Taylor eased past Karen Elizabeth Carabaja to set up a dream bout against Serrano in Ireland next year
Katie Taylor could be heading for a “dream homecoming fight” in a rematch with rival Amanda Serrano at Croke Park in Dublin in front of 80,000 fans in 2023 after defending her undisputed lightweight titles last night against Argentina’s Karen Elizabeth Carabajal at Wembley Arena.
Carbajal, the mandatory challenger, was a huge underdog in spite of her undefeated 19-fight career but Taylor was too quick, too elusive, and indeed too slick at the scene of her professional debut, dominating the 10-round fight to win a lopsided points decision, awarded the contest 100-91, 99-91 and 98-92 on the judges’ cards.
Taylor, 36, had celebrated the greatest victory of her career in a razor-tight triumph on the judges’ cards against fellow women’s boxing star Serrano in New York in April, but the rematch with the Puerto Rican 7-weight world champion is the biggest draw now in women’s boxing. Events six years ago have meant that the Irish government suspended professional boxing events in that country following a fatal shooting at a boxing weigh-in at the Dublin Regency Hotel, through gangland rivalry.
However, promoter Eddie Hearn told the Telegraph that the permissions with the police and the government in Ireland are in place. “Yes absolutely, we were very far down the line for that last August so hopefully Katie wins on Saturday and we can start planning spring or summer at Croke Park,” he said.
Hearn believes Serrano, after the first classic fight with Taylor, provides the perfect opponent to stage the biggest women’s fight the sport’s world will have seen. “It’s the best fight we’ve ever seen, and the rematch is epic, it’s huge money for both as well, so let’s get it made,” added Hearn.
Taylor, who earned one million dollars for the encounter with Serrano in April at Madison Square Garden, had insisted in the build-up to her world title defence that she had not been overlooking her Argentine challenger.
“What I want is to headline a fight in Ireland,” said Taylor. “In six years as a professional, I’ve never headlined a fight in Ireland. That would be huge, and against Serrano would be good. But there’s no shortage of big names out there. It’s definitely realistic. We were in talks with Croke Park. To fight there in front of 80,000 people would be the biggest event in the history of women’s boxing. It would be great, and it is a very realistic goal for some time next year. The politics are all behind us now. It’s unfortunate because we wanted the Serrano rematch straight away.”