Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano: Laila Ali offers sound warning

Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano, Laila Ali

The countdown to the biggest women’s fight in boxing history is down to single figures. On Saturday, undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor will lay her title on the line against Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden.

The two will become the first ever female fighters to headline a main card at the famous New York arena.

Ahead of what will be one of the greatest occasions in sporting history, former professional fighter Laila Ali is one of the latest to express her excitement ahead of the blockbuster clash.

Ali is widely regarded as one of the greatest women’s boxers of all time, having retired undefeated and previously held the WBC, WIBA, IWBF and IBA super middleweight titles, and the IWBF light heavyweight title.

She paid homage to both Taylor and Serrano ahead of Saturday’s fight, but particularly shared her appreciation for The Bray Bomber and her astonishing career so far.

“I’m super excited for this fight. I’ve been a fan of Katie Taylor since the first time I saw her in the Olympics, because I thought that she just had superior skills, and not just for a woman, just in general,” she said. “I’ve always loved her, liked her character.

“I have more recently become aware of Amanda Serrano, and she’s a great fighter as well. I love that we’ve got two women fighting as a main event.”

Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano attend Light the Empire State Building in advance of the World Female Lightweight Titles from Madison Square Garden at The Empire State Building on April 26, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust)

Who will win?

Both women are powerhouses in their own rights and it’s tough to predict who will walk away with the title on Saturday night.

Taylor is the undefeated, undisputed lightweight champion and also made history with her gold medal finish at the London Olympics. The Irish fighter became the first ever female lightweight boxing champion at the Games.

Taylor also became just one of eight fighters in the world, male or female, to hold all four major world titles simultaneously.

Katie Taylor of Ireland celebrates winning her bout against Sofya Ochigava of Russia during the Women’s Light (60kg) Boxing final bout on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

While Taylor has helped raise the profile of women’s boxing with her incredible achievements, Serrano is by no means an easy opponent.

The Puerto Rican is a widely versatile fighter, with boxing, mixed martial arts, and wrestling on her portfolio.

She is the current unified featherweight world champion and she is the only female fighter to win world titles in more than four weight classes. She also holds the Guinness World Record for most boxing world championships won in different weight classes by a woman, with an astonishing nine major titles across seven divisions.

While it seems as though Ali is a big fan of Taylor, she hasn’t ruled out Serrano when it comes to the fight of all fights this weekend.

Amanda Serrano

“[Serrano] hasn’t lost for a long time, and she has the power, that’s the equaliser,” Ali said.

“When you have that power, it makes all the difference. You can change a fight with one shot so it makes it really exciting.

 “[Serrano] has power, has boxing skills, can mix it up, can take a punch. That’s really dangerous.

“Then you have someone like Katie Taylor who is so talented. She has all these God-given gifts and she works really hard at her craft, and she can really just dominate a lot of the fights.

“But we’ve seen her get roughed up when she gets in there and tries to punch it out, because she doesn’t necessarily have any devastating power. She’s very tough, but that’s not what I want to see in this fight. I don’t want to see her stand there and try to duke it out with Amanda Serrano.”

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