Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano continue to exceed expectations weeks after their epic championship clash.
The April 30 superfight at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden was a rousing success in every sense of the word. Ireland’s Taylor fended off a stiff challenge from Serrano, the seven-division titlist from Brooklyn by way of Puerto Rico, to retain her undisputed lightweight championship in front of a sold-out and rabid crowd of 19,187 which produced a staggering $1,450,180.60 in final ticket sales.
The event—which streamed live on DAZN to a global audience of more than 1,500,000 viewers—marked the first-ever female combat sports fight to headline at the famed arena. The main event produced an instant classic and a leading Fight of the Year contender—regardless of gender—and unforgettable memories for all involved.
“April 30th was a shining moment for women’s boxing and an historic night at Madison Square Garden,” Joel Fisher, executive vice president of marquee events for MSG, told BoxingScene.com. “In front of a sold-out Garden crowd Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano delivered what many consider to be the fight of the year.
“Hopefully, it will be a springboard for more featured women’s fights in the future.”
The performance at the live gate was the best for any boxing event on MSG property since the pandemic.
Taylor (21-0, 6KOs) fought twice before at the famed venue, both times coming in undercard capacity to arguably the two biggest global draws in the sport today.
The two-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic Gold medalist from Bray, Ireland made her MSG debut in a ten-round decision of then-unbeaten Eva Wahlstrom, who moved up in weight for their December 2018 WBA/IBF lightweight title fight. The show was headlined by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who made his super middleweight debut at the time in a third-round knockout of Rocky Fielding, having since become the division’s undisputed champion.
Taylor returned to New York less than six months later, fully unifying the lightweight division in a ten-round, majority decision win over Delfine Persoon in their WBA/WBC/IBF/WBO championship. The bout served in supporting capacity on a June 2019 show headlined by Anthony Joshua losing his WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight titles in a stunning upset knockout loss to Andy Ruiz.
Serrano (42-2-1, 30KOs) twice fought at MSG’s Hulu Theater, both times in undercard bouts in successive appearances in 2019. The now 33-year-old southpaw won her seventh and final divisional title in a 35-second knockout of Eva Voraberger in January 2019, claiming the WBO junior bantamweight title. The win came just four months after having won the WBO junior welterweight belt—25 pounds up the scale—in a ten-round win over Yamila Esther Reynoso at Barclays Center in her Brooklyn home borough.
The win over Voraberger saw Serrano at a career lightest 114 ¼ pounds, immediately returning to her optimal prime weight at featherweight. The move saw Serrano become a three-time titlist at the division, following a ten-round win over then-unbeaten WBO featherweight titlist Heather Hardy in front of an intimate but raucous crowd at Hulu Theater in September 2019.
Taylor and Serrano both fought once more each before moving towards a planned May 2020 clash in Manchester, England. The fight was to have served as the chief support to a heavyweight fight between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin, only for the pandemic to shut down those plans.
Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn, Taylor’s career-long promoter, sought to move the fight to his Fight Camp series staged at Matchroom Boxing headquarters in Brentwood, England. Those plans quickly unraveled, with the fight seemingly dead in the water at that point.
“I never believed this fight would happen,” Hearn previously admitted to BoxingScene.com during fight week in New York City. “We had it agreed twice, signed once. Amanda and Jordan Maldonado (Serrano’s trainer and brother-in-law) never felt the money was right for the fight. but the money was ten times what she’d ever made. It was the right money at the time."
Realistic plans for the fight made its way back around during the second half of 2021. By that point, Serrano signed with Most Valuable Promotions, founded by headed by content creator Jake Paul and business whiz Nakisa Bidarian. Serrano and Taylor both fought one week apart late last summer and again in December, the latter coming with a deal already agreed to in principle.
The decision to stage the fight in the main room at MSG as opposed to the much smaller Hulu Theater proved well worth the gamble.
“It’s just happened at the right time," noted Hearn. "I cannot believe how big the fight is.”
Despite the call for a rematch to their instant classic, the two will likely go their separate ways for their next respective ring appearances although plans are not yet confirmed on either side.
Hearn noted during an Instagram Live session on Tuesday that Taylor will likely return in September, though with no firm plans at the moment. Serrano’s next move is unknown, although—even in narrow defeat in a fight that could have easily gone her way—she still holds the unified WBC/WBO/IBO featherweight crown. The goal for Serrano remains to become Puerto Rico’s first-ever undisputed champion in the three- or four-belt era, male or female.
Taylor and Serrano both earned seven-figure paydays for their pound-for-pound showdown, earning every penny and then some for a fight that shattered exceedingly high expectations in and out of the ring.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox