Guy Giles makes his prediction as undisputed world lightweight champion Katie Taylor defends her belts against Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden.
Taylor v Serrano odds
Katie Taylor faces the biggest test of her career as she attempts to cement her status as the No. 1 pound-for-pound female boxer in the world against Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
It is no exaggeration to say this is the biggest women’s boxing fight ever, as the undisputed lightweight champion and seven-weight champion become the first women to headline the iconic New York venue.
On top of that, both fighters are reportedly set to take home seven-figure paydays, another first for women’s boxing.
Some believe this legacy-defining fight may have come too late for the 35-year-old Taylor, who was far from her best in her most recent two fights against Jennifer Han and Firuza Sharipova.
Taylor has since revealed she was hampered by a calf injury in both of those unanimous decision victories, and says she will be back to her devastating best on Saturday.
Despite that, The Bray Bomber, who remains unbeaten in 20 professional fights, heads to MSG as the underdog.
Serrano, the current unified world featherweight champion, is one of the most decorated boxers ever with nine world titles across an incredible seven divisions.
The Real Deal has just one professional loss to her name across a 13-year, 44-fight career. That defeat came more than 10 years ago, and she has won 27 straight since.
Serrano is the favourite to become the new undisputed, two-time lightweight champion.
Taylor v Serrano prediction
These two fighters have walked very different paths to this point, and those paths likely illustrate where this fight will be won and lost on Saturday.
Taylor forged a long amateur career that saw her win Olympic gold in 2012, five consecutive golds at the world championships, along with 12 golds at various European championships.
Such a long and successful stint in the amateurs has moulded Taylor into the most technically gifted and skilled boxer in the women’s game, and she will need to draw on all of those skills at MSG.
Serrano, meanwhile, turned pro after just 10 amateur fights, and had only been boxing a few years before she entered the paid ranks.
The Puerto Rican is a vicious puncher whose power has taken her to 42 professional wins. Thirty of those have come by way of knockout – an impressive 71 per cent – including in three of her last five fights.
If anyone is to end this fight within the distance it is likely to be Serrano, who has the ability to both wear down opponents before finding the finish, and to end the fight with a single punch.
If the fight enters the championship rounds then the advantage will be with Taylor, who has won her last seven fights on the judges’ scorecards.
Taylor’s excellent cardio allows her to do some of her best work in the later rounds. She is able to up the pace and intensity when needed, and watching her go through the gears is one of the greatest sights you will see in boxing.
Another thing to note is Taylor’s slight size advantage. Both stand 5ft 5in, but Taylor is the naturally bigger fighter, and that may help wear Serrano down with her trademark volume while dampening some of her opponent’s power.
Ultimately, Taylor’s boxing pedigree should prove too great for Serrano, who is likely to need a finish to become the undisputed world lightweight champion.
Look for the fight to go the distance, and for Taylor’s hand to be raised via a close decision.
Katie Taylor to win on points
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