Best sporting moments of the year - No 6: Katie Taylor v Amanda Serrano, a fight for the ages

Billed as ‘the biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing’ the Madison Square Garden sell-out crowd were not disappointed

Boxing – Katie Taylor v Amanda Serrano, lightweight championship (WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO titles), Madison Square Garden, New York, May 1st

Two warriors, two of the best pugilists on the planet; two of the greatest women boxers, ever.

Both stood toe-to-toe. Katie Taylor from Ireland; Amanda Serrano from Puerto Rico; and, between them, in a fight billed as “the biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing,” a sold-out crowd at the famed Madison Square Garden greeted them beforehand with reverence and saluted them afterwards with undiluted adulation.

Taylor, in black, and Serrano, in orange, ended the bout throwing punches without fear or favour in seeking to land the decisive blow and, ultimately, it took a split decision – two to one in Taylor’s favour – to determine the outcome.


By the time the verdict came, the blood which had flowed from a cut above Taylor’s right eye had been cleaned, while Serrano had sported a baseball cap to cast shadows over her battered face. Both had given their all; neither had left anything behind.

Taylor had fought brilliantly but had also shown her fortitude. In the fifth of the 10 two-minute rounds, Serrano very nearly forced a knock-down in landing a blow that left Taylor hurt but she somehow avoided falling to the canvas and, clinching, bought the time to get her back to the corner and the chance to regain her composure.

The 10th round finished off a fight for the ages with one woman hurting the other, yet with Taylor on the front foot as the bell finally sounded and every spectator in the iconic Garden rose to their feet in acclamation of two.

Where their hands had been weapons before the final bell, their arms became symbols of loving hugs to each other afterwards. “What a fight, what a win, what a night,” exclaimed Taylor after the judges had given cards of 96-94 (to Serrano) and 97-93 and 96-93 (to Taylor).

“They say nobody wants to see women, this place is jam-packed,” said Serrano, adding: “We put on a hell of a show. Katie’s a great champion. She’s undefeated. She’s undisputed champion. I’m truly honoured to share the ring [with her]. Best versus the best, you don’t see that much ... women can fight, and we put on a hell of a show.”

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times