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Katie Taylor Finds Late Boost of Energy to Get Past Amanda Serrano

After losing some steam in the fourth and fifth rounds, Katie Taylor (right) rebounded to beat Amanda Serrano in a split decision.

After losing some steam in the fourth and fifth rounds, Katie Taylor (right) rebounded to beat Amanda Serrano in a split decision.

NEW YORK—Here are three takeaways from Katie Taylor’s historic split-decision win against Amanda Serrano on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

What. A. Fight.

The biggest fight in women’s boxing history lived up to the billing. Taylor, the undefeated and undisputed women’s lightweight champion, and Amanda Serrano packed MSG and delivered a performance for the ages. After going back-and-forth over the first three rounds, Serrano, the heavier hitter of the two, seized control—walking Taylor down in the fourth round and wobbling her badly in the fifth. Taylor, at 35 and coming off several subpar performances, looked in trouble.

In the seventh, though, Taylor turned the tide. Gathering a surge of energy, she picked up the pace and peppered Serrano with combinations while moving well around the ring. Serrano’s pace slowed, allowing Taylor to land flurries and move out of the way before Serrano could close the distance. Both fighters, badly bloodied, landed combinations in the 10th round.

The final scores: 96-93 Taylor, 96-94 Serrano and 97-93 Taylor. Sports Illustrated scored the fight 95-95 a draw.

Will we see a rematch?

Both fighters seemed open to it, and why not? Taylor and Serrano are the two biggest stars in the 135-pound division, and it’s not even close. Serrano has pushed for a fight between them with three minute rounds. Eddie Hearn, Taylor’s promoter, said he would like to see a rematch in Ireland. Jake Paul, Serrano’s promoter, said their team would be amenable to that. Taylor has never fought in Ireland as a professional. What an event that would be.

Historic night for women’s boxing

The first women’s headliner at MSG showed that you can bet there will be more. Beyond Taylor and Serrano, there are so many good fights to be made in women’s boxing. Claressa Shields will face Savannah Marshall in the summer. Franchon Cruz-Dezern became the undisputed 168-pound champion Saturday in a very entertaining fight. Seniesa Estrada is dominating the lower weight classes, and a rematch with Marlen Esparza is a potential headliner next year. Women’s boxing is certainly on the rise. 

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