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Taylor vs. Serrano Was a Fight for the Ages and Something More

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  • Taylor vs. Serrano Was a Fight for the Ages and Something More

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    By Arne K. Lang

    The late, great New York sportswriter Dick Young once wrote that there is no greater drama in sports than in the moments before the opening bell of a world heavyweight title fight. (Young wrote those words, as one would have surmised, before the pox of alphabet soup, the fragmentation of world titles spawned by the intrusion of new sanctioning bodies.)

    This reporter was reminded of Young’s observation while reading the reports of last night’s fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden, a corker of a fight that was overshadowed by the ambience. “Even the two fighters were spellbound by the crowd,” wrote TSS ringside correspondent David A. Avila.

    The turnout, 19,187, far exceeded expectations and the attendees, pardon the cliché, raised the roof. So palpable was the electricity inside the building that this became the central theme of several post-fight reports.

    Lusty sing-alongs, noted Bryan Armen Graham in The Guardian, got the crowd in a frenzy before the opening bell. What followed, he wrote, was “high-intensity combat between two top operators over 10 white-knuckle rounds before a sold-out crowd divided by their allegiances in full-throated, well-lubricated enthusiasm.”

    Coral Barry, writing for BBC Sport, was equally enthralled: “Inside MSG, the support for both fighters was feverish, loud and constant. Every punch was cheered like a knockout blow. The noise rose and fell, but never dropped below near-deafening levels. The applause was as relentless as the action in the ring.”

    As for the fight itself, “It was, quite simply, extraordinary,” said Steve Bunce in The Independent.

    Even before they had touched gloves, Taylor and Serrano had joined the boxing luminaries of New York City’s most famous arena, but regardless of its historical context, by the ding of the final bell, this fight had been etched into folklore alongside the great MSG bouts…It really was that good,” echoed Jon Taylor in The National.

    Will Taylor vs. Serrano at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2022 be remembered as the watershed moment in the history of women’s boxing? Malachy Clerkin of the Irish Times certainly thinks so. By his reckoning, the fight was something more than an instant classic: “When men argue over Katie Taylor now, they grouse about how Serrano was unfairly done and whether Persoon won the first fight and all the petty, workaday noise that has sustained boxing down the ages. They don’t argue any more about whether or not women’s boxing is any good.”

    The great sportswriter W.C. Heinz was mesmerized by the ring artistry of Willie Pep in his second meeting with his great rival Sandy Saddler, an event that unfolded in February of 1949 at the old Madison Square Garden on 50th Street. When Pep’s partisans left the arena, they were on such a high, said Heinz, that it was as if they were walking on air.

    It must have felt that way again last night at Madison Square Garden and Amanda Serrano’s partisans, although chagrined by the decision that went against her, were undoubtedly exhilarated too. Years from now, the details of the fight will get muddled in memory, but those that were privileged to be there will never forget the spectacle.

    P.S. – One person who wasn’t there was Hall of Fame boxing writer Bernard Fernandez who is recovering from back surgery. As recounted in an article published four years ago this month in these pages, Fernandez, who was instrumental in getting the Boxing Writers Association of America to establish an annual award for female fighters (this was no slam dunk) envisioned this day. “Although the figurative glass ceiling for female boxers hasn’t exactly been shattered,” wrote Fernandez in 2018, “…women such as…Katie Taylor have at least served to crack it a bit.”

    Indeed. And then Katie and Amanda went and cracked it wide open.


    Arne K. Lang’s latest book, titled “George Dixon, Terry McGovern and the Culture of Boxing in America, 1890-1910,” will shortly roll off the press. The book, published by McFarland, can be pre-ordered directly from the publisher ( or via Amazon.

  • #2
    Bernard also mentioned the Fogarty vs. Martin fight and it could be argued that it started things. Also, what the BWAA does insofar as female boxing is concerned is of no consequence to me until it protests the so-called late Trail Blazer Jackie Tonawanda's entry into the IBHOF, fugetabouti. Jackie was a total and complete phoney and puts a stain on the real female fighters, as well as legitimate entries into the Hall. See


    For me, Fogerty-Martin, Serrano-Taylor, Wolfe-Ward, Jessica Rakoczy-Ann Saccurato, Holm-Mathis, and many, many others get my attention ASAP.
    Last edited by Kid Blast; 05-02-2022, 09:06 AM.


    • #3
      Amen on Tonawanda. The woman was completely bogus.


      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment
        Thus making the IBHOF's selection seem very strange--to put it mildly, not to mention the BWAA relative silence puzzling.

    • #4
      The judges hosed Amanda.

      She shellshocked Taylor and was just better in there.


      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment
        Absolutely not. Did you even see the fight? She used counters and fast leads and superior stamina to win.

    • #5
      Yes Ted. I actually saw the fight.


      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment