Eddie Hearn interview: ‘Taylor v Serrano is the Mayweather-Pacquiao of women’s boxing’

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·3-min read
Eddie Hearn interview: ‘Taylor v Serrano is the Mayweather-Pacquiao of women’s boxing’
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Pictures of just three fighters hang in the office of Eddie Hearn: Anthony Joshua, Canelo Alvarez and Katie Taylor, and Hearn argues Taylor could be the most important of the three.

Taylor’s undefeated record faces arguably its biggest test on Saturday night against Amanda Serrano, the first time a women’s fight has headlined the card at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.

Its promoter believes it will go down in boxing folklore, not just women’s boxing. For him, it feels like a watershed moment for the sport.

“This isn’t just big for women’s boxing, just boxing,” he said. “It’s not just the biggest female fight of all time but one of the best fights of all time. You have the undisputed world champion against a seven-division world champion.

“This is the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao of women’s boxing but with both of them in their prime. This fight will grab all the headlines and the world will watch, and see a classic.”

Both Taylor and Serrano have their stories of adversity to get to this point. For Taylor, that entailed turning up to the gym for training every day with her headguard on to disguise her ponytail, pretending to be a boy in order to spar with other boys and competing against other boys in amateur fights.

But then the push on the International Olympic Committee to include women’s boxing in the Olympics and win one of the first golds, as well as acting as a trailblazer in the professional ranks with 20 wins from 20 fights.

In contrast, Serrano was scrapping around at the lower level earning just $500 a fight as she battled for her chance on the biggest stage, shunning any relationship in her personal life or even the distraction of a mobile phone to dedicate herself solely to boxing.

 (Melina Pizano/Matchroom)
(Melina Pizano/Matchroom)

For Hearn, it is boxing at its purest. “Katie Taylor could not lead a purer life in boxing,” he said. “She’s given her entire life to the sport, as has Amanda Serrano. They’ve given their lives to be professionals in very different ways.

“And for me it’s a bit like 90,000 fans for Barcelona’s women’s football game. It’s going to be one of those moments.”

Taylor has been pushed inside the ropes before but Serrano should, in theory, pose the biggest challenge of her career. It is, argues Hearn, a 50-50 fight.

“Serrano punches really hard and Katie Taylor is technically superb,” he added. “I’ve never seen Katie look better or more motivated in the gym. This is the moment she may be remembered for forever, and I think that scares her a little bit. She wants to win so, so bad, and she’s going to have to come through fire, a war.

“The pace is going to be fast, the punches are going to be winging in from everywhere and it’s doing to be one of those fights. It can only be epic.”

It is also a fight where Hearn genuinely believes Taylor’s previous cloak of invincibility may finally slip.

When she won the first narrow decision over Delfine Persoon in their first fight, there were those that argued she was undeserving of the win, comments that ate away at her.

“The thought of people thinking she might not have won the fight was honestly why she rematched her,” said Hearn. “She couldn’t live with that. So, she’ll be absolutely devastated if she loses. It’s her whole life.”

Taylor’s defending her WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO lightweight titles.

No titles to defend for Serrano. But she’s a world champion at super flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight.

You can watch Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano live and exclusive on DAZN April 30

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