It’s a massive night for female boxing this Saturday night at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York, and in the bill topper to this Matchroom-promoted card, Katie Taylor defends her undisputed lightweight title against Amanda Serrano, who has won multiple world titles at seven weights.
DAZN is the place to watch Taylor vs Serrano – one of the biggest contests the female side of the sport has ever seen.
Taylor (20-0, 6 KOs) has long been in search of legacy-defining fights, but has had to settle for lacklustre opposition of late, and her performances have suffered as a result.
A trail blazing athlete for her country and women’s sport, Taylor won Olympic Gold in 2012 and was a stellar amateur.
After defeat in the quarter-finals at the 2016 Olympics, the 35-year-old turned professional in November of the same year, and has racked up the accolades ever since.
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The Irishwoman became world champion in just her seventh fight, taking the WBA lightweight belt, and she gradually unified, until becoming undisputed champion in June 2019, with a hotly disputed majority nod against Delfine Persoon, who pushed her to the brink.
After moving up in weight to take the WBO super lightweight crown, Taylor dropped back down and defeated Persoon in a rematch, this time by a close unanimous verdict.
Since that win, the Bray native has marked time, with four defences of her undisputed gold, the last a handy points win last December against Firuza Sharipova in Liverpool.
She now faces a real acid test against the highly decorated Puerto Rican Serrano (42-1-1, 30 KOs).
‘The Real Deal’ hasn’t tasted defeat since 2012, and has gone up and down the weights, winning world titles in an astonishing seven different weight classes.
The 33-year-old was WBO lightweight queen all the way back in 2014, and has more recently campaigned at featherweight, unifying WBC, WBO and IBO belts in March last year with a ninth round knockout of Daniela Romina Bermudez.
After a routine defence five months later, Serrano, who is promoted by Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions, dipped her toes back in lightweight waters for her last outing in December 2021, outscoring Miriam Gutierrez over ten in Tampa.
Prediction: Taylor surprisingly starts off as the underdog with the bookmakers, who presumably assume that she is on the slide after a series of routine wins. I think she still has more to offer though, and although Serrano will be a stern test, I pick Taylor to take a tight points win to further cement her legendary status.
Crews-Dezurn meets Cederros in undisputed clash
There is a second undisputed title clash on offer at super middleweight, where Franchon Crews-Dezurn puts her WBC and WBO belts on the line against WBA and IBF champion, Elin Cederroos.
Baltimore-based Crews-Dezurn (7-1, 2 KOs) lost on debut to fellow debutant Claressa Shields, but won the WBC title in 2018 with a majority decision win over Maricela Cornejo, and added the vacant WBO belt with a unanimous verdict in a rematch.
She lost to Alejandra Jimenez in January 2020, but the result was overturned to a no decision after a failed Jimenez PED test, and the American was last out a year later, taking all eight rounds against Ashleigh Curry.
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Sweden’s Cederroo (8-0, 4 KOs) became IBF champion in 2019, via majority decision against Femke Hermans, and her last outing was in January 2020, taking the WBA belt from Alicia Napoleon Espinosa.
The 37-year-old scored a crucial second round knockdown, as she unified with a one point win across the board.
Prediction: I favour Crews-Dezurn to take advantage of the rustiness of Cederroos to score a points win.
Smith battles Vargas
There is a duo of British interest here, notably Liam Smith, and ‘Beefy’ looks to get back into world title contention against Jessie Vargas in a super welterweight clash set for twelve rounds.
Smith (30-3-1, 17 KOs) served as WBO champion at 154 pounds in 2015/16 until shipping the belt to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and he also failed in a bid to regain the belt in a 2018 loss to Jaime Munguia.
There was a contentious loss to Magomed Kurbanov in Russia last March, but Smith bounced back in style, halting Anthony Fowler in eight rounds last October.
Former two-weight world champion, Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) has been in patchy form of late, and is 3-3-2 in his last eight bouts.
The Las Vegas native hasn’t been seen since February 2020, where he dropped a decision against Mikey Garcia.
Prediction: Smith should prevail on the scorecards.
Yafai fights for second time
Galal Yafai debuted with a ten rounder, and the Olympic Gold Medallist defends his WBC International flyweight title against Miguel Cartagena (17-6-1, 8 KOs).
Birmingham native, Yafai (1-0, 1 KO) ruthlessly stopped Carlos Vado Bautista in five rounds on debut in February to win the vacant title.
Prediction: Cartagena has been stopped three times in six defeats, and Yafai can add to that tally here with an early win.
The vacant WBA Continental Americas middleweight title is on offer, and Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (10-0, 8 KOs) can take the belt with a stoppage win over Chordale Booker (17-0, 7 KOs), who has operated at a much lower level than his opponent.
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At super lightweight, Reshat Mati (11-0, 7 KOs) can remain unbeaten with an early victory in his scheduled eight rounder with Joe Eli Hernandez (12-1, 10 KOs), and at light heavyweight, Khalil Coe (2-0-1, 2 KOs) should stop William Langston (6-2, 4 KOs) before the end of their six round affair.