Boxing tips: Katie Taylor v Amanda Serrano plus Liam Smith & Shakur Stevenson

Chris Oliver previews Saturday’s big boxing event, featuring Katie Taylor v Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden in the first ever female headline fight.

Boxing is really on a roll right now, and this weekend we have another historic event to look forward too.

A week after Tyson Fury defeated Dillian Whyte at Wembley in a stunning display, Katie Taylor and AMANDA SERRANO fought in the first ever female headline bout at Madison Square Garden, live on DAZN.

New York’s venue sells out for the largest women’s fight ever and it is a major moment in the history of the sport. Over the past five years, the female game has made huge strides and is not a novelty or sideshow. The fact that they perform at the most prestigious venue in the world is proof of this.

Taylor has been a key figure in the success of these women, as she has been their flag-bearer and role model. Unbeaten, the Irish hero defends her lightweight titles in the Big Apple. She faces Serrano, who has a remarkable 42-1-1 record and has not been beaten in 10 years.

The presence of New York’s Irish and Puerto Rican Serrano, both based in Brooklyn, should create an atmosphere that is hot and will likely get a fight.

Taylor drifting

The bookies have been unable to split them for some while, but this week’s money has seen Taylor edge favouritism at 5/5, and Taylor now a best value of 13/10. This means Taylor is the underdog for the first times in her career.

This may be surprising considering all that Taylor has accomplished in the sport. Taylor was the unpaid champion for a decade, winning five world championships and famously winning gold at the London Olympics 2012. Taylor has a flawless record as a professional. She won world titles in two weight categories and was undisputed champion at lightweight. Her fan base has grown from Ireland to the rest of the world.

There have been some signs that she might be slowing down in recent weeks. Although she was expected to easily beat Jennifer Han and Firuza Sharipovova in her previous two matches, it was clear that she struggled to win against such a high level of opposition. She had only managed to beat her old rival Natasha Jonas in thrilling 10 rounds prior to those points wins. It seems like everything is getting harder for her now.

After a long career under the spotlight, she is quite entitled to feel a bit down at 35. She has been busy since becoming a professional five and a quarter years ago. She also has to deal with Delfine Persoon’s two brutal fights in 2019 and 2020. These are the types of fights that shorten careers and she was fortunate to be nominated in their first encounter.

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JohnBarnes