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Katie Taylor Hangs On Against Serrano before 19K-plus at Madison Square Garden

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  • Katie Taylor Hangs On Against Serrano before 19K-plus at Madison Square Garden

    By David A. Avila

    NEW YORK CITY-A bloodied and hurt Katie Taylor managed to hang on to win by split decision against hard-charging Amanda Serrano in a history-making lightweight world championship fight on Saturday.

    A near sold-out crowd of 19,187 very vocal fans clamored for both Ireland’s Taylor (21-0, 6 KOs) and Puerto Rico’s Serrano (41-2-1, 30 KOs) who became the first women to headline a fight card at Madison Square Garden. The Irish fighter retains undisputed status but barely.

    From the opening round it was obvious that Taylor’s usual speed advantage was not available, especially against the well-schooled Serrano. Both jabbed but Serrano concentrated on the body with power shots when Taylor got close.

    Taylor unleashed a six-punch combination in the second round that dazzled the large pro-Irish crowd. Serrano remained attacking the body.

    Serrano finally made a more aggressive move in the third round as she exchanged with Taylor. The Puerto Rican fighter tagged Taylor with lead lefts and a right uppercut that sneaked through Taylor’s guard. Taylor nodded at Serrano.

    In the fourth round Serrano increased the pressure and Taylor made a stand with a counter right. Serrano fired a four-punch combination and Taylor countered with a couple of one-twos.Katie Taylor Hangs On Against Serrano before 19K-plus at Madison Square Garden

    In round five Serrano pinned Taylor in the corner and would not allow the Irish fighter an escape route. Serrano bludgeoned the body and simply fired away bloodying Taylor in the process. Serrano blasted away and Taylor hung on tightly to escape the pounding. Body shots weakened Taylor’s knees and it was Serrano’s best round of the fight. Nearly a 10-8 round in her favor.

    “Katie is a tough fighter,” said Serrano who realized she dominated the fifth round. “She was able to withstand the power and come back.”

    Taylor said she felt that power.

    “I probably stood there too long,” said Taylor about the fifth round beating. “I don’t think I was as hurt as people think. I was okay and stable.”

    It seemed that Serrano felt that Taylor could not hurt her and simply absorbed the blows and fired her own power shots. She continued to walk down Taylor who kept peppering away at Serrano with quick scoring shots. For the next three rounds it appeared that Serrano was scoring bigger blows but allowing Taylor to counter with quick scoring shots.

    Those quick shots did score for Taylor according to two judges as Serrano continued pounding away with the big blows. Every time Taylor was hurt, she grabbed Serrano to stop the assaults. Apparently the two judges didn’t care.

    It was a matter of preference for the judges. American Gary Feldman scored heavily for Taylor 97-93. One other judge saw Taylor winning 96-93. A third gave Serrano the edge 96-94.

    Still, it was a fight for the ages and fans were left mesmerized by the action watching two of the best females in the game. Even the two fighters were spellbound by the crowd.

    “It was all truly amazing to have all the people support me,” said Serrano. “It was just a crazy feeling. Two women selling out Madison Square Garden.”

    Taylor felt the same.

    “Just walking out and looking at a packed stadium was unbelievable,” Taylor said.

    It was magnificent.

    Undisputed Super Middleweight

    Franchon Crews-Dezurn (8-1) dominated Elin Cederroos (8-1) in their battle for undisputed status and it was the American who emerged victorious with little doubt behind monster overhand rights and stiff left jabs.

    Crews-Dezurn now holds all the major super middleweight titles and undisputed super middleweight status.

    From the opening round Crews proved to have the faster hands and rocked the tall Swedish fighter immediately. With head-snapping overhand rights and sweeping left hooks Crews scored heavy. By the third round blood emerged on Cederroos’ nose.

    “It was target practice,” said Crews.

    It took more than two years to finally meet in the boxing ring. The pandemic and other promotional problems forced cancellations and it seemed they would never decide the better super middleweight.

    Crews nearly seemed to stop Cederroos who was bleeding profusely and was checked by the ringside physician repeatedly. The fight resumed.

    Cederroos never quit and tried different modes of attack, but everything she used was countered by Crews. The jab of Cederroos worked for a while and when she shortened her combinations it began to work. But Crews would always blast the Swedish fighter with an angry overhand right to win the round. Cederroos just couldn’t match Crews speed and power.

    “I felt her punches, they weren’t as hard as mine,” Crews said. “I knew she was feeling it.”

    The Swedish fighter seemed to have her best round in the eight by pressuring Crews, But the American fighter who gave Claressa Shields her toughest fight in a loss proved too athletic and strong. All three judges ruled in favor of Crews 97-93 and 99-91 twice.

    “I am the undisputed champion,” said Crews almost surprised.

    Other Bouts

    Liam Smith (31-3-1, 18 KOs) stopped Jessie Vargas (29-4-2) in the 10th round of their super welterweight clash. The referee jumped in seemingly too soon at 41 seconds of the 10th round. He seemed to be looking to end the fight. Smith had taken over after losing the first three rounds.

    Undefeated middleweight southpaw sluggers risked everything to face each other and in less than one round Ammo Williams (11-0, 9 KOs) sneaked a right uppercut that stunned Cordell Brooks (17-1, 7 KOs). Williams did not stop and look at the damage; he jumped on the Connecticut fighter with 13 blows and sent him against the ropes and down. The fight was stopped at 2:25 of the first round.

    Williams fights out of Texas and is signed by Matchroom Boxing.

    In her third professional combat Skye Nicolson (3-0) dominated Paisly Davis (3-2) with primarily two punches, the lead left and the counter jab. Occasionally she mixed in a right hook from her southpaw stance but the Australian won all six rounds with ease.

    Davis just couldn’t match Nicolson’s speed and when she finally decided to walk through the Aussie’s punches, she was dropped by a lead left cross. Davis beat the count with mere seconds remaining in the final round. All three judges scored it 60-53 for Nicolson who continues to improve as a professional.

    A slow-moving welterweight match saw Reshat Mati (12-0) move and move and occasionally hit Mexico’s Joeeli Hernandez (12-2) with a single shot or two. Never more than that in a fight that saw loads of clinching by Mati. All three judges scored it 80-72 for Mati.

    Photo credit: JP Kim

  • #2
    I have to agree with celebrity influencer (lol I mean promoter) Jake Paul who lamented that Serrano won the fight and it was “a draw at best.” He’s right. They kinda jobbed Amanda. Imagine his being the only voice of reason last night at Madison square garden and you kinda get an idea of the overall state of the sport. 🤩


    • #3

      I liked the decision very much. Katie was using lighting fast leads and superb counters with uncanny accuracy. In the first '"fire fight," Amanda got the better of it and had Katie reeling, but for some inexplicable reason, she let her off the hook and Katie came roaring back to close the show. It looked to me that Serrano may have tired in the late rounds white Katie's stamina came to fore. This may have been due to the weight Amanda carried. In any event, it was a great, great fight as both are warriors. But I truly do love Katie's humility and low-key approach.


      • #4
        While Christy Martin’s bloody stoppage of Deirdre Gogarty was one of my all-time favorites and may have put female boxing on the map, this one is my new favorite.