Katie Taylor set for Serrano rematch but doubts remain over venue

The plan is for the fight to take place in Dublin on May 20th, but nothing has been confirmed with 3Arena

Katie Taylor’s eagerly-anticipated rematch with Amanda Serrano is expected to take place in Dublin on May 20th. However, The Irish Times understands that nothing has been confirmed with Dublin’s 3Arena.

Taylor beat Serrano via a split decision in the first women’s contest to top the bill at Madison Square Garden last April.

The 36-year-old confirmed the rematch after joining Serrano in the ring following the Puerto Rican’s win on points over Erika Cruz in New York on Saturday.

“This is more than a dream come true,” unbeaten lightweight champion Taylor said.


“My debut in Ireland against Amanda Serrano, ‘The Real Deal’ Amanda Serrano. This is incredible. The last fight was epic and I expect nothing less for the next one.”

Serrano’s victory over Cruz made her the undisputed featherweight world champion.

The rematch is still scheduled to take place in Dublin after negotiations between the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and promoters Matchroom to stage it at Croke Park fell through over “security costs”.

“The cost of hire, the cost of everything involved with the event is three times nearly more than staging it at Wembley Stadium,” said Hearn, speaking on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “It’s unbelievable, it’s so frustrating.

“People will just tweet me and go, ‘Shut up Hearn, just do it anyway.’ It doesn’t work like that, it’s a business. Ultimately, Katie Taylor has her financial demands for this fight, so does Amanda Serrano, and we want to make sure we deliver them that. But we’re so far out on that possibility with the cost of running that show, and we’re out of time in terms of delivering that date to the broadcaster that we’ve got to move.”

Croke Park disputed Hearn’s claims. Stadium director Peter McKenna said that the question of who would foot the security bill was the real sticking point.

“They have been in conversation with us for some time. The last time we talked to them properly was before Christmas. We would love to have the fight here. We set our stall out on that basis.

“Our rent was coming in around €400,000. I think the rent for Wembley is about £250,000-£300,000 (€281,000-€337,000). The real issue here is about security costs, which we felt the promoter should carry.

“And having gone through this with statutory services and our own team, we looked at the risk analysis on the event and we felt that the amount of security that you’d need would be at the top level.”

The Aviva Stadium is set to host both the Challenge Cup and Champions Cup rugby finals on the same weekend as the proposed bout between Taylor and Serrano, something McKenna pointed out.

“It’s going to go to the 3Arena and I think that’s far smaller, they’ve got 9,000. They’ve done some really, really good boxing events in the past so it will suit it very well. There are going to be challenges that weekend, no doubt, in the city because the Heineken Cup final is on so you will be stretching the gardaí across a whole series of events. They are very, very good at what they do, genuinely very, very good at what they do, but I mean that’s something that needs to be thought about as well.”

However, on Friday, Irish mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor offered on Twitter to provide £500,000 to pay for the security bill at Croke Park, to which Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn replied: “Let’s talk”.