April 30 will not just be a historic moment for women’s boxing, but for the sport of boxing as a whole.
Madison Square Garden will host Katie Taylor’s clash with Amanda Serrano for the undisputed women’s lightweight championship, which can only be seen across the world on DAZN, which is a clear sign of how respected women’s professional boxing has become.
But how did it get to this point?
DAZN News charts the journey of two pioneers along with how this iconic fight got made.
The rise of Katie Taylor
Whenever sports fans talk women’s boxing, one of the first names that gets mentioned is Ireland’s Katie Taylor.
Ever since she won gold at the 2005 European Amateur Boxing Championship, Taylor was being touted as a very special talent.
Before making her professional debut in November 2016, Taylor enjoyed a successful amateur career. Winning five consecutive gold medals at the Women’s World Championships, six golds at the European Champions and five gold medals at the European Union Championships.
For an amateur, the Olympics are the ultimate prize and after dominating at numerous championships, there was no surprise that Taylor won lightweight gold at London 2012 where women’s boxing was included for the first time.
Following a disappointing quarter-final exit at Rio 2016, Taylor turned professional with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, and made her pro debut in November 2016, stopping Karina Szmalenberg.
Since then, Taylor has been on a meteoric rise, winning her first lightweight world title 11 months after her pro debut, and became undisputed with a win over Delfine Persoon in June 2019.
It’s not just at lightweight where Taylor has enjoyed success however. She also became a two-weight world champion after beating Christina Linardatou in November 2019 to capture the WBO women’s super lightweight title.
Now, Taylor is preparing for the biggest night of her life where a win would cement her as one of the greatest women to ever lace up the gloves.
The rise of Amanda Serrano
Puerto Rico’s Amanda Serrano already has established a legacy when it comes to boxing.
While Serrano may not have the gold-medal-laden amateur career that Taylor possesses, the 33-year-old quickly turned her attention to winning world titles after making her professional debut in March 2009.
September 10, 2011, was when Serrano won her first world title, stopping Kimberly Connor to capture the IBF women’s super featherweight world title.
World titles success at lightweight, featherweight and super bantamweight followed in 2014, February 2016 and October 2016 respectively, before becoming a five-weight world champion in April 2017 when Serrano beat Dahiana Santana in April 2017 for the WBO women’s bantamweight title.
But Serrano didn’t stop there. Her historic feats continued when she became a six-weight world champion in September 2018 after beating Yamilia Esther Reynoso to claim the vacant WBO women’s super lightweight title.
The following year, Serrano won a world title in a seventh weight class. This time it was the vacant WBO women’s super flyweight title with a first round stoppage against Eva Vorberger.
Since then, Serrano has campaigned at featherweight with successful title defences against Heather Hardy, Daniela Romania Bermudez and Yamileth Mercado.
Now comes another test in the form of Katie Taylor, where a win for Serrano would give the Puerto Rican a strong case for being labelled the greatest women’s fighter in the sport of boxing.
How did Eddie Hearn and Jake Paul help make April 30 happen
The focus come April 30 will be on Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, but a lot of credit has to be given to an unusual promotional partnership between Eddie Hearn and Jake Paul.
Taylor vs. Serrano was originally planned for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic immediately shut down those plans, and despite efforts to make the fight behind closed doors, both parties were unable to agree the necessary pay cuts with no fans in attendance.
However, after two years of waiting, the fight will finally happen live on DAZN.
Paul will be instrumental in the build-up. With Serrano signed to Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions (MVP), anything relating to the fight has the potential to be seen by millions and generate excitement ahead of the Madison Square Garden showdown.
However, Paul is a love-hate figure to boxing fans following his five fights as a professional, but this does not concern Hearn.
When speaking to The DAZN Boxing Show in February, Hearn made it clear that regardless of any bad blood, he will be looking to make Taylor vs. Serrano the biggest event possible.
“Seriously, his intentions, whether they’re personal, whether they’re on behalf of Amanda, or on behalf of boxing, are to make this fight as big as possible.
“So I think whether I like him or he likes me, we don’t really care. We’re both driven to create an iconic event.”