The biggest female fight in boxing to be made is in the final stages of coming to fruition.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that all signs point to Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano finally colliding in a monster pound-for-pound showdown. The working date is April 30 in the main portion of Madison Square Garden in New York City, with Serrano—a seven-division titlist and reigning unified featherweight champion—challenging for Taylor’s undisputed WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO lightweight championship. It will mark the first time in history that a female fight headlines in MSG's main room.
Sources inform BoxingScene.com that at least two more female title fights are being explored for the event, with the stakes ranging from unification bout to full undisputed. Those details are expected to be confirmed once Taylor-Serrano is at a place where the event can be formally announced.
The female superfight will come two years almost to the day of their planned May 2020 showdown in England which was ruined due to the early stages of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. Efforts to reschedule the fight led to a messy public dispute between Serrano’s camp and Taylor’s career-long promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and with Taylor and Serrano going their separate ways.
Talks picked up in late 2021, shortly after Brooklyn’s Serrano (42-1-1, 30KOs)—the only Puerto Rican boxer and female fighter ever to win titles in five or more weight divisions—became a promotional free agent and brought aboard content creator Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) as a managerial partner. Matchroom and MVP have since worked feverishly to work out a deal, one that is approaching the finish line and promises to deliver seven-figure paydays to both fighters.
Ireland’s Taylor (20-0, 6KOs) has held at least one lightweight title since her seventh pro fight, winning the WBA strap in December 2017—barely one year into her pro career after two Olympic tours including a Gold medal haul in the 2012 London Olympics. Taylor went on to earn her undisputed championship reign the hard way, defeating three reigning titlists capped by a hard-fought majority win over long-reigning WBC champ Delfine Persoon in June 2019 at MSG.
A second divisional title came later that year, with Taylor, now 35, outpointing Christina Linardatou to win the WBO junior welterweight belt in November 2019 in front of a rabid crowd at Manchester Arena (now AO Arena) in Manchester, England. The was her last fight before the pandemic, having since made five successful defenses of her undisputed lightweight championship including a repeat win over Persoon in August 2020—with Persoon replacing Serrano once talks stalled—and most recently in a ten-round, unanimous decision over Firuza Sharipova last December in Liverpool.
Serrano has won titles at every weight from junior bantamweight (115) all the way through junior welterweight (140). The main focus has come at her optimal weight of 126 pounds (featherweight), where she holds the WBC/WBO/IBO titles. Hopes of fully unifying the division hit a well when the division’s remaining titlists turned down lucrative, career-best efforts to get in the ring with Serrano, who has now set her sights on the lightweight division.
Serrano reacclimated to the weight with a dominant ten-round win over former title challenger Miriam Gutierrez last December 18 at AMALIE Arena in Tampa. The 33-year-old southpaw threw 667 punches in just 20 minutes of ring action, nearly taking out Gutierrez in the opening round but ultimately settling for a lopsided unanimous decision victory in her first fight at the weight since 2014 when she won the IBF lightweight title on the road in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The two-division jump to lightweight leaves Serrano with a home game, fighting mere miles from her Bushwick (Brooklyn) hometown and with the chance to become Puerto Rico’s first-ever undisputed champion, male or female. Taylor returns to MSG—and the U.S.—for the first time since her first victory over Persoon, though she regularly trains in Connecticut.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox