Amanda Serrano has a few surprises for Katie Taylor on April 30 at MSG
Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor have hovered around each other for years like hungry hawks looking for prey. They’re two of the best female fighters in the world and on Saturday, April 30, at Madison Square Garden in New York, shown live worldwide on DAZN, they are going to determine who is the world’s best pound-for-pound female fighter—and they will also be fighting for the championship of each other.
Things have been civil, so far, between Taylor (20-0, 6 knockouts), The Ring’s lightweight champion and rated No. 1 pound-for-pound female fighter in the world, and Serrano (42-1-1, 30 KOs), the 2021 BWAA Female Fighter of the Year who is ranked No. 3 at lightweight and No. 1 at featherweight by The Ring.
Things won’t be so civil once they are in the ring with one another.
“I don’t think the fans, the critics, the media, would let us live our lives unless we fight each other,” said Serrano, the 33-year-old southpaw and seven-weight titlist. “The timing is perfect right now. It’s an historic fight, and we’re fighting in the main arena in Madison Square Garden. There is a respect there between us, but they will go out the window when we get in the ring. It is kind of strange that I got more respect from Katie than I did the media that covers boxing. This has been a long time coming.
“When I first started boxing, I didn’t think I would be where I am now. I didn’t really think of boxing as something long term. But I fell in love with fighting, and I found new goals. I’m super happy that people are stepping up and noticing, and I have no problem saying Katie Taylor has had a lot to do with people recognizing women boxing. Because of her, and Eddie Hearn signing her and putting her on DAZN, that opened a lot of doors for female boxing.”
Serrano got into boxing through her brother-in-law, trainer and manager, Jordan Maldonado, and her older sister, Cindy, who got into boxing trying to lose baby weight she gained from giving birth to Amanda’s niece. Amanda would work in Maldonado’s Glendale Queens, New York, gym babysitting. She was around boxing since she was 13 and started boxing when she turned 18.
“I saw Cindy’s success and to this day, I’m her biggest fan, and I saw how she progressed,” Amanda said. “I wasn’t an athlete at all in high school. My first fight was with a young boy, and he beat me up, and I was crying, and I didn’t think boxing was for me. Jordan threw me out of the gym and told me to never act like that again. It’s funny, years later, I’m friends with that boy’s uncle who beat me up. Years later, I found out the boy who beat me up was crying in the locker room, because he beat me up.
“I thought I was the only crybaby (laughs). I found out later the boy never fought again.”
Win or lose, it seems, Amanda has an ability to dissuade people in the ring after fighting her.
At the Edgar Berlanga-Steve Rolls super middleweight before a sold-out crowd at New York’s Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden this past Saturday, the most popular fighter in the arena was Serrano. Everywhere she went, she was mobbed. Beating Taylor would put her on a whole new international platform.
Amanda admits this fight gets deeper. It will be for the world lightweight championship—and it will be for the championship of each other.
“This can be three fights, but I’m definitely going to win the first fight and Katie will definitely want her belts back, and I would be okay to give her a rematch,” Amanda said. “I have to win the first one though. We’ll start from there.”
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.
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