Madison Square Garden —It was hyped up as the fight of all fights. Trust me, it lived up to all the hype and then some.
It was reported sellout crowd of 19,187, it was so loud that the referee had a difficult time hearing the bell at the end of each of the 10 two-minute rounds. All three judges scored it 97-93 and 96-93 for Katie Taylor, with the third one giving it to Amanda Serrano at 96-94.
With the win, Taylor retained her undisputed lightweight championship belts, and established herself as a sporting legend in the process, with a split decision win over Serrano in the first women’s boxing bout to headline Madison Square Garden in its 140-year history.
What a fight it was. From the very start of the bell, the crowd knew it would be a good one. They were loud the entire night. In fact, it got so noisy at times that the fighters and the referee almost missed the bell signaling the end of some rounds. These two women definitely put on a show.
Serrano and Taylor would not stay off of one another at the start as they attacked from all angles. They traded shots heavily from the onset of the fight. Taylor used her exceptional defense to avoid a knockout by the powerful Serrano. But Taylor’s jab kept Serrano at bay in the first five rounds.
“What a fighter Amanda Serrano is. I think we’re both winners here tonight. Look what we’ve just done, selling out Madison Square Garden in the biggest fight in women’s boxing history,” Taylor said. “What a fight, what a win, what a night.”
Things took a turn in Round 5. Serrano dominated the round, giving Taylor a run for her money. The crowd was going wild as Taylor looked to be in trouble. The same could be said in Round 6 when Serrano continued her attack.
Taylor’s rally in the sixth could go down as the most important round of her career. And with a stellar counter-left leading the way, Taylor did enough to leave the Puerto Rican challenger in need of a knockout in the eyes of many as we entered the 10th and final round.
The fight was anything but easy for Taylor as Serrano amped up her pressure starting in the third round of the contest, but Taylor savvy boxing acumen came into play in the latter rounds. Rather than hitting the canvas, Taylor dug deep and managed to survive the scare, clinching to get back to her corner and start to regain her composure.
“They say nobody wants to see women, this place is jam-packed,” Serrano said. “We put on a hell of a show. Katie’s a great champion, she’s undefeated, she’s undisputed champion. I’m truly honored to share the ring with you. Best versus the best, you don’t see that much. I’m just so overwhelmed. Look at this crowd! Women can sell, women can fight, and we put on a hell of a show!”
Winning co-promoter Eddie Hearn stated in the ring post-fight that he wants to give Taylor a homecoming bout in Ireland. And off the back of this incredible contest between the two top pound-for-pound best women’s fighters on the planet, a rematch in an Irish stadium would be a red-hot ticket.