Katie Taylor to defend her lightweight world title belts against Amanda Serrano

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Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, two of the pound-for-pound best in women’s boxing, have been on a collision course for the past few years. Now their long-awaited bout, perhaps the most significant that could be made on the women’s side of the sport, is finally on.

Taylor, the undisputed lightweight world champion, and Serrano, who has won world titles in a women’s record seven weight classes and currently holds a featherweight belt, will square off for Taylor’s belts on May 2 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Friday.

The bout will be the co-feature of the card headlined by the previously announced fight between interim heavyweight titleholder Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin.

“Katie Taylor versus Amanda Serrano for the undisputed lightweight championship of the world — this is the biggest women’s fight of all time,” Hearn said in a news release. “The whole of Ireland and Puerto Rico are going to be watching this absolute war between the undisputed champion and the seven-weight division champion. It doesn’t get any bigger.”

Ireland’s Katie Taylor celebrates after defeating Delfine Persoon in June. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Taylor-Serrano has been on the drawing board since October 2018, when Serrano and her promoter, Lou DiBella, finalized a co-promotional deal with Hearn designed to culminate with the showdown with Taylor in early 2020.

“It’s a fight that seems to have been talked about for years so I’m just glad it’s finally on,” Taylor said. “It’s a massive fight and one that I have been looking forward to for a long, long time. I’ve been working hard in training camp in the U.S. since the start of the year so it’s great have a date to focus on now and I can’t wait for May 2nd.”

Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs), 33, a two-time Irish Olympian and gold medalist in 2012, unified the four major 135-pound belts with a disputed majority decision win over Delfine Persoon at Madison Square Garden in New York in June. Taylor then moved up to junior welterweight for her next fight and won a world title by unanimous decision over Christina Linardatou in November, also at Manchester Arena.

Taylor is coming back down to lightweight to defend the undisputed lightweight title against Serrano (38-1-1, 28 KOs).

Serrano, 31, a Puerto Rican based in Brooklyn, New York, has jumped from division to division to secure world titles in the seven weight classes from the 115-pound junior bantamweight division to the 140-pound junior welterweight division.

Amanda Serrano, left, punches Heather Hardy during the first round of their world featherweight title fight in September. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Serrano has not boxed as a junior welterweight since September 2018, having had her three fights since at junior bantamweight, featherweight and junior lightweight. She is going up nearly 10 pounds from where she boxed in her last fight on Jan. 30.

“I’m happy we finally got this big fight made because both myself and Katie deserve to be in this position,” Serrano said. “While our fight could have been a main event, I’m still grateful it’s happening. I’m not going to talk down to Katie, as I know she won’t to me, so I’ll leave it at this: One thing that’s for sure is that we’ll both leave it all in the ring.”

DiBella, who has long been a champion of women’s boxing, was quite pleased to finally secure Serrano the major fight she has been seeking for years.

“I’m proud to co-promote this historic fight with Matchroom, and to have it featured on a massive card in Manchester,” DiBella said. “Two of the best female fighters in the world, two of the best of all time, will square up for boxing supremacy. Amanda didn’t shy away from moving back up in weight or from the fight being in the U.K. She embraced the idea of winning on the road and cementing international stardom. Taylor versus Serrano isn’t only the best of women’s boxing, it’s the best of what boxing is supposed to be.”

The card will be on Sky Box Office pay-per-view in the United Kingdom. The United States rights have not been made official yet, but the card is likely to be on DAZN, which has a deal to air Matchroom Boxing events but must bid separately on the company’s U.K. pay-per-view shows.

Source: espn.com

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