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Katie Taylor keeps her championship belts with her epic win over Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden

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Katie Taylor cleared any doubt about her ranking as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world this morning at Madison Square Garden.

he women’s “Fight of the Century” became a classic in boxing’s Mecca as Taylor retained her WBA, IBF, WBO, WBC and Ring Magazine World lightweight belts

The 35-year-old Bray pugilist proved she was the “real deal” against Amanda Serrano, who had won nine world titles in seven divisions in a stellar career.

But she had to go into the trenches.

Ring announcer David Diamante uttered the words the Irish heroine wanted to hear after the fight went on for its scheduled ten rounds… “and still…”

It was the signal for the Irish fans who sold out with 18,000 spectators.

Taylor had been in serious trouble halfway through the competition. Serrano almost stopped Taylor in a grueling fifth round, but the champion showed incredible courage by staying upright. She recovered and won the final four rounds after a split decision 97-94, 96-93, and 94-96.

Eddie Hearn described it as one of the greatest fights in Madison Square Garden history. Both fighters then verbally agreed in the ring on a rematch. “Let’s do it again,” Taylor told her opponent. What a competition it will be.

Hearn said he wanted the rematch to be in Ireland and Serrano’s manager Jake Paul accepted the challenge of coming to Ireland for Taylor-Serrano 2.

Taylor will be bringing home a new belt from the Big Apple as the World Boxing Council commissioned a Kelt Boricua belt for the winner, in recognition of the fact that it was the first female fight to occur in the 140th season -year history of MSG topped the bill.

In her 44 bouts to date, the Porto Rican-born Brooklyn fighter had never faced an opponent of Taylor’s caliber. But she rose to the challenge brilliantly and certainly deserves another chance. The two-score 97-93 didn’t fully reflect her contribution to arguably the best women’s championship match of all time.

As is usual with all Matchroom shows, the build-up to the big match began with Neil Diamond’s classic Sweet Caroline, which was sure to get Katie Taylor fans at the sold-out MSG in the mood. And her rendition of Ole, Ole Ole drowned out the Porto Rican fans. The atmosphere was electric for ring runs but while Serrano savored the attention, Taylor – who had been looking nervous in her dressing room – showed her game face.

Canadian Michael Griffin was the third person in the ring when the action started. Staying out of range for most of the first two minutes, Taylor fired consecutive left-footed shots that caught her opponent. The champion’s punch speed was remarkable.

They first won early on the second when Taylor used her footwork to make the ring as big as possible. Serrano got through with a few punches and began focusing on Taylor’s body.

The action intensified in the third as the pair traded punches and the fight already had all the signs of becoming a classic. Serrano found her reach at the end of the third, catching Taylor with a powerful left hook, though it was barely enough to give her the round.

Taylor dominated the fourth round with the accuracy of her shots giving her the advantage and she caught Serrano square in the jaw with a classic.

Taylor was caught in the corner for an extended time early in the fifth round and sent a series of punches; She eventually managed to break free from the ropes but was practically overpowered by Serrano.

It’s probably no exaggeration that she took more penalties that round than any round she fought in during her pro career. She deserves immense credit for staying on her feet. Avoiding a standing count, she eventually won the contest.

But she was in big trouble at this point. She fought back bravely on Lap 6, but Serrano now had her measure. As blood spurted from Taylor’s nose, only her innate bravery in battle held her back. She looked shocked in her corner.

The action slowed down a bit on lap seven as Serrano relentlessly pushed forward, but Taylor did enough to at least stop the momentum Serrano had been building in the middle laps.

As the competition entered the championship rounds, the momentum shifted decisively in Taylor’s favor as she landed scoring shots in rounds eight and nine. Amazingly, after looking lost mid-fight, she had fought her way back into the fight. It was an almost miraculous recovery for the champion.

Everything revolved around the last two minutes. Taylor dominated for the first minute and a half, but Serrano charged back, and the two fighters stood in the center of the ring, trading a series of punches in the final 30 seconds of the round.

It was a great end to a great competition.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/boxing/katie-taylor-retains-world-title-belts-with-epic-victory-over-amanda-serrano-in-madison-square-garden-41604545.html Katie Taylor keeps her championship belts with her epic win over Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden

Fry Electronics Team

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