Sunday 16 June 2019

Katie Taylor dominates Cindy Serrano to retain titles with flawless performance in Boston

Katie Taylor, right, and Cindy Serrano during their WBA & IBF Female Lightweight World title bout at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Katie Taylor, right, and Cindy Serrano during their WBA & IBF Female Lightweight World title bout at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick in Boston

The Red Sox are the kings of Boston sport right now but Katie Taylor can lay temporary claim to the title of queen of women's sport in the city after retaining her WBA and IBF lightweight world titles before an estimated attendance of 8,000 at the TD Garden.

Taylor's eleventh win as a professional moves her record to a perfect 11-0-0 with five of those wins coming inside the distance. As predicted, this clash against the experienced Porto Rican born Cindy Serrano went the full ten rounds.

But it was also arguably the most one-sided of Taylor's World championship fights. Frankly, Serrano offered absolutely no resistance and the extent of her ambition was not to be stopped by the Bray Bomber.

She scarcely landed a punch of note during the ten rounds as Taylor dominated at will. It takes two to tango and Taylor's frustration at the antics of her opponent spilled over in the seventh round when she stopped boxing, stood motionless near the ropes and invited her opponent to at least make an effort.

Serrano did come forward momentarily for the first time in the fight but it didn't make the slightest difference. Predictably, all three judges awarded Taylor all ten rounds which secured her a unanimous 100-90 result and it's arguable whether the challenger should have been warned about her unwillingness to engage in a meaningful way.

With 35 fights under her belt, Serrano was the most experienced fighter Taylor had faced since turning pro two years ago. She was unbeaten since 2012, had never been stopped and enjoyed a one-inch height advantage over the London Olympic gold medallist.

But though her sparring partner and younger sister Amanda has won six world titles at different weights, Cindy had never previously faced an opponent who possessed the speed, fire power and foot work which are the cornerstones of Taylor's repertoire.

It was also her first fight in a year whereas it was Taylor's fifth in the same time frame during which she had secured two world belts. The bookies' odds of Serrano at 33/1 with Taylor priced at 1/25 turned out to be spot on.

The 32-year-old Bray pugilist is likely to be back in the ring in December in either New York's Madison Square Garden on December 15 or more likely London's 02 Arena a week later. Hopefully her next opponent will be more willing to at least make an effort to engage the champion.

This was Taylor's first appearance on the new DAZN subscription only boxing channel which was launched recently in the United States by her promotion company Matchroom, headed by Eddie Hearn.

Taylor has the potential to become the female face of the new channel which could yield an unprecedented financial bonanza for the Bray boxer. Earlier this week DAZA inked an astonishing 365m dollar (€316m) deal with newly crowned middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.

Though the female boxers lag way behind their male counterparts, Taylor is proving a pioneering figure in this area. She is by far the best paid female boxer in the world. She probably grossed well in excess of 100,000 dollars (€87,000) for this fight. And her eleven opponents have earned more for their 20 minutes - or less - in the ring against Taylor than they did during their entire careers.

But what makes Taylor so marketable is that she delivers inside the ring. There is no trash before fight – in truth there is hardly any talk at all save for a few banal quotes. But once she steps through the ropes her personality changes utterly and she behaves like a women possessed as she punishes opponents.

Still, for women's boxing to thrive in a very crowded market there must be a competitive element to championship fights. No fault to Katie, but this resembled an exhibition bout at times.

Online Editors

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