The action was relentless, and it wasn’t until the fifth round, stuck on the ropes and under relentless pressure from the challenger, that Taylor looked vulnerable. The 35-year-old champion had to survive this scorching stanza, but she came out in sixth place undeterred. Taylor won the opening rounds through trickery, movement, and hand speed, and won the final two rounds with might, as Serrano bulldozed forward midway through the contest. The judges were torn, with Benoit Roussel scoring the 10-round contest 96-94 against Serrano, with Taylor taking the win thanks to scores from the other two judges, Guido Cavalleri recording 97-93 and Glenn Feldman 96-93.
But it was not an easy fight to score. Telegraph Sport scored it 96-94 against Taylor, but the final moments of the house-breaking fight will be etched in memory as the pair fiercely let go of each other’s hands as if inside of a telephone booth. .
“I had to dig deep into this tonight,” Taylor said, her face heavily scarred. “I had to produce a career-defining performance to actually win. What an incredible champion Amanda is too. A phenomenal fighter and we definitely got the best out of each other.”
Jake Paul, Serrano’s promoter, thinks the fight was a draw and they should rerun it. “100% Amanda would fight in Ireland. She’s a true champion. We’re ready anytime, anywhere,” Paul said. “Obviously the Irish fans are crazy. We have some unfinished business. Like I said, it was a draw. Let’s get back to Ireland. September, October, this fight just got a lot bigger.”
Hearn said Serrano would be up for a rematch, but there may be other opponents to consider. “It was just an amazing fight. It was just an exciting fight. And I said before, the way women’s boxing has longevity, and the durability is for its quality,” Hearn said.
“Forget male or female, you just saw one of the greatest fights in Madison Square Garden history. I’m so proud of Katie Taylor. The greatest Irish athlete of all time in my opinion. She’s a such a humble person, such a great role model.”
But for Taylor, it was a defining moment, after his long, slow walk to the fighting square. “Just stepping out into the ring, watching a crowded stadium…incredible things. Absolutely special, special moments,” the great pioneer of women’s boxing recalled. “Best night of my career for sure. I wasn’t sure anything could reach my Olympic gold medal moment [in London in 2012] but it was absolutely the best moment of my career.”