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Dublin: -2°C Tuesday 2 March 2021

Katie Taylor's 'Super Bowl of women's boxing' may land closer to home than expected

Taylor and longtime rival, seven-weight world champion Amanda Serrano, could clash in London for the Irishwoman’s undisputed title.

Katie Taylor (L) and Amanda Serrano (R).
Katie Taylor (L) and Amanda Serrano (R).
Image: Inpho/PA Images

A DEAL WHICH would see Katie Taylor finally meet ‘Real Deal’ Amanda Serrano in the ring is nearing its completion, but it has not yet been decided as to which side of the Atlantic their women’s superfight will take place later this spring.

The long-awaited clash has for months been earmarked as a headline event Stateside, with The Theater at Madison Square Garden the oft-mooted landing spot, but London has since emerged as a live — and perhaps even preferred — option among the parties involved.

Dates at the end of March and in early April are currently being explored by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom.

A fight at the O2 Arena in the English capital would also doubtless be more convenient for the majority of Taylor’s Irish fans, for whom hundreds of euro could be saved on travel.

London would also dictate that the fight take place long before midnight Irish time, with first bell for headline fights on this side of the pond usually sounding no later than 11pm.

There would be one added expense for prospective TV-watchers and bars in which the fight would be shown, however: if Taylor-Serrano happens on UK soil, it will be a Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view.

Sky Sports and Eddie Hearn, the latter of whom promotes Taylor and co-promotes Serrano, are keen to stage a Taylor-headlined Box Office bill in the UK in what would be a landmark event not only in the Bray woman’s career but for women’s boxing and women’s sport generally.

Hearn revealed as much to The42 prior to Taylor’s fight with Christina Linardatou in Manchester in November, albeit while admitting that he wouldn’t yet expect a women’s headliner to pull in massive pay-per-view numbers and suggesting he would prop it up with an appealing undercard.

And though it may not transpire to be a mega money-spinner for Hearn or Sky, a box-office card would likely see Taylor — already the highest earner in female professional boxing — and Serrano pocket plenty more buck for their bang.

Seven-weight champion Serrano [38-1-1, 28KOs], who warmed up for the clash with a three-round blowout of the overmatched Simon Da Silva [17-14, 6KOs] in Miami last Thursday, is a Brooklyn native by way of Puerto Rico but expressed after her victory a willingness to face Taylor [15-0, 6KOs] in the UK.

Taylor, who has relinquished the WBO 140-pound title she won against Linardatou and hopes to defend her undisputed 135-pound title against Serrano, could generally not care less about where she fights, and will draw a sizeable crowd either in Serrano’s home city or in London.

Hearn has described the bout as being the biggest in female boxing history which is a fair assessment, while Serrano’s co-promoter, Lou DiBella, has described her as “the most dangerous lady in boxing”, adding: “She’ll prove that against Katie Taylor when they meet in what will be the Super Bowl of women’s boxing.”

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Undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields, who is friendly with both women but faces a race against Taylor to fight another female boxing great, watched Serrano from ringside last Thursday and admitted she can see ways in which either woman could emerge victorious in a couple of months’ time.

“I think it’s a 50-50 match,” Shields told US broadcaster DAZN, who will broadcast the fight Stateside. “I think that Amanda holds the power there, but Katie, as we all know, has great skills and very great hand speed.

“But Amanda has been around for many, many years and she has a lot of experience. She’s a seasoned fighter. I think that Katie Taylor don’t really do well with pressure fighters and I feel like [if] Amanda can do that gameplan and also take what Katie Taylor’s giving back, and have some defence, maybe she can come out the winner.

“But if Katie can adjust to fighters attacking her, and her having better defence, not just on her feet, but [in] her upper body, I think that she could win. So, it’s a really 50-50 fight between both girls.”

Confirmation of the bout, its date and its location is expected in the coming days.

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