By: Sean Crose
They say this fight will be a game changer, and if Amanda Serrano has her way, it will be a game changer in more ways than one. In the lead up to her much hyped April 30th match against Ireland’s Katie Taylor, Puerto Rico’s Serrano has requested a breaking of traditional rules for women’s boxing. “This is about equality,” Serrano said during a London press conference, “and we should make the change right now. Katie, are you up for it?” Taylor, however, proved unwilling to bite. “I don’t think it will make a huge difference to the event,” the undisputed lightweight champion said in reply. “It’s already iconic as it is”.
There’s no doubt that the title bout between the undefeated 20-0 Taylor and the 42-1-1 Serrano is already quite significant. For starters, it may well be the biggest fight in women’s boxing history. It’s also the first women’s bout set to headline a Madison Square Garden Card. Lastly, it features two dominant fighters squaring off against one another. It is, frankly, the kind of match fans are always asking for, one where the best fights the best. Sure enough, only Claressa Shields and perhaps Mikaela Mayer are as well known and well regarded as Taylor and Serrano are.
By requesting a change of rules for the occasion, Serrano is looking to break through even more boundaries. Women’s championship bouts, unlike men’s, can’t go more than ten two minute rounds. That’s been the source of much criticism lately, and Serrano is either trying to run with it as a critic herself, or is looking to get inside Taylor’s head before the fight. Or, perhaps most likely, both. “I think we’re making a stand the way we’re fighting each other in the first place,” said Taylor. “The best fighting the best.”
Taylor’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, claimed that pre-sale tickets for the bout sold at the second highest rate in Madison Square Garden history. “It sounds like the sort of thing I’d make up,” Hearn said to the BBC. “But you can check with the Garden, it’s true.” Serrano’s promoter, Jake Paul, showed up for the press conference to sing his fighter’s praises. “Amanda is an awesome person,” he said, “one of the greatest fighters – male of female – ever.” On his head, Paul wore a red cap which read “Make Boxing Great Again.” Taylor and Serrano are certainly doing their part to.
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