By: Hans Themistode
For the better part of the past decade, both Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano separated themselves as the cream of the female boxing crop. Ultimately, considering their dominance, they were intrinsically linked to one another. Following years of speculation and built-up demand, they became the first women to headline a boxing event in Madison Square Garden’s famed halls.
While both were proud to break through women’s untold barriers, neither were satisfied with simply taking part, as they attempted to etch their names in female boxing history forever.
Desperate to defend her undisputed lightweight crown, Taylor asserted herself in the opening round. The former Olympic gold medalist boxed and moved, landing stinging right hands at will. Serrano, undaunted by Taylor’s firepower, pushed forward, planting her feet and firing. While she was relentless, Taylor often made her miss and subsequently made her pay.
In the second, it was much of the same from Taylor. She bounced up and down on her toes and darted in and out quickly, making Serrano miss with her looping right hand. With fans of Taylor cheering in approval, Serrano quieted the noise at the end of the second with a flurry.
While still lively, Taylor began slowing down in the fourth thanks to a number of shots to her midsection. Witnessing her opponent weakening, Serrano upped her aggression in the fifth. The moment the bell rang, the former seven division world titlist charged at Taylor, pinning her up against the ropes and unloading.
Appearing to be more concerned with playing defense, Taylor attempted to roll with many of Serrano’s shots. However, at the halfway point of the round, Serrano connected on a clean left hand. The force of the blow left Taylor on unsteady legs, forcing her to hold for the duration of the round.
With the momentum in Serrano’s corner, Taylor returned to her boxing pedigree. She pranced around the ring, making Serrano miss wildly before connecting on several shots of her own. As Taylor continued to regain her legs, Irish flags around the arena rose in unison. Taylor, unsurprisingly, obliged her undying supporters by fighting Serrano in the middle of the ring. A smiling Serrano welcomed Taylor’s aggression with her own, landing uppercuts on the inside and forcing the unified champion back.
At times, Serrano appeared to be the fresher fighter and attempted to impose her will on the former Olympic gold medalist. Seemingly running on fumes in the 10th and final round, Taylor and Serrano sauntered to the middle of the ring and began fighting with reckless abadon. Though both fighters were clearly wobbled, neither were willing to give an inch as they through hellacious blow after hellacious blow.
As the final few precious seconds ticked off the clock, both women embraced – bloody, bruised, and exhausted. The normally deafening crowd quieted as the scorecards were slowly announced. Although their contest was ultimately close, Taylor retained her undisputed crown, winning via split decision.
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