done deal | 

Taylor v Serrano date set as Conor McGregor’s Croke Park offer is considered

Katie Taylor was ringside in the Hulu Theatre in Madison Square Garden for Serrano’s World featherweight unification fight against Mexican Erika Cruz.

Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor pose at Madison Square Garden last night. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images© Getty Images

Seán McGoldrickIndependent.ie

The Katie Taylor v Amanda Serrano rematch will take place in Dublin on May 20.

The official announcement came within minutes of Serrano becoming the first Puerto Rican professional fighter to be crowned an undisputed World champion in New York in the early hours of this morning.

Minutes after the fight, a video montage played and Hearn announced the rematch. However, no venue was named for Taylor-Serrano II which suggests that Matchroom hasn’t completely ruled out Croke Park, though it may also reflect the fact a contract for the alternative venue the 3Arena hasn’t yet been signed.

Katie Taylor was ringside in the Hulu Theatre in Madison Square Garden for Serrano’s World featherweight unification fight against Mexican Erika Cruz.

Even though the latter suffered a bad cut on her forehead after an accidental clash of heads in the third round she produced a spirited performance. But 34-year-old Serrano secured the victory on a unanimous points decision.

She was joined in the ring afterwards by Taylor and the pair displayed their nine world championship belts.

“I was cheering (Serrano) on. I wanted this fight. Undisputed vs. undisputed champion,” Taylor said. The last fight was an epic fight and I think the next one is going to be exactly the same.

“It’s going to be great in Ireland fighting the real deal, Amanda Serrano. This is incredible and the last fight was epic, so I expect nothing less from the next one. This is the biggest fight in women’s boxing, and I only want to do the biggest fights. This is exactly what I want.”

Taylor and Serrano will attend two press conferences, one in New York tomorrow and the second in Dublin on Wednesday at which further details of the May 20 showdown will be announced.

Due to all the furore over the venue for it has been overlooked that Katie Taylor is finally getting an opportunity to fight on Irish soil for the first time as a professional.

There was a further twist in the saga over the venue when UFC star and multi-millionaire Conor McGregor tweeted on Friday night that he is willing to pick up the €500k bill for security and other operational costs which had scuppered the prospect of the fight taking place in Croke Park.

Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn appears to be taking the offer seriously and he was in contact with McGregor in the last 24 hours.

“I think Conor’s main priority is to see history being made in Ireland. We went backwards and forwards. We are going to speak again this week. I’ll fly to Ireland this week for a few meeting.

“He talked about the process for Katie Taylor. Is it the 3Arena and then Croke Park or do we try to find a way to make Croke Park happen in May?” Hearn told Matchroom TV.

From a Matchroom perspective there are upsides to the involvement of McGregor. From a practical point of view it lessens the financial risk attached to a show in Croke Park which essentially they weren’t prepared to take.

But more intriguingly Serrano’s manager Jake Paul has been goading McGregor to face him in the ring for the last year.

The prospect of a ‘celebrity’ fight between Paul and McGregor on the undercard of the Taylor v Serrano fight would have worldwide appeal in an era when so called ‘celebrity boxing’ has become increasingly popular.

The DAZN who stream all of Katie Taylor’s fight recently signed a five-year deal with Misfits Boxing a company which run these type of celebrity boxing shows.

McGregor has been out on action since fracturing his tibia and fibula during his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier in July 2021. He is expected to return to UFC action in October.

A clash between McGregor and Jake Paul on the Taylor v Serrano card would probably convince the DAZA to make the show a pay-per-view one which would enable McGregor to recoup at least some of this half a million investment.

On the other hand his involvement in Katie Taylor’s long awaited home coming fight would be very divisive in Ireland given his antics and behaviour outside the ring.

Veteran Irish actor Liam Neeson – a former amateur boxer – recently accused him of giving Ireland a bad name.

“That little leprechaun Conor McGregor, he gives Ireland a bad name. I know he’s fit, and I admire him for that. But I can’t take it,” said Neeson who admitted he cannot stand UFC describing it as being like a ‘bar fight.’

Many Irish fans of Katie Taylor would be horrified at the prospect of McGregor being involved and these are the punters that need to purchase tickets in order to make a Croke Park show viable.

Even if he is not boxing it wouldn’t be in his nature to stay in the background and allow Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano take all the limelight. So, the 3Arena remains the probable venue for the May 20 showdown.

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