Katie Taylor earns split decision win over Amanda Serrano in a classic bout on historic night at Madison Square Garden

Katie Taylor has earned a thrilling split decision win over Amanda Serrano to retain the undisputed lightweight world championship in a tremendous slugfest at a sold-out Madison Square Garden.

Women’s boxing was the big winner on a historic night that more than lived up to its billing, as two of the sport’s best went at it over 10 intense two-minute rounds.

In a final flurry that typified the contest, both women ended the fight swinging wildly, trading blows with blood flowing from their faces as the capacity crowd of 19,187 roared them on.

Taylor, the unbeaten Irish champion, earned scores of 96-93 and 97-93 from two ringside judges, while the other judge scored it 96-94 for Serrano.

The crowd, fully invested throughout, nearly took the roof off New York’s famous boxing Mecca when the decision was announced, the thousands of Irish fans exploding as Taylor raised her arms as her team leaped around her in near-delirium.

Taylor moves to a professional record of 21-0 and further nailed down her spot in Ireland’s sporting pantheon of greats, while Serrano suffered her second career defeat to move to 42-2-1.

“Sold out Madison Square Garden, the biggest fight in female boxing history.

“What a win, what a night.”

Katie Taylor was backed by thousands of Irish supporters in New York.(Getty Images: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile)

Taylor digs deep, cements her legacy as women’s boxing GOAT

Taylor and Serrano, the two best female boxers on the planet, were the first women to headline a bill at the storied venue in its 140-year history — and they did not disappoint.

Taylor fought on the outside early, keeping Serrano at range and controlling the tempo with precise, powerful counter punches through the opening three rounds. 

However, Serrano came on strong in the fourth, backing Taylor up with some intense pressure and opening a cut over the right eye of the Irish champion.

Taylor opted to stand toe-to-toe with Serrano in a hellacious fifth round that had the capacity crowd up on its feet as Serrano landed at will.

Katie Taylor, right, punches Amanda Serrano
Both women traded blows in a brutal final round.(Getty Images: Sarah Stier)

The Irishwoman was clearly wobbled by a series of stunning shots from the challenger and was left bleeding from the nose as she wobbled back to the corner.

“I knew going into it I was going to be in the trenches at some stage,” Taylor said.

“She’s a phenomenal fighter, a great, great person, and I had the heart and the skill and I knew I was going to be able to come through.”

It’s in adversity that champions are etched into legend though, and Taylor’s response underlined her class and emphasised why she is referred to as the greatest of all time.

Taylor responded immediately, recovering to land some stunning head shots in a superb display of counter punching from the sixth onwards, belying the difficulties she faced in prior round to dominate the rest of the fight..

The stunning fifth clearly took its toll on Serrano, who slowed her work rate and paid the price in allowing Taylor time to compose herself .

Taylor was more precise with her timing and, despite being guilty of head-hunting at times, was precise enough to land enough clear shots to get the decision, bloodying Serrano’s right eye in the closing stages.

“We put on a hell of a show,” Serrano said.

“Katie is a great champion. She’s undefeated and undisputed. I’m truly honoured to share the ring.”

‘One of the greatest fights in the history of Madison Square Garden’

Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano hug and smile
Both women showed enormous respect to each other before and after the fight.(Getty Images: Sarah Stier)

Tickets for this bout sold out in the second fastest time for any boxing event ever at Madison Square Garden.

Serrano said the performance of the two fighters in the ring backed up what everyone already knew. 

Most observers clearly agreed.

Men’s lightweight contender Ryan Garcia wrote on twitter: “I just witnessed one of the best fights ever.”

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Former UFC champion Conor McGregor wrote: “Take a bow ladies! What a contest!”

Errol Spence proclaimed it as “Fight of the year so far” and great Oscar de la Hoya said, “Congratulations women’s boxing”.

Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn said it was one of the best fights in boxing history.

“Tonight we were making history for the biggest fight in women’s boxing,” Hearn said.

“But tonight they made history with one of the greatest fights in the history of Madison Square Garden.

“Two women changed the game but also provided one of the fights for the ages.”

Serrano’s promoter Jake Paul likened the bout to the infamously brutal 2002 contest between Aturo Gatti and Micky Ward.

“That was incredible, both women fought their hearts out,” Paul said.

On the undercard, Australian Skye Nicolson won a unanimous, clear decision over Shanecqua Paisley Davis to move to 3-0.

Skye Nicolson flexes her biceps and smiles as her opponent walks behind her
Skye Nicolson won her featherweight bout by unanimous decision.(Getty Images: Sarah Stier)

Nicolson knocked her American opponent to the canvas in the final seconds of the sixth round but did not have enough time to win the stoppage.

The judges had Nicolson winning all six rounds, all three scoring the bout 60-53.

Reference-www.abc.net.au

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