Their super fight is targeted for the near future, yet Amanda Serrano is already mentioning Katie Taylor as if she’s part of a distant pass.
As Taylor—the reigning World lightweight champion—continues to prepare for a planned attempt at becoming a two-division titlist, the rival thought to be waiting in the wings has expressed displeasure in playing that role.
“That would have been a great fight, me and Katie Taylor but I’m definitely… I’m on my own path,” Serrano (37-1-1, 27KOs) told DAZN USA’s Lauren Gardner during a recent segment of Born Fighter: Amanda Serrano which debuted Monday on YouTube. “I’m not gonna sit around and wait for Katie Taylor.
“Katie Taylor needs me, I don’t need Katie Taylor.”
Serrano—a Puerto Rico-born boxer who was raised in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York—is coming off of a 10-round decision win over fellow Brooklynite and previously unbeaten featherweight titlist Heather Hardy (22-1, 4KOs) this past September at Madison Square Garden's Hulu Theater in New York City. The win ignited her second tour as a featherweight titlist amidst her record-breaking run of having claimed an alphabet title in seven different weight divisions, the most ever among any female boxer in history among any athlete (male or female) to come out of Puerto Rico—the previous mark being four on both fronts.
Her fight with Hardy was the second of a three-bout agreement inked with DAZN and Matchroom Boxing USA, as negotiated through her boxing promoter Lou DiBella. The last of the lot is a blockbuster showdown with Ireland’s Taylor (14-0, 6KOs) in a bout that would carry major pound-for-pound implications. The understanding on Serrano’s end was that both she and Taylor—a two-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic Gold medalist—would be granted two fights each under such a deal with the third fight being a head-on collision.
Stalling such plans, however, was an internal rift between DiBella and Serrano’s team regarding the terms of their aforementioned agreement with Matchroom. A far-too-public contract dispute between the two left Serrano without a fight since her 35-second blitzing of Eva Voraberger to win a vacant 115-pound title in January.
Meanwhile, Taylor is now entering her fourth fight since Serrano joined the DAZN family, this one a move up in weight as she challenges for a 140-pound title. The 33-year old World lightweight queenpin will square off versus defending titlist Christina Linardatou—who is also promoted by DiBella—atop a Nov. 2 show at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
The bout will mark Taylor’s first fight in the United Kingdom since a knockout win over Kimberly Connor last July. She has since fought four straight times in the United States, a run which began with a 10-round shutout of Cindy Serrano, Amanda’s older sister before racking up title fight wins over previously unbeaten foes Eva Wahlstrom and Rose Volante.
Both fights came as part of a deal that was to lead to a fight with Serrano, but Taylor rightly chose to move forward with her own career when it became clear that their career paths began to separate. A hard-fought 10-round majority decision win over Belgium’s Delfine Persoon netted Taylor the undisputed lightweight championship this past June in MSG's main room, a fight which left many calling for a rematch while a super fight with Serrano remained in question.
Following Serrano’s win over Hardy, promoter Eddie Hearn not only revealed tentative plans for Taylor-Serrano but called for such a fight to headline at that very same venue rather than serve in supporting capacity to any other bout. Such a fight is targeted for next March, with Taylor currently focused on her upcoming showdown versus Linardatou (12-1, 6KOs).
Apparently, that’s not good enough for Serrano and her team, who views Taylor’s latest move as an abandonment of the lightweight division
“I’ve left my legacy in the sport of boxing. I’m not just going to continue to be put on the shelf or be sitting and waiting for just one fighter,” insisted Serrano, who is also an active mixed martial arts fighter under the Combate Americas banner. “There’s hundreds of girls, thousands of girls. She’s just not the only champion. There’s tons of champions in the sport.
“I have so many other options.”
It remains clear that the same can be said of Taylor, who in the past year has enhanced her status as a global superstar. A win on Nov. 2 will clear her own path towards becoming undisputed champion at junior welterweight if she so chooses. Taylor owns back-to-back points wins at lightweight over Jessica McCaskill—who has since become a unified 140-pound titlist—and Victoria Bustos, now an interim titlist at the weight.
Also at her disposal if she so chooses is a rematch with Belgium’s Persoon, should she choose to immediately return to lightweight.
While weighing options of her own, it will be entirely up to Serrano—who just two months ago insisted a willingness to fight Taylor in Ireland if need be—to disrupt any of those plans with a deal already in place for an historic bout, one that most certainly needs to be a part of her future.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox