showdown Eddie Hearn reveals Katie Taylor is about to agree a deal for the ultimate superfight
The contracts for the Katie Taylor versus Amanda Serrano world championship fight in New York in April are likely to be signed next week, according to Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn.
He predicts the long-anticipated showdown will be a watershed moment in the history of women’s professional boxing.
“It will be the moment when people outside the boxing fraternity accept women’s boxing. It will change the sport forever.”
Firstly, however, the formalities need to be completed. “We are very close to signing contracts,” said Hearn, whose company is promoting the April 30 showdown in Madison Square Garden.
“I wouldn’t say it has been plain sailing, but it has been pretty good. Both girls are in – they both want the fight. Jake Paul (whose company manages Serrano) and his guys have been really good to work with. It is not signed yet but hopefully in the next week it can be.”
Hearns plans to have press conferences in Dublin and New York to publicise the fight, which will be shown on the DAZN streaming network.
He acknowledged it would be a challenge to persuade Taylor to leave her training camp in Connecticut to participate in a publicity tour, but Hearn is determined to turn the show into a landmark event.
“We are going to push that fight so hard. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work from us but mainly from Katie and Serrano. They are finally going to get what they deserve.
“I think it will be massive, not just among the boxing hardcore, but to a different kind of audience. It is an iconic moment for women’s boxing, the biggest fight of all time.
“I think we could build this into a historic moment for sport with two women going to the mecca of boxing to headline the biggest fight of all time. It is the moment people outside the sport accept women’s boxing out.”
Hearn pointed out he didn’t have to worry that the fight would fail to live up to expectations.
“We know it is going to be absolute war. People who watch it are going to go ‘wow’. It will change women’s boxing forever.”
Hearn confirmed that subscribers to the DAZN would not be charged an additional pay-per-view fee to watch the fight, which he expects will be screened at around 1am Irish time
A former Taylor opponent Natasha Jonas tweeted yesterday that ‘Katie is all wrong for Serrano.
“I think Katie is all wrong for everybody because she is that good,” said Hearn who conceded, however, that the Serrano fight is a 50/50 contest.
“Katie’s last two performances were ok, but they were not spectacular. Were they not spectacular because she wasn’t really up for those fights? I think there was a bit of that, but maybe it was because she is on the slide.
“Every opponent is hoping she is on the slide. I disagree but she needs this kind of fight because it doesn’t get any bigger.
“They have been watching each other for years and the fight is going to catch fire. Serrano is going to walk her down and think that she can hurt her enough and knock her out.
“Katie will box off the back foot but is going to have to stand her ground. It’s a bit like (the Delfine) Persoon fight all over again but a bit more brutal. Serrano punches harder than Persoon.”
Hearn wants the fight to go ahead in the 20,000-capacity arena in Madison Square Garden rather than the 7,000-capacity theatre in the complex. “It is a really tough sell, but we will never have a better chance of doing it.
“Imagine filling the place, it would very special, and Katie deserves it,” he said.
Hearn was speaking at a press conference in Belfast to publicise the WBA world featherweight title fight between Olympic bronze medallist Michael Conlan and the defending champion Leigh Wood, which takes place in the Nottingham Arena on March 12.
“I am ready to go wherever I have to. This means everything to me. This is my life,” said the Belfast native.
Wood said he knew exactly what he had to do to retain his belt. Up to 3,000 fans from Ireland are expected to travel to Nottingham for the contest, which is shaping up to be a 9,000 sell-out.
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