning moment. Ireland’s 2012 Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor traveled to New York to put her undisputed lightweight championship on the line versus the Brooklyn-bred, Puerto Rican sensation, Amanda Serrano. Nicknamed “The Real Deal,” the 33-year-old Serrano is no stranger to boxing titles. Coming into the bout, Serrano captured nine major world titles across seven different weight classes.
As the two fighting champions were moments away from going to battle, you can feel the electricity going through the building. In the company of her promoter Jake Paul, Amanda Serrano walked to the ring. At first glance, you could look at Serrano’s face and see a combination of intensity, nerves, happiness, and anticipation. As Serrano waited in the center of the ring, Katie Taylor started her ring walk. With her title belts to her left, and promoter Eddie Hearn to her right, Katie Taylor took a dramatic slow-paced walk to the ring. The fans were excited, anxious and ready for an entertaining bout.
Round one Serrano was moving forward trying to press the action, but Taylor was able to successfully move around the ring, use her jab, land a few combinations, and make Serrano miss. Taylor continue to move fluidly in the second round as her movement and footwork put her in position to land a powerful right hand that buckled the knees of Serrano. The hard-hitting challenger remained calm and continued to come forward as she tried to execute her game plan. With 1:40 remaining in the fifth round, Serrano cut the ring off and pinned Taylor in the corner. The two fighters would go on to participate in a Hagler vs Hearns type of exchange. The constant hand throwing from both sides drew a deafening roar from the crowd.
The back and forth action migrated from the corner to the center of the ring. With 0:54 seconds left to go in the fifth round, Serrano landed a crisp left, right combination that visibly hurt Taylor. She continued the onslaught as she bloodied Taylor’s nose. A hurt and weary Katie Taylor went into survival mode and made it to the end of the fifth round.
In the seventh round, Taylor started her come back as she got back to the art of punching and moving. She continued to execute this strategy for the remainder of the fight. When it was all said and done Katie Taylor earned a split decision victory over Amanda Serrano. One judge scored the fight 96-94 in favor of Serrano while the other two judges scored it 97-93 and 96-93 in favor of Taylor.
The Taylor vs Serrano clash was built up to be a historic event, and thanks to the participants, the boxing match lived up to the hype. Taylor (21-0-6 Knockouts) stayed undefeated and gave the general public another reason to label her as the best athlete from Ireland. Despite suffering her second professional loss, Serrano (42-2-1 30 Knockouts) received a great deal of praise for her performance. Some would even argue that Serrano was the true winner of the fight. With that being said, the idea of a rematch has already been floating around. In the end there were no losers on the night of April 30th. Both Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano gained the ultimate victory of using their platforms to enhance the women’s boxing brand and elevate it to a historic level.