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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor are prepared to fight their way into the annals of boxing history

In what their promoters are calling as the most important bout in the history of women’s boxing, Taylor and Serrano will square off on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

While often exaggerated, there is some substance to it. Serrano and Taylor are both regarded to be among the finest fighters in the world, pound for pound. Taylor is the uncontested lightweight champion, and both she and Serrano are considered to be among the best fighters in the world. Two female fighters of equal ability battling in the same ring is unusual, much alone at Madison Square Garden, where this will be the first time in the arena’s history that two women will headline a boxing event of this calibre.

In addition, each competitor is guaranteed at least $1 million, making it one of the richest purses in women’s boxing, a sport that is infamous for its low compensation for female fighters.

Serrano, 33, is the betting favourite, as well as the local favourite. A Puerto Rican by birth, Serrano spent her early years growing up in Brooklyn, when she was exposed to boxing by her sister. She went professional in 2009 and soon established herself as a dominant force throughout a wide range of weight classes. However, she did it with little or no name recognition and with paychecks that were measured in three- and low-four-digit figures.

With seven world titles under her belt by 2018, Serrano is only second to Manny Pacquiao in terms of the amount of titles she has won. She comes into Saturday’s battle with a record of 42-1-1, including 30 knockouts. In addition to judo, mixed martial arts, and wrestling, Serrano is a southpaw noted for throwing her whole body into jab after jab, putting her entire body into each and every one of her opponents’ punches.

To compete in amateur boxing, Taylor had to disguise herself as a guy from a young age while she was growing up in Ireland since girls were not allowed to compete. Taylor is 35 years old and is originally from Ireland. The Irish authorities finally changed direction, and Taylor, then 15 years old, became the first woman to win an official women’s boxing fight in the nation in 2001. In 2012, Taylor won a gold medal in women’s boxing at the London Olympics after a remarkable amateur career that included a time with the Irish national soccer team. Taylor was instrumental in bringing women’s boxing to the Olympics in the first place.

This fight, like many other combat sports events, has been accompanied by a circus of sorts. It has received endorsements from celebrities such as Billie Jean King, W.W.E. wrestlers, and actress Rosie Perez. However, none of the celebrity endorsements has had a greater impact than Jake Paul, the YouTube sensation and content creator who has turned professional boxer and is marketing the bout via his Most Valuable Promotions firm. Serrano is his very first customer.

In regards to Serrano, he expressed satisfaction with the result, saying, “As long as she wins, that’s the conclusion we’re aiming for.” “The icing on the cake would be demonstrating that two women can sell hundreds of thousands of pay-per-view tickets.” So we can go get Amanda her paycheck, Katie her paycheck, and the other women in the sport can be paid more.”

DAZN is offering the fight as part of a monthly membership for $19.99 or an annual subscription for $99.99, and the fight is also being marketed as a stand-alone event for a fee equivalent to that of other pay-per-view events, including boxing.

I want to get Amanda a $10 million fight before her career is up, which would be unheard of in the boxing world,” Paul remarked. The ability to do so is dependent on the existence of a company, which must be present.

According to Eddie Hearn, a long-time promoter with Matchroom Boxing and Taylor’s promoter, the key to retaining momentum beyond Saturday’s fight is for women to continue to be given a platform to put on a show.

Women’s sport is something that many broadcasters and commercial organisers believe they should be engaged in because it is a box that they can check.  People are saying things like, ‘Oh, we should attend because there are two ladies.’ We’re not selling out the Garden because of that. They’re going because it’s going to be a fantastic battle. “This is how you achieve long-term viability.”

A little bit of showmanship might also go a long way. At the press conference on Thursday, Paul placed a $1 million wager with Hearn that Serrano would win. Hearn shook his head, a little unwillingly. Paul said that he would give Serrano the profits from the game.

Dan O'Brien
I am a journalist for The National Era with an emphasis in sports.
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