Rich Graessle
it's on

'More than a dream come true' - Taylor-Serrano II set for 20 May in Dublin

The highly-anticipated rematch was confirmed after Serrano became the undisputed featherweight champion last night.

IT’S ON. KATIE Taylor will face Amanda Serrano in Dublin on Saturday, 20 May, after the Puerto Rican became the undisputed featherweight champion at Madison Square Garden last night.

Serrano defeated Erika Cruz by unanimous decision in New York, with Taylor watching on from ringside and their highly-anticipated rematch confirmed afterwards.

Uncertainty reigns over the venue, with an over-and-back dominating the headlines over the past few days.

The42 reported on Wednesday night that Taylor’s Croke Park dream was over due to costs with the homecoming set for the 3Arena. “Ultimately and bizarrely, the cost of doing a show at Croke Park is three times more than Wembley,” Eddie Hearn said in an interview with Boxing King Media.

On Thursday, Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna refuted that claim, stating that the GAA was prepared to rent out the venue for around €400,000, contrasting this with an estimated figure of around €300,000 for Wembley Stadium. McKenna confirmed that the fight ultimately had been turned off by security costs.

Conor McGregor has since entered the frame, engaging with Hearn on Twitter about the reported €500,000 bill for security and other operational costs.

Ahead of last night’s Serrano-Cruz showdown, Hearn shed some light on the private discussions which followed.

“As a fight sports fan, when you see on your feed, ‘Conor McGregor now follows you,’ you’re wondering what’s going on here,” he told Matchroom Boxing.

“Obviously I saw all the posts going backwards and forwards. Smart marketing for Proper Twelve (McGregor’s whiskey business), but also obviously a passionate Irishman who loves Katie Taylor and wants to see her accomplish her dream, which is, one, to fight in Ireland, and two, to potentially do it at Croke Park.

“We talked. He wanted the background: why were the costs so high, what could we do about it, was there an opportunity for Proper Twelve as well? There’s a little bit of beef obviously, you’ve got Conor McGregor with Katie Taylor and Jake Paul with Amanda Serrano, and I think Conor’s main priority is to potentially see history made in Ireland.

We went backwards and forwards, we’re going to speak again this week. I may well fly to Ireland this week as well for a few meetings. He talked about the process for Katie Taylor: is it the 3Arena and then Croke Park, or do we try and find a way to make Croke Park happen in May? We know there are obstacles there.

“Whatever happens, Katie Taylor’s next fight will be in Ireland and she will get her night, whether it’s in May or whether it’s in September. Obviously the priority is to make sure Katie Taylor fights in Ireland next, and probably the one after. Maybe we end her career from here in Ireland. It was very helpful to have a chat with the Champ Champ, and see what he could do to help.”

Taylor joined Serrano in the ring for media engagements and photographs post-fight last night. Asked about her next opponent’s showing, and then what it would mean to fight in Ireland, the Bray legend and unbeaten lightweight champion beamed:

“I thought it was a great performance. I obviously was cheering her on because we wanted this fight. Undisputed champion versus undisputed champion. The last fight was an epic fight and I think the next one is going to be exactly the same.

This is more than a dream come true. My [professional] debut in Ireland against The Real Deal, Amanda Serrano, this is incredible. As I said, the last fight was epic, and I expect nothing different for the next one.

“This is still the biggest fight in women’s boxing, I only wanted the biggest fights and this is definitely what I want.”

“Katie is a true champion, she came here to New York and she fulfilled both our dreams to fight each other,” Serrano added, bullish about turning things around in the rematch.

“Now, she deserves to fight in Ireland and it’s going to be a bigger and better fight over there. I’ve learned a lot and now I know what I need to do. I’ve done enough [to win next time] and I will do more.” 

Rugby’s Champions Cup final takes place at the Aviva Stadium on 20 May, ruling out Lansdowne Road as a venue and throwing up further difficulties for the Dublin showdown.

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