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Serrano dominates courageous Hardy to tee up potential 2020 New York headliner v Katie Taylor

The Battle for Brooklyn was won comprehensively by the Puerto Rican, while her Irish-American opponent once more proved her extraordinary mettle.

Amanda Serrano (L) throws a left uppercut at Heather Hardy.
Amanda Serrano (L) throws a left uppercut at Heather Hardy.
Image: Frank Franklin II

AMANDA SERRANO PRODUCED a dominant performance to inflict upon Heather Hardy a first-ever professional boxing defeat and relieve her fellow Brooklynite of the WBO World featherweight title at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater on Saturday.

Serrano came within a whisker of blowing away Hardy within the opening round only for ‘The Heat’ to show remarkable resolve, biting down on her mouthpiece and battling her way through a quixotic task all the way to the final bell.

Puerto Rican-born Serrano was awarded a deserved unanimous decision on scores of 98-91, 98-91 and 98-92, and looked by far the physically stronger specimen at her ideal weight of 126 pounds.

‘The Real Deal’, seven years Hardy’s junior at 30, began like a woman possessed and finished having landed almost twice as many total punches as her opponent.

boxing-serrano-hardy Serrano lands a left hand. Source: Frank Franklin II

Hardy took a shellacking on the ropes towards the end of the opener, Serrano blasting her off either side. At one point, it seemed referee Mike Ortega had seen enough, but it transpired that he instead peculiarly ended the first round a split second before the ringside bell sounded.

Hardy, who was kitted out in Irish colours and even had a tricolour braided into her hair, somehow fended off another barrage in the second and slowly grew into the contest. She nicked a round or two in the middle as she targeted Serrano’s body especially.

But it was southpaw Serrano who finished the stronger, ramping up the offensive pressure and forcing Hardy back onto the backfoot for significant spells.

boxing-serrano-hardy Hardy fights back. Source: Frank Franklin II

Following the fight, promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that new featherweight champion Serrano is now in pole position to challenge Katie Taylor for the undisputed lightweight title, but reiterated recent suggestions that Taylor will likely first challenge one of the light-welterweight world champions next month.

“Katie might go up to 140 for her next fight to try and become a multi-weight world champion herself,” Hearn told DAZN post-fight. “She’ll still hold all the belts at 135 — 135 [is] not a problem for Katie Taylor to make.

For me, that could be the first all-female fight to headline at Madison Square Garden [Theater], Katie Taylor against Amanda Serrano.

“Serrano was brilliant tonight, and Heather Hardy showed so much guts.

I think Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor are going to move into the big bucks now, and I think that it a massive fight and a career-defining fight for both fighters, and a historic fight for women’s boxing.

Serrano is contractually obliged to face Taylor in what would be the third of her three-fight co-promotional deal with Hearn’s Matchroom, but Taylor is expected to first temporarily move up in weight in pursuit of new hardware in early November.

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