Katie Taylor to Make History… Again

The big rematch for the undisputed super-lightweight championship just got a whole lot bigger

By Brian Bowe

Mark your calendars, fight fans! July 20th sees our country’s greatest sportsperson, Katie Taylor, look to add another remarkable chapter to her incredible boxing career as she defends her undisputed Super-Lightweight title against a familiar foe, seven-division world champion Amanda Serrano.

Ever since Taylor beat Amanda Serrano in a split decision classic at Madison Square Garden back in 2022, fight fans were absolutely desperate to see these two warriors rematch. For most people, that night is remembered as the greatest women’s boxing fight in history. The Bray woman was in danger of being put away in the middle rounds but used every ounce of her experience to adjust, showing immense courage and powers of recovery, and came to the fore in the final rounds, securing a razor-thin victory over her fierce Puerto Rican opponent.

Katie Taylor

The rematch was originally slated for May last year, and was to be Taylor’s long-awaited homecoming match (initially being lined up for Croke Park before a proposed switch to the 3Arena due to cost issues). However, due to an injury sustained by Serrano, the clash had to be scrapped. Then came a series of dizzying twists and turns. Taylor was pitted against Northampton boxer Chantelle Cameron instead, who handed the Bray boxer her first professional loss, on home soil no less! Taylor was quick to demand a rematch, and this time made sure to cut out all media obligations in the run-up. It paid off! She scored on the judges cards and gained revenge over Cameron. A trilogy was set up for May 25 at the 3Arena, but due to a last minute scheduling conflict, the boxing calendar went through a reshuffle, resulting in Taylor vs Cameron III going on the backburner for the time being.

A second fight with Serrano suddenly appeared a distinct possibility. “It’s an obvious fight for them both, the first one was a classic,” said Taylor’s promoter, Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn. Talks got underway between Matchroom and Serrano’s management, Most Valuable Promotions (MVP). At one stage, the Las Vegas Sphere, where U2’s U2:UV Achtung Baby Live recently enjoyed a much-publicised residency, was rumoured as a likely venue for the long-awaited rematch. For better or worse that dream never materialised. What was settled on, however, was equally exciting and historic:

In what’s being billed as a co-main event, Katie Taylor will once again face Amanda Serrano alongside a bout between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Here’s the exciting part: The fight will air live on Netflix globally and is free for subscribers. Here’s the historic part: It’s the first live combat sports event distributed by the streaming service and has a strong chance to be one of the most watched fight cards ever.

“This is the rematch the world has wanted to see, and I’m delighted that it’s finally happening,” Taylor said in a statement. “The first fight in New York was obviously an epic occasion and it more than lived up to the billing, and I’m sure the rematch will be no different.”

The Tyson-Paul clash is a bit of an oddity, of course. Jake Paul (9-1-0), the 27-year-old youtuber-turned-prizefighter has fancied himself a boxer of late, dispatching people with limited experience, mostly fellow youtubers and retired MMA fighters looking for a hefty pay day. When he did go up against someone with a little more pedigree, Love Island’s Tommy Fury, brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Paul suffered his first loss. Two years shy of 60, Mike Tyson (50-6-0) is in great shape, but it’s hard to imagine this will be a high-calibre fight; he hasn’t fought professionally since losing to Monaghan native Kevin McBride in 2005. 

Granted, the intrigue surrounding their duel is undeniable. Despite their contrasting backgrounds and experience levels, they both promise star power and entertainment value. But I imagine the event organisers, MVP, drafted in Taylor and Serrano in order to slap some respect on this low-key freak show. Now it has something for everybody: casual, spectacle-driven fight fans and those interested in the sweet science of competitive prizefighting.

“Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are two of the best boxers in the world,” Tyson said in a statement. “I know they can both put on an incredible show, and I’m thrilled to have them join this card. These remarkable athletes will undoubtedly elevate the event with their global appeal and fan bases. Adding one of the greatest fights in women’s boxing history to this unforgettable event is a true gift to fans.”