By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn announced the rematch between undisputed female lightweight champion Katie Taylor, who holds the IBF, WBA, WBC & WBO 135-lb belts, against the undisputed featherweight champ Amanda Serrano last Saturday night for May 20th in a venue still to be determined in Dublin, Ireland.
Serrano lost a controversial 10 round split decision to Taylor on April 30th last year at MSG in New York. The scores were 96-93, 97-93 for Taylor, and 96-94 for Serrano.
Many boxing fans saw it as a victory for Serrano because she landed the cleaner shots against the much bigger & slower Taylor. Interestingly, despite Serrano going up to weight classes for the fight to challenge the larger Taylor, she was still the more powerful puncher of the two.
Is Katie Taylor going downhill?
Since that fight, Taylor has fought just once, beating Karen Elizabeth
Carabajal by a 10 round unanimous decision last October at Wembley in London.
Taylor didn’t look as good as she had against Serrano, which begs the question, is Katie starting to go downhill? One hates to say it, but age might be rearing its ugly head for the talented seven-year pro Taylor.
The fact is, Taylor had a long, long amateur career, and the Serrano fight was a real war, with her taking a lot of hard blows.
With the witches brew of age, long amateur career, and the war against Serrano, Taylor doesn’t look like the same fighter she’d been way back in 2016 when she turned pro.
Taylor can’t punch at the lightweight level. Nevertheless, she still won the fight, albeit by a controversial decision that tainted the win. Hopefully, we don’t see another questionable decision again going in favor of Taylor because that won’t help the sport.
Serrano looking beatable
If you’re Serrano, you’re going to have to fight as hard against Taylor as you did in the Cruz fight last Saturday night because it could be difficult to win a decision on foreign territory, especially with the large pro-Taylor crowd screaming nonstop. You know how judges are.
If they hear rooting for one fighter, they tend to score for that fighter rather than shutting out the noise and focusing on what’s actually happening in the fight.
The 36-year-old Ireland native Taylor (22-0, 6 KOs) was on hand to watch Serrano’s war with WBA featherweight champion Erika Cruz (15-2, 3 KOs) last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. Serrano (44-2-1, 30 KOs) won the fight by a 10 round unanimous decision, but it was a far from easy fight for her, as she took a lot of punishment.
The judges scored it for Serrano 97-93, 98-92, and 98-92. This writer had Serrano winning 6-4. It was closer than the scores handed in by the judges, as she was outworked & out-punched by the busier and more powerful 32-year-old Cruz.
There’s no question that Cruz landed the harder shots and was connecting more often in the first five rounds, even with her dealing with a bad cut on her scalp from a clash of heads in the third round.
Some of that was age on Serrano’s part, as she’s not the fighter she was once, and the 126-lb weight class isn’t ideal for her now. If she moved down in weight to 122 or 118, her power would carry further, and it would help extend her career.
Two undisputed champions face off
“This rematch after one of the best fights we’ve ever seen on April 30th, the rematch between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, is on. May the 20th in [Dublin] Ireland,” said Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to DAZN.
“I can’t believe Katie Taylor will make her debut in Ireland, but on May the 20th, Katie came all the way here to New York last year [on May 20th and won a highly controversial 10 round split decision], and now Amanda is true to her work. She will come to Ireland on May 20th for the biggest fight of the year, the epic rematch of these two.
“For the first time in the four-belt era, two reigning undisputed champions will face off with each other.
“This is the biggest fight in boxing, and this is exactly what I want,” said Katie Taylor.