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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Taylor-Serrano, Stevenson-Valdez)

Katie Taylor lands a left hook on Amanda Serrano. Photo by Melina Pizano/Matchroom.
02
May

INSTANT CLASSIC!

I do hope that the instant classic between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano will launch women’s boxing into the stratosphere, because wow… WHAT A WAR!! Nobody even thinks of saying “that was great for women’s boxing”… that was great boxing PERIOD!! I found that more entertaining than the Stevenson-Valdez showdown.

What did you think of the fight Dougie? Instant classic? Did you think Serrano got robbed like some claim? From what I saw, it looked Katie Taylor rebounded from the mid rounds to finish strong! Some claim that Serrano took her foot off the gas, but it looked to me more like Taylor clawed her way back from the brink of defeat or stoppage to earn the W. Either way, I want a rematch!

Also, this fight proved to me that women should have 3 minute rounds! Come on people, bump it up already!



What are your thoughts on the fight, the official decision, and where both fighters go from here?

MMs:

Claressa Shields vs Ann Wolfe

Laila Ali vs Ann Wolfe

Katie Taylor vs Mikaela Mayer

Amanda Serrano vs Mikaela Mayer

Tyson Fury vs Razor Ruddock

Tyson Fury vs Tim Witherspoon

Riddick Bowe vs Mike Tyson

Vasyl Lomachenko vs Esteban De Jesus

Thanks. – Gregory K.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Gregory.

Now I’ll share my thoughts on your interesting mythical matchups:

Claressa Shields vs Ann WolfeShields by close UD, maybe MD

Laila Ali vs Ann WolfeAli by competitive UD (and an entertaining fight)

Katie Taylor vs Mikaela MayerLegitimately close and controversial draw (but most observers will believe Mayer deserved the nod)

Amanda Serrano vs Mikaela MayerMayer by MD or SD (excellent, entertaining fight that some will call controversial)

Tyson Fury vs Razor RuddockFury by close, up-from-the-canvas UD (Fury controls most of the rounds but Razor’s “Smash” keeps him honest and an intensity throughout the bout)

Tyson Fury vs Tim Witherspoon  – Fury by close, maybe controversial UD or MD (entertaining fight where Fury survives a few wobbly moments caused by Timmy’s overhand right)

Riddick Bowe vs Mike TysonTyson clips an awe-struck Big Daddy before the sixth round

Vasyl Lomachenko vs Esteban De JesusDe Jesus by close UD (over 15 rounds) or SD (over 12) in a brilliant high-speed chess match

I do hope that the instant classic between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano will launch women’s boxing into the stratosphere, because wow… WHAT A WAR!! An event like that on U.S. soil has been more than 20 years in the making. I’m glad it finally happened on Saturday. I don’t think it’s going to lift ALL of women’s boxing to that level, but it’s going to encourage promoters to invest in top female boxing talent and work toward making big events that will sell tickets and attract strong ratings/subscribers. And once that’s more commonplace, the amount of money that world-class women boxers make will become more equal to what men are paid. 

A bloodied Katie Taylor defends against a punch from Amanda Serrano. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

I found that more entertaining than the Stevenson-Valdez showdown. The women did the entertaining on Saturday. Taylor-Serrano was pulse-pounding action and intensity for 10 rounds and they really closed the show. Stevenson-Valdez was a virtuoso performance.

What did you think of the fight Dougie? It pretty much went the way I thought it would but it was more entertained and involved than I thought I would be.

Instant classic? Abso-f__king-lutely.

Did you think Serrano got robbed like some claim? Not at all. Serrano did more damage in a couple of rounds (5, 6, 10) but she was beat to the punch and outmaneuvered early in the fight and down the stretch. 

From what I saw, it looked like Katie Taylor rebounded from the mid-rounds to finish strong! She dug deep! I knew she was courageous and had the stamina for a second wind, but I thought the fight was essentially over in the fifth. I figured Serrano took all the wind from her sails and would grind her down to a stoppage between Rounds 6-8, but Taylor boxed sharp and with guts from Rounds 7 to the final bell. 

Some claim that Serrano took her foot off the gas, but it looked to me more like Taylor clawed her way back from the brink of defeat or stoppage to earn the W. Serrano has a little trouble with lateral movement. She can do a lot of damage, but she needs her opponent to stand and trade with her in order to really get off with her power. When Taylor prolonged the exchanges, she got busted up and buzzed. When she was on her stick-and-move game, she was OK. 

Either way, I want a rematch! We all do. And I think we’ll get it.

Also, this fight proved to me that women should have 3 minute rounds! Come on people, bump it up already! Call me Old School, but I’m just fine with 2-minute rounds. I like the fast pace of women’s boxing. But it shouldn’t be such a big issue. If women agree that they want 3-minute rounds, they should be able to lobby the athletic commissions to change the rules for them. Marlen Esparza did it in her second and third pro bouts, which took place in Las Vegas. Those were four- and six-rounders. If champions like Taylor and Serrano want 3-minutes rounds, they should get what they demand. And if the sanctioning bodies are resistant to allowing 3-minute rounds (and some of them are), they should just fight for The Ring title. 

REAL DEAL STEVENSON, TAYLOR-SERRANO

Hey Dougie,

Hope you were able to get ringside for at least one of those two big fights last night. It was an excellent night of action and a fitting end to a thrilling April.

Taylor v Serrano was the fight of the night and delivered one of the best fights I’ve ever seen! Near constant action and several momentum swings across the fight. Was the scoring accurate? It was a really close fight, that I personally had Serrano edging but maybe there’s no shame in Taylor’s win. Regardless, give us the rematch!! What did you think of the fight?

The 2nd fight of the night in my opinion was the coming out party of the sports next p4p no.1. Shakur boxed beautifully, comfortably beating a talented power puncher, who had an iron will. What made me sit up and take notice was how unsurprising it was, never once did Shakur look anything apart from in full control. IMHO he beats the four ‘prince’s’ if he fought them now.

What were your takes? Is Stevenson bound for HoF?

Thanks for bringing back the mailbag. – Tommy, London

Thanks for penning an email for the mailbag, Tommy.

Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

I agree that Stevenson’s domination of Valdez was his coming out party – and by winning the vacant 130-pound Ring title, I now view him a legitimate champion – but let’s hold off on crowning him as the Pound-for-Pound King or electing him to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He’s on his way, definitely headed in the right direction, but he’s got a lot of work to do. 

Right now, he’s a two-division titleholder and THE MAN at junior lightweight based on back-to-back domination of Jamel Herring and Oscar Valdez. That’s impressive but is it pound-for-pound level accomplishments? Some members of the Ring Ratings Panel – including Managing Editor Tom Gray – believe Stevenson should crack the top 10. But, again, he’s got a long way to go to climbing into that top five area. Of course, if he can get the major fights at 135 pounds – especially against the pound-for-pound rated Vasyl Lomachenko – he could fast-track his pound-for-pound ascension. 

I certainly wouldn’t count him out against Loma (in fact, I’d probably pick him to outpoint the Ukrainian legend) or the “Four Princes” as you call them (I assume you mean Kambosos, Haney, Davis and Garcia). But he’s got to do it before we give him credit for it. 

Hope you were able to get ringside for at least one of those two big fights last night. I was alone on my living room couch with a bowl of popcorn at my side, my laptop with Twitter open on a tray table in front of me, and I was in boxing-fan heaven. 

Taylor-Serrano action. Photo by Melina Pizano/Matchroom.

Taylor v Serrano was the fight of the night and delivered one of the best fights I’ve ever seen! It’s the best female fight I’ve ever seen. And it produced as much adrenaline in me as watching the 2021 Fight of the Year – Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder 3 – did. 

Near constant action and several momentum swings across the fight. That did not surprise me in the slightest. 

Was the scoring accurate? 96-94 for Serrano is fair. 96-93 and 97-93 for Taylor is giving the Irish star a little bit of the benefit of the doubt (those are seven-rounds-to-three tallies, the 96-93 card obviously includes a 10-8 round for Serrano in Round 5). A 96-94 score for Taylor would have been totally fair, as would a 95-95 tally. 

It was a really close fight, that I personally had Serrano edging but maybe there’s no shame in Taylor’s win. There’s no shame in either woman warrior’s game. The only folks who should be ashamed are the poor winners and sore losers among fans on social media.

 

TAYLOR-SERRANO, SHAKUR, FURY

Hi there Dougie –

As always I hope all is well.  I must say I’m a true nerd of this lovely sport. I confess I was nervous .. I knew both women would get the money they deserve, Madison Square Garden would rock and the setup would be great. In women’s boxing I’ve only wanted to see Wolfe v Ali more. But the action lived up! Great war.

Now I must be honest, I love Katie and Amanda as they are ambassadors, warriors but more importantly they seem to be good people. With all of that said I feel Katie showed a gladiator’s heart but Amanda losing was an injustice. She lost rounds but it was 97-93 and generously 96-94 Serrano. We all know if they rematch in Europe Amanda needs a KO to win but at least these warriors make their retirement fund.

This may be blasphemy but I think Shakur is ahead of Floyd at 24. I already have him beating every lightweight but 50-50 with Vasyl.

Lastly, we believe Fury is the most difficult HW to beat in years. BUT .. I really respect history and it’s getting crazy. Tyson is the best of this era IF he beats Usyk-Joshua winner clean. But let’s not mention, Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Louis, Lewis, Marciano, J. Johnson, Liston, Patterson and more .. Holyfield, Morrison, Moorer etc. Gigantic HW but as a person who loves the history of boxing it’s getting weird.

Extreme hypothetical (visited Omaha so biased) .. IF Spence-Crawford happens and Crawford wins and then goes on to fight & beat Charlo-Castaño winner .. what’s his status historically?? – Jamaal, Louisiana

Terence Crawford won Ring titles at lightweight and junior welterweight (where he was undisputed champ) before invading the welterweight division.

If Crawford beats Spence and then the Charlo-Castano winner (much easier said than done, of course), he will be a three-division undisputed champion (140, 147, 154). I don’t think that’s ever happened in the two-, three-, or four-belt eras. That feat would put him in the same sentence as Tony Canzoneri (126, 135, 140) and Henry Armstrong (126, 135, 147). That’s greatness.

I must say I’m a true nerd of this lovely sport. Hey, me too!

I confess I was nervous I had pre-fight butterflies because I knew it was going to be a barnburner. I love that feeling.

Now I must be honest, I love Katie and Amanda as they are ambassadors, warriors but more importantly they seem to be good people. I agree.

With all of that said I feel Katie showed a gladiator’s heart but Amanda losing was an injustice. I don’t think the official verdict was a “robbery.”

She lost rounds but it was 97-93 and generously 96-94 Serrano. I don’t have a problem with your 96-94 score for Serrano, but I had the same score for Taylor, who won Rounds 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9 on my card. 

We all know if they rematch in Europe Amanda needs a KO to win but at least these warriors make their retirement fund. That might actually be a stadium fight in the UK. Let it be done! Serrano can bring her own judges with harder pressure and a concentrated body attack. 

Floyd Mayweather takes it to Diego Corrales. Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

This may be blasphemy but I think Shakur is ahead of Floyd at 24. I don’t know about all of that, Jamaal. Let’s look at their five best opponents at age 24. Before he turned 25, Mayweather had defeated Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales, Jesus Chavez, Famous Hernandez and Goyo Vargas. Stevenson has defeated Valdez, Herring, Joet Gonzlaez, Jeremia Nakathila and Christopher Diaz. Even though Stevenson won a title at 126 and is now Ring champ at 130, I give the edge to Mayweather based on quality of opposition, plus Floyd was The Ring’s 1998 Fighter of the Year, when he was 21, (and already in the Pound-for-Pound rankings). Mayweather was just as dominant vs. Hernandez and Corrales (both borderline hall of farmers) as Stevenson was vs. Valdez and Herring. 

I already have him beating every lightweight but 50-50 with Vasyl. I think he might be too much for even Loma at this stage of the Ukrainian’s career, but they gotta fight the fight. The lightweight Dream Match IMO is Tank Davis vs. Stevenson.

Lastly, we believe Fury is the most difficult HW to beat in years. BUT .. I really respect history and it’s getting crazy. Tyson is the best of this era IF he beats Usyk-Joshua winner clean. I agree 100%.

But let’s not mention, Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Louis, Lewis, Marciano, J. Johnson, Liston, Patterson and more .. Holyfield, Morrison, Moorer etc. Gigantic HW but as a person who loves the history of boxing it’s getting weird. Boxing nerds are weirdos. It’s only natural to compare today’s best with the legends of the past. There are Ring Magazine cover stories and features on such comparisons and mythical matchups going back to the 1920s, especially with the heavyweights. When Dempsey was king they wondered how he’d fare against Jack Johnson. When Joe Louis was the man they wondered if the Brown Bomber could bomb out a prime Dempsey, and so on.  

 

KATIE, AMANDA AND WOMEN’S BOXING

Hello Dougie,

I have to be 100% honest with you, I’ve paid absolutely no attention to women’s boxing since the days of Mia St. John, Lucia Rijker and Christy Martin. Yeah I watched a few Laila Ali fights and maybe seen Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor, but never really paid attention. Always felt it was a waste of time, they didn’t have men’s power or boxing skills. Well, I heard about this fight, how it was pitting the two of the top 3 fighters in the sport and I just had to watch, and boy am I glad I did. These two stepped in the ring on the biggest stage, in the biggest moment ever for the sport and delivered. I hope Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather were watching because Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor showed everybody how it’s done when the sport pits the best vs the best.

Both women gave it all in the ring and showed a level of skill I didn’t expect. Amanda Serrano cut off the ring beautifully and at the same time Taylor adjusted every time she could. Serrano has some power in her hands and you could see Taylor’s face get marked up as the rounds went by.  I kind of favored Amanda’s power over Taylor’s boxing skills but had absolutely no problem with the decision as I could see how people could score the bout for the Irish woman.

Photo by Ed Mulholland/ Matchroom

I loved their post fight interview. Amanda said some very true words, they had to deliver because this was the fight that would legitimize the sport in the eyes of fans like me, people who’ve dismissed women’s boxing over the years because of early experience. I can see how the sport has evolved and most of all, I could see the heart that some male boxers lack when the time to shine comes.

In the end, they did their side of the sport a service that will forever mark the difference. I expect a lot of fans to notice women’s boxing a little bit more after this. Taylor-Serrano II now sits in my top more anticipated fights in the sport alongside Crawford-Spence, Fury-Usyk and GGG-Canelo III.

On a separate note, Shakur showed he is on a different level vs Oscar Valdez. Yeah, it was a stinker but man, this is how you show the world you have unique talent. He talked the talk and walked the walk. The way he disassembled Valdez was masterful. The only complaint I have is that bad habit of using his jab as a tool to push. Referee did tell him to stop but never actually did anything serious to stop it. You could tell that whenever he stopped doing it Oscar would be a little bit more successful (not enough to win the fight but I still think it’s illegal and referees should enforce the rules). When he gave him that hard warning I think in the 11th, he immediately did it several times right after and the referee said nothing. This frustrates me. But well, other than that little thing he fought on a different level.

Well Doug, hope you had a good weekend of fights. Thanks. – Juan Valverde, Chula Vista

I remember considering Kenny Bayless the best of the young referees 20 years ago when I was still new to covering the sport. Now I cringe when I see him officiating a fight.

Having said that, if Bayless had boxing gloves on and tried to help Valdez bum rush Stevenson, it would not have helped the WBC beltholder. Stevenson was just a bridge too far for the two-time Mexican Olympian. 

As for your thoughts on Taylor-Serrano, well said, Juan. It looks like you’re getting on the women’s boxing bandwagon at the right time. Taylor-Serrano II is the fight to make, but I’d also like to see Serrano challenge one of the standout 130-pounders – either Ring champ Mikaela Mayer or WBC beltholder Alycia Baumgardner – or the winner of an eventual Mayer-Baumgardner showdown challenge Taylor. That Fab Four could make for an excellent round robin. 

 

Email Fischer at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s or Doug’s IG Live every Sunday.

 

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