Katie Taylor remains undisputed Lightweight champion after electric fifth round by Amanda Serrano; action-packed main event ends in split decision
NEW YORK (April 30, 2022) — Undisputed Lightweight champion Katie Taylor versus challenger Amanda Serrano was a long time coming. The bout was one of boxing’s earliest victims of the pandemic induced work stoppage.
Never mind that. New York City’s “Mecca of Boxing”, the famed Madison Square Garden, was truly turned up as the two champions became the first women in boxing to headline the venue. Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing delivered a sold out ground-breaking moment that streamed live on DAZN.
The fight itself delivered. The split decision was likely a shocker to many who viewed the fight – whether streaming it at home or even the raucous crowd inside MSG. Taylor (21-0, 6 KOs) avoided going down, like a true champion, after Serrano (42-2-1, 30 KOs) exploded in the fight’s fifth round.
The challenger slowed down at points over the balance of the fight, or at least found it difficult to trap Taylor on the ropes again and swarm her with power punches. Taylor went to work to save her titles. She moved away, landed enough shots and began putting rounds together to get back into the fight. As Serrano’s volume decreased sharply, that development paired with Taylor’s resilience, set matters up for the champion to scrap her way to a victory.
The first round opened with Amanda Serrano calming inching forward in her southpaw stance. Both women fired off a series of jabs. Taylor shot hers to the body with some success. The round was fairly even as both landed at least one hook.
Serrano closed the distance early in Round 2. The two fighters came together and had to be separated by the referee. Taylor continued to operate off the back foot while circling away. The scoring was pretty even with both landing mostly with single punches.
Taylor found some success catching Serrano with punches on the way in to start the third stanza. She landed a two-punch combination with about 20 seconds to go. Serrano closed the round with a sweeping left hook that landed flush.
Taylor initially tried to keep the action in the middle of the ring to start Round 4. The action built off of the heightened pace from the previous round where both fighters landed punches in double digits. By the end of the round Taylor returned to her corner with a cut under her right eye.
Taylor went to work with hooks from both hands as the fifth round started. Serrano forced Taylor into a corner where they traded fiercely. After the action came out of the corner Serrano began taking Taylor apart with combinations. Taylor was staggered and bloodied. Somehow the champion stayed on her feet as the Puerto Rican American methodically attacked her. Serrano’s punches were straight.
Serrano remained poised to open the sixth round. She marched forward landing repeatedly. Taylor tried to return fire as blood trickled from her nose. She was clearly in the worst shape of the two, but she flurried to fend off Serrano as best she could. The crowd went crazy as Serrano collected another round.
Taylor looked steady over the first minute of Round 7. Serrano slowed some. She continued to walk to Taylor to apply some pressure. She landed shots here and there, and even went down to the body for a change.
Taylor took a stand early in Round 8. She threw some winging right hooks as she moved away. Serrano landed a pair of body shots inside with under 30 seconds to go. The champion didn’t fully seize control of the round, but she got some things going to attempt to build on in the final two rounds.
Taylor continued to chip away reestablishing her offense in Round 9. Serrano pressed forward but her offense was less effective. The champion was the busier of the two, but it looked like she was unable to fully commit to turning the affair into a fight.
Taylor appeared to need some time to find the energy to attempt to pull out a comeback. She looked to be rocked briefly near the end of the first minute. The action finally exploded in an all out war the final half minute. The two fighters stood toe-to-toe trading. Somewhere in the final round Serrano emerged from some exchanging with a cut around her right eye.
The judges scored the fight 94-96, 97-93, and 96-93 in favor of Taylor.
All photos by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing