Katie Taylor won a razor-thin split decision over Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden Friday night to maintain her title as the undisputed lightweight world champion.
The legendary duo became the first woman to headline a boxing event at the storied New York venue. Their uncontested title bout brought in millions of dollars. The friendly rivalry between promoters Jake Paul and Eddie Hearn dominated the build-up to the fight. But at bell time, all eyes were on the women of the moment.
They went on to put on a fantastic ten-round fight. It delighted the sold-out audience and appeared to set up a major-money rematch of this back-and-forth brawl.
How did both Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano play throughout the game?
Amanda Serrano was as forceful as he had promised right from the start. Katie Taylor navigated the ring expertly. She avoided heavy punches from the challenger, who is one of the most feared punchers in the sport.
The Puerto Rican maintained her onslaught in the second round. With a bit more success than in the first, Katie Taylor was able to counter with the left hook many times. By the third round, both ladies had increased their game. They had to be separated after Serrano was driven into the ropes.
Early on, the rounds were close, with Serrano maybe edging over the early exchanges with her late-round attacks.
Amanda Serrano had requested 12 three-minute rounds prior to the tournament. As things heated up, one wondered if they were really required. Serrano was caught in the fourth inning by Taylor’s slide right-hand counter.
Serrano proceeded to push the tempo even faster in the fifth. She unloaded on Katie at the turn and eventually wobbling her in a commanding round heading into half.
Coming into the sixth, the Irishwoman was badly affected, and Serrano took full advantage, hammering the champion with deadly combinations. Serrano bloodied her nose and threw well over 120 punches in just six rounds, but Taylor, who has never been defeated as a professional, managed to survive.
Taylor continues to hold the title of undisputed lightweight champion
By the seventh minute, Katie Taylor appeared to have found her footing. She was not subjected to the same level of abuse as she had been for the preceding four minutes. By the eighth round, she was back in her stride. Connecting with Serrano much more as the seven-weight world champion began to tire.
Concerns had been raised regarding the challenger’s capacity to bulk up to Taylor’s weight in a sustainable manner. She appeared to be struggling as the championship rounds approached. Serrano, ever the aggressor, became considerably more vulnerable to Taylor’s counter-punches. The pair knew they weren’t out of the woods heading into the tenth.
It was anyone’s battle with seconds to go in the tenth, as Serrano had a bloodied eye to match Taylor’s nose. In the last seconds, they fought it out, but neither of them was able to score the all-important fight-clinching knockdown. The belts will be flown back to Ireland after two judges gave Taylor the thumbs up with scores of 97-93 and 96-93. The third judge scored the fight 96-94 in favor of Serrano.