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mega fight Katie Taylor fires the opening verbal salvos ahead of showdown with Amanda Serrano

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Katie Taylor will face Amanda Serrano on April 30. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Katie Taylor will face Amanda Serrano on April 30. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Katie Taylor will face Amanda Serrano on April 30. Image credit: Sportsfile.

KATIE Taylor has thrown the first verbal jab ahead of her historic showdown against Amanda Serrano in the main theatre in New York’s Madison Square Garden in 12 weeks’ time.

The pair will do battle over 10 two-minute rounds with Taylor defending her status as the undisputed and undefeated world lightweight champion.

This afternoon they attended a press conference in New York to launch what is being billed as the most historic fight in the history of women’s professional boxing, as well as a significant showdown in the sport itself.

Though the pair would have been in the same room previously when Taylor fought Serrano’s older sister Cindy in Boston in 2018, this was their first ever face off.

There were no voices raised, but unusually for Taylor she did point to her record against top class opponents as being significant.

“We are both great champions. She has a great record. There is no doubt about it she is a great fighter. Going into the ring we both believe we are going to be victorious.

“I do believe that when you look down the list of my opponents you will see recognisable names on my résumé – the likes (Jessica) McCaskill, the likes of (Delfine) Persoon, the likes of (Natasha) Jonas amongst others.

“There were top class amateurs as well. So, I have been tested; I have been in the fire. I believe that will stand to me in the fight,” she said.

The significance of what she said will not be lost on the Serrano camp.

Even though the 33-year-old Porto Rican born Brooklyn based southpaw has won all but won of their 43 professional fights – with 30 of those wins coming inside the distance – one of the criticisms she has faced is that most of her opponents have been second rate.

Unlike her volatile coach and brother-in-law Jordan Maldonado, Serrano is quietly spoken and reserved. A professional for 13 years, she acknowledged that rarely a day went past that she didn’t think of quitting, such were the obstacles to had to overcome.

Even though she has won a record nine world titles in nine different weight divisions, it is only since social media star and sometimes boxer Jake Paul took over her management that she has starting to reap any financial rewards from her career.

“Never did I imagine making the money I am making today or headlining Madison Square. Are you serious? It wasn’t even a thought.

“But younger girls in the sport can be like: ‘I want to be like those girls. I want to headline the Garden.’ Now there is hope for them. We never had that hope. I am excited to open those doors.

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“I am super happy and super glad and honoured to share the ring with Katie Taylor. She is a great champion. I don’t need to talk bad about any of my opponents.

“I do all my talking inside the ring. I salute what she has done for women’s boxing. Certainly there will be no bad words between us. But in the ring it is something different,” said Serrano.

Taylor said she expected the fight ‘to be an all-out war’

“These are the kind of fights I am born for and dream about.

“This is going to be the biggest night of my career. I obviously had so many great moments in my career; the Olympics, winning world titles as an amateur boxer, becoming undisputed champion.

“But is just something different. This is a really, really special and historic occasion. This will be the best night of my career,” she said.

Jake Paul again confirmed that both fighters will be getting paid in seven figures, which in terms of women’s fighting is historic. “It has never happened for women, guaranteed seven figures.

“This is life-changing for both girls and especially for Amanda Serrano because I’ve heard her stories of how much she’s been getting paid since day one. That’s what initially sparked my desire to want to help her.

“How is a seven-division champion getting paid, like, $20,000? This is absurd. Her last fight was career high (payday). But now it’s a whole other level.”

Tickets for the fight go on general sale on Friday, and the second leg of the media tour is scheduled for London next week.

After the formalities, the fighters poised with their respective belts. They have 13 between them, but unquestionably the Taylor quintet are the more significant.

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