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Katie Taylor’s homecoming in jeopardy as talks over Croke Park fight collapse

“They don’t want that fight unfortunately. They don’t want to go to Ireland; they don’t really want a rematch this year. It was kind of like regardless of the offer, ‘we don’t want to do the rematch'.”
Katie Taylor beat Amanda Serrano in a thriller at Madison Square Garden. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Katie Taylor beat Amanda Serrano in a thriller at Madison Square Garden. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Sean McGoldrick

The Katie Taylor v Amanda Serrano rematch being planned for Croke Park in the autumn is dead in the water.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn confirmed that negotiations, which had already hit an impasse late last month, have irretrievably broken down.

“They don’t want that fight unfortunately. They don’t want to go to Ireland; they don’t really want a rematch this year. It was kind of like regardless of the offer, ‘we don’t want to do the rematch'.”

Speaking to the Pro Boxing Fans website, Hearn said his understanding was that Serrano wants to get away, build some confidence and get a win in August. “Maybe we can do it next year,” he suggested.

Serrano revealed on Twitter that she will return to the ring in August, probably on the undercard on Jake Paul’s expected pro fight against Tommy Fury.

Serrano’s unavailability means the Croke Park homecoming show planned for Taylor is now in doubt as well.

Mixed martial arts star and former world pro boxing champion Holly Holm has been touted as a possible replacement for Serrano.

However, it is understood all the parties involved have taken a step back to reassess the viability of a stadium fight this autumn.

The Taylor camp has three options.

They can press ahead with the plan for a Croke Park show on either September 25 or October 1, with Taylor defending her titles against an opponent like Holm, who has a lower profile than Serrano.

But staging a stadium show involves a huge financial risk. Unless Matchroom is confident the show will be close to an 80,000 sell-out, they won’t go ahead with it.

The second option is for Taylor to fight in an indoor venue in Dublin in the autumn, which would definitely sell-out but would not have the same impact as a stadium fight.

The third option is for Katie to bide her time and hope that Matchroom can persuade the Serrano camp to come to Croke Park next summer for a rematch.

Even though Serrano’s manager Jake Paul and Serrano herself were enthusiastic about a rematch in Croke Park immediately after their epic duel in Madison Square Garden, it was always a long shot.

From Serrano’s vantage point, it makes perfect sense to delay the fight for as long as possible. A second successive loss to Taylor would effectively end her career at the highest level.

She can continue to fight as a featherweight, where she holds two world belts, and aim to become the undisputed champion in the 126lb division, which would enhance her earning power and status.

Taylor – who will be 36 early next month – is more than two years older than Serrano and the longer the Puerto Rican can delay the rematch, it increases her chances of getting the verdict over the Bray fighter, who cannot stay in peak form indefinitely.

Given how long it took the get the first Taylor fight over the line, it is hardly a surprise that the first attempt at organising the rematch has run aground.

And it could be the case that while Katie Taylor is willing to accept the challenge, Serrano may decide that ultimately she doesn’t want to trade leather with the Irish fighter again.

However, the Taylor camp is willing to be patient at least until next year in the hope that Serrano can be tempted to come to Ireland for a rematch, which they know would sell out Croke Park.

For this reason, the Taylor homecoming fight, which realistically can only happen once, may be put on hold until 2023.


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