By: Hans Themistode
From the moment Amanda Serrano inked her name on the dotted line, Katie Taylor knew she was in for a rough outing. However, despite entrenching herself in a grueling eight-week training camp and regardless of her near 10-year experience at the highest of levels, Taylor was given everything she could handle.
In the main event slot at Madison Square Garden late last night, both Taylor and Serrano engaged in an all-out war. Initially, it appeared as though Taylor would have little to no trouble boxing the former seven division world titlist from the outside. Nevertheless, as the rounds began ticking by, Serrano began finding her rhythm.
With the roar of her Puerto Rican crowd, Serrano closed the gap on Taylor in the fourth. In the fifth, with the momentum in her corner, Serrano produced her best round yet. During the period, Serrano muscled Taylor against the ropes and landed pernicious shot after pernicious shot. Although Taylor attempt to clench and hold, Serrano was relentless in her assault.
Having cleared her head in the following round, Taylor bounced back nicely as she boxed when possible and brawled when needed. In the 10th and final round, Taylor pounded her gloves against one another and met Serrano in the middle of the ring. From there, the two threw countless blows. While Taylor’s legs seemed to buckle at various stages during the final exchange, the former Olympic gold medalist bit down on her mouthpiece and continued to give it her all.
In the end, an elated Taylor screamed in jubilation as she was handed a close split decision victory. With her moment in the sun officially arriving, Taylor opted against patting herself on the back. Instead, she willingly gave the spotlight to her unbelievable opponent.
“I had to dig deep in there tonight,” said Taylor to a group of reporters following her victory late last night. “I had to produce a career-defining performance to actually win. What an amazing champion Amanda is, phenomenal fighter. We definitely got the best out of each other for sure.”
As the months turned to weeks and the weeks into days, the anticipation for Taylor vs. Serrano only intensified. Nonetheless, while it was considered the greatest female fight beforehand, Taylor was unsure if it would usurp what she considers the greatest moment in her career.
In 2016, Taylor proudly represented Ireland in the Olympic Games. As she stood pridefully on the podium wearing her gold medal, Taylor always believed that her Olympic moment would be the crescendo of her career. Even as she eventually went on to win world titles and become an undisputed champion, Taylor refused to put any of her professional achievements above her Olympic moment.
However, considering the magnitude of her bout against Serrano, becoming the first female fighter’s to headline Madison Square Garden, and the nonstop action that ultimately ensued, Taylor’s fondest memory has just taken place.
“It was the best night of my career for sure. I wasn’t sure that if anything could reach my Olympic gold medal moment but tonight was absolutely the best night of my career.”
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