NEW YORK — The rematch is set, and Katie Taylor will finally get her first professional fight in her country.
Taylor will fight undisputed featherweight champion Amanda Serrano on May 20 in a rematch of their epic fight last April at Madison Square Garden. Taylor won that bout by split decision to defend her undisputed lightweight title.
The rematch will take place in Dublin, Ireland, where the two will once again fight for Taylor’s lightweight belts. The location has not been announced, but 82,000-seat Croke Park and 13,000-seat 3Arena have been mentioned as possibilities.
After Serrano beat Erika Cruz by unanimous decision on Saturday night, Taylor joined her in the ring to announce the fight.
“This is more than a dream come true — my debut in Ireland against Amanda Serrano, ‘The Real Deal’ Amanda Serrano,” Taylor said. “This is incredible and as I said, the last fight was epic, and I expect nothing less for the next one.”
Serrano’s trainer, Jordan Maldonado, said a rematch against Taylor in Ireland was something that was always part of the discussions — it had even been brought up as early as the post-fight news conference following Taylor-Serrano I — and Maldonado said the only way they wanted to do the rematch was if it was in Ireland.
They said they understood the importance of that to Taylor.
“She fought us here in New York. We’re Puerto Rican, but this is basically our home,” Maldonado said. “One of the things that I had said is the only way I would take the Katie Taylor fight is if it is in Ireland.
“She deserves it.”
Serrano, who has won titles in seven divisions, told ESPN in December and January that the only fight she would move up in weight for would be a rematch against Taylor.
“A lot of people want to see the fight, and I think it solidifies women’s boxing,” Serrano told ESPN in December. “I think it puts the exclamation point and it shows that we’re here and we’re going to continue to take on challenges.”
The first Serrano-Taylor fight was a flashpoint for women’s boxing. The first women boxers to headline at Madison Square Garden, Taylor and Serrano sold out one of the most iconic arenas in the sport. They put on a close, competitive fight that won Fight of the Year from multiple publications and Moment of the Year from many others.
The bout helped continue to elevate the careers of Taylor, 36, and Serrano, 34, two of the three best pound-for-pound fighters in the world along with undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields.
“It hit me the next day when I realized the people that tuned in to watch the fight, this was not only boxing fans, it was celebrities outside of boxing that knew who we were, what we were doing,” Serrano said. “Making history. It was just altogether, the week leading up to the fight, the promotion, how Madison Square Garden was promoting the fight, it was just so amazing.”
Since fighting Serrano, Taylor (22-0, 6 KO) beat Karen Carabajal in October. Serrano (44-2-1, 30 KO) beat Sarah Mahfoud in September to win the IBF featherweight title, and Saturday’s win over Cruz made her the undisputed featherweight champion.
Maldonado and Serrano said they’ll begin a true fight camp for Taylor in the middle of March and do some light training until then.