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06th May 2023

Amanda Serrano announcement the latest slap in the face to Katie Taylor

Patrick McCarry

“To be honest with you, I think it takes the absolute pi*s”

That was Eddie Hearn’s take on dealing with Croke Park officials when trying to sort a Katie Taylor fight.

With rugby’s Challenge and Champions Cups coming top Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on the same weekend as a typically loaded GAA and Airtricity weekend, trying to get extra security sorted for a Taylor bout at Croker was always going to be a steep ask.

In the end, it came at too steep a price.

As the main promoter for Katie Taylor’s fights, Eddie Hearn settled on Dublin’s 3 Arena and Chantelle Cameron was set up as the big challenge in a champion on champion tilt.

Serrano, we presumed, was being back-pocketed until Croke Park would be revisited, later in the year.

In the same press conference as he said Croke Park was going to cost three times what Wembley Stadium would be to lock in for a fight, Hearn himself mentioned September as a possibility for Katie Taylor’s dream venue.

GAA headquarters may still host a Katie Taylor fight this year, but it is not likely to be up against Amanda Serrano.

An announcement from the USA, on Thursday, all but puts to bed Taylor vs. Serrano II at Croke Park.

Katie Taylor rematch with Amanda Serrano may not happen.

First reported by ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, confirmation came through this afternoon that Amanda Serrano will be fighting Heather Hardy in her next bout, on August 5.

Back in 2019, Hardy and Serrano faced off with the winner due to face Katie Taylor.

Serrano defeated Hardy but the Covid pandemic kept the world’s two top boxers apart.

They eventually got to face off against Taylor, at Madison Square Garden, in 2022.

The Bray native won that fight on points but it was a split decision, leading to a greater appetite for a rematch.

Serrano Hardy II are now going to fight in Dallas, Texas on a card that will be headlined by Jake Paul’s bout with former UFC star Nate Diaz.

Serrano fought back in February – beating Erika Cruz – and has averaged two bouts a year since 2018.

It is highly unlikely that she would don her gloves just a month later to take on Taylor in a rematch.

‘I hope Katie Taylor walks away’

Katie Taylor turns 37 in July and should be looking to wind down her professional boxing career.

She started boxing, aged 12, in 1998 and had her first sanctioned bout three years later.

As far back as 2019, when she just about edged Delfine Persoon on points, there has been speculation as to how much longer the 2012 Olympic gold medallist would go on for.

Taylor had six stoppage wins in her first 13 pro bouts but all of her wins since 2019 have been on points.

Serrano took her to the brink, in August 2022, but Taylor survived rounds five and six and finished stronger to defeat the Puerto Rican.

After that bout, retired boxer Tony Bellew told DAZN: “She showed amazing resolve to get through it, and that was the difference. It’s the defining moment of her career and, I’m not going to lie, I hope she walks away.”

We were told May 20 was the date.

Taylor hung on until 2022 before getting that dream fight against Serrano at MSG.

She is getting her homecoming fight at 3 Arena, in just over a fortnight, against Cameron.

There are not many boxes left to tick.

When Taylor Serrano II at Croke Park was dashed, earlier this year, Hearn spoke confidently of September as the chance to make everything right.

Serrano getting booked in against Hardy effectively nixes the fight that fans so desperately want to see in women’s boxing.

In February of this year, after Serrano defeated Cruz, Katie Taylor entered the ring for a face-off with ‘The Real Deal’.

We were told May 20 was the date. We were then told Serrano was not off the cards, even after the Cameron fight was announced.

If Taylor is to lose out on the massive pay-day, and swan-song, she so richly deserves, it will be another slap in the face to one of this country’s greatest sporting legends.

And that, we feel, is taking the absolute pi*s.

Written by Patrick McCarry.

Related links:

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The IRFU are allegedly dodging calls following major sexism claims.

Irish footballer Áine O’Gorman says competing in the World Cup is a “dream come true”.