By: Sean Crose
Some may have admired this fight for its social impact. Me? I loved the Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano match because it was a high stakes affair that delivered the goods in a big way. And when I started thinking of what might have been the best fight in a solid 2022, this gem was the first that popped into my mind. For Talyor-Serrano wasn’t just a back and forth affair, it was a seesaw battle where the combatants were among the best in the business. Throw in the undisputed women’s lightweight title, and a highly rated live ESPN broadcast from a sold out Madison Square Garden and you had all the makings of a classic.
The potential problem, of course, is that fights which have all the makings of a classic can in the end come up short – and for good reason. Mayweather-Pacquiao, for instance, probably wouldn’t have been a classic even if the two men had thrown down in their primes. Styles, after all, make or break fights. The styles of Ireland’s Taylor, and New York’s Serrano, however, were perfect for one another. Yet it was the sheer blood and guts nature of the fighter’s performances that truly made this fight stand out.
Taylor showed Serrano just how good she was in the early going. Soon, however, there was no doubt that the defending champion was in the fight of her life. Sure enough, it began to look like Serrano might carry the night. Yet, battered and bloodied, Taylor hung in there. After the final bell had rung at the end of the tenth round, it was clear to viewers that they had just witnessed a war. And although Taylor ultimately walked out of the ring with the decision win, it’s safe to assume most would have still been satisfied if the decision had been ruled for Serrano – or if the bout had even been ruled a draw. It was one of those rare fights when any judges’ outcome would have been acceptable (For the record, I thought the judge’s nod should have gone to Serrano).
Sadly, a rematch has yet to be made. Perhaps one never will. Taylor and Serrano left 2022 enough of a gift as it is, however, which is why theirs’ was unquestionably the fight of the year. There were plenty of good throwdowns in 2022, but none quite delivered at such a high scale when so much was at stake. Taylor and Serrano delivered a crowning moment for women’s boxing, but theirs was a world class battle by any standards. This one definitely lived up to the expectations.
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