There have been some big fights between women in the past. Whether Saturday’s clash (DAZN, 7:30 PM EST) ultimately proves the biggest at the box office remains to be seen. It’s certainly been exposed at a level we don’t normally see, with WWE and the Today Show both giving the fight a boost this week.
Headlining one of boxing’s churches, Madison Square Garden and in the main arena, adds to the magnitude. It’s a genuine event pitting the best lightweight in the world against the best featherweight.
The fight, on its merits, deserves the hype. It is arguably, on paper, the best women’s fight ever made. Both still near their peak, both flush with accomplishment, Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano is the goods.
Taylor won five world amateur championships and Olympic Gold in 2012. Since turning professional in 2016, Taylor has unified the lightweight division, won a belt at Jr. welterweight, and posted wins over future welterweight queen Jessica McCaskill and the sister of her opponent this weekend, Cindy Serrano. Saturday will be Taylor’s seventeenth consecutive title fight.
Where Taylor has made lightweight her domain, Serrano has been the ultimate scale jumper with belts in seven weight classes. The order of accumulation is unlikely to be seen again. Serrano won her first belt in 2011 at Jr. lightweight before accumulating titles at featherweight, lightweight, Jr. featherweight, bantamweight, Jr. welterweight, and finally Jr. bantamweight.
For comparison's sake, imagine a fighter on the men’s side defeating Josh Taylor and then dropping all the way down the scale to defeat Roman Gonzalez. Analogies between men’s and women’s boxing are highly imperfect considering the wide gap in participant volume but it’s still a good idea of how dazzling Serrano has been. The one thing Serrano has never been is the undisputed queen of any class.
A win over Taylor this weekend would check that box. To stop Serrano short of the goal would be a crowning achievement for Taylor.
Someone will be disappointed.
Let’s get into it.
Stats and Stakes
Titles: WBA Lightweight (2017-Present, 12 Defenses); IBF Lightweight (2018-Present, 10 Defenses); WBO Lightweight (2019-Present, 6 Defenses); Lineal/Ring Magazine/WBC Lightweight (2019-Present, 4 Defenses)
Previous Titles: WBO Jr. Welterweight (2019)
Weight: 134 ½ lbs.
Hails from: Bray, Ireland
Record: 20-0, 6 KO
Record in Major Title Fights: 14-0, 3 KO
Last Five Opponents: 98-7-2 (.908)
Notable Outcomes, Ring Rated (Current) Foes: Anahi Esther Sanchez UD10; Jessica McCaskill UD10; Delfine Persoon MD10, UD10; Miriam Gutierrez UD10; Natasha Jonas UD10; Jennifer Han UD 10
Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: Nina Meinke TKO7; Victoria Noelia Bustos UD10; Cindy Serrano UD10; Eva Wahlstrom UD10; Rose Volante TKO9; Christina Linardatou UD10
Titles: WBC/WBO featherweight (2019-Present, 2 Defenses)
Previous Titles: IBF super featherweight (2011-12); WBO lightweight (2014-15); WBO featherweight (2016, 1 Defense); WBO super bantamweight (2016-18, 2 Defenses); WBO bantamweight (2017); WBO super lightweight (2018); WBO super flyweight (2019)
Height: 5’5 ½
Weight: 133 ½ lbs.
Hails from: Brooklyn, New York (Born in Puerto Rico)
Record: 42-1-1, 29 KO
Press Rankings: Lightweight - #1 (LinealBoxingChampion.com), 2 (Ring, ESPN, BoxRec); Featherweight - #1 (Ring, ESPN, LinealBoxingChampion.com)
Record in Major Title Fights: 13-1, 9 KO
Last Five Opponents: 114-32-3 (.775)
Notable Outcomes, Ring Rated (Current) Foes: Yamileth Mercado UD10; Miriam Gutierrez UD10
Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: Frida Wahlberg L10; Maria Maderna KO6; Fatuma Zarika UD6, UD6; Olivia Gerula TKO1; Yazmin Rivas UD10; Dahiana Santana TKO8, TKO1; Marilyn Hernandez TKO1; Eva Voraberger KO1; Heather Hardy UD10; Daniela Bermudez KO9
The Pick: Where Serrano’s game is often punctuated by aggression and pressure, Taylor can be more selective. Taylor has good feet, moving well around the ring and picking spots to attack and counter. She’s efficient offensively and tends to outland opponents. Taylor had issues with the physical strength and tenacity of Delfine Persoon, with a little good fortune to escape their first fight with a win, but Taylor is the naturally bigger woman in this match.
Taylor isn’t a huge puncher but she’s scored knockdowns in several fights and has to be respected on that front.
Serrano has uncommon power for the women’s ranks and appears on tape to have an edge in hand speed. Competing over ten, two-minute rounds, the attacking style of Serrano and her speed could be huge assets. Serrano is likely to have the New York crowd on her side and Taylor can sometimes be open for stiff straight counters when she moves in. If Serrano can time Taylor’s attacks as the champion moves in and out, the chances to score in combination will be there. Given the stances of the battlers, head clashes are always a risk and could be a factor here.
Notably, most of Serrano’s best stoppage wins have come lower on the scale so a long game where she can multiply punishment will serve her well. Serrano might be a little smaller but her quickness and sharper punches are going to be eye catching. It should be an excellent affair but Serrano is the pick to land just a bit more that matters en route to a decision win.
Rold Picks 2022: 18-4
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at email@example.com