|Where||Madison Square Garden, New York|
|Where||Saturday, April 30, 9pm ET|
|Katie Taylor odds||+144|
|Amanda Serrano odds||-150|
In what is being billed as the biggest women’s boxing match in history, Katie Taylor takes on Amanda Serrano at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.
Saturday night will mark the first time that two women have stepped into a ring inside the Garden’s main room - one of the sport’s most famous arenas - as the headline act on a card. It is only fitting, then, that the stakes could not be higher, with Ireland’ s Taylor putting her undisputed supremacy at 135lb - the four major belts, plus The Ring magazine title for good measure - on the line.
Indeed, the two protagonists could scarcely be held in higher esteem. Ranked in The Ring’s women’s pound-for-pound rankings at #1 and #3 respectively, Taylor and Serrano - together with the likes of Claressa Shields, Mikaela Mayer, and Savannah Marshall - are the flagbearers for the female side of a sport that, this weekend, might just experience a watershed moment.
Taylor (20-0, 6 KOs), an Olympic gold medalist at the 2012 London Games, has since become one of the most decorated professionals of her generation. A two-weight champion, both at lightweight - at which Saturday’s bout will be fought - and further north at super-lightweight, she possesses a degree of technical ability, footwork, and relentless work rate that has set her apart from most of her peers. However, at the age of 35, and with a clutch of hard-fought decision wins - most notably her two almighty tussles with the unyielding Delfine Persoon - ground out in recent years, the vultures are beginning to circle, and some critics are suggesting the once-untouchable ‘KT’ is approaching a cliff-edge.
It stands to reason that Serrano (42-1-1, 30 KOs) would be well placed as the heir to the throne. A veteran of 44 professional fights, in which she has claimed world titles in a staggering seven divisions between 115lb and 140lb, ‘The Real Deal’ is not only a southpaw (compared to Taylor’s orthodox stance), but she holds slight physical advantages in terms of age and height. The most marked difference between the two, though, is in their punching power, with Serrano prevailing by stoppage in over 71% of her wins, compared to just 30% for Taylor. Despite her remarkable ability to yo-yo up and down through the weight classes, Serrano is perhaps best known for her exploits below Saturday’s 135lb limit, and the question of whether she can inflict the requisite damage on an operator of Taylor’s class is key to the outcome here.
In the outright odds, while a fight between Taylor and Serrano was always going to be a close-run thing, it is interesting to note that favoritism has shifted from one to the other as the contest has drawn closer. Initially, it was Taylor who was chalked up as slight odds-on and, while both hovered close to the even-money mark, the Irishwoman could be found at quotes around -125 and -138, with Serrano opening as a marginal +110 and +120 underdog. Yet by early March, the weight of pro-Serrano money had flipped the prices, moving the odds through pick ‘em territory and to an industry consensus that it should instead be the Puerto Rican who is favored. At time of writing, Serrano has backed into -150 at the market’s widest point, or an implied 60% win probability, although -138 (58%) and better at -125 (56%) are readily available. That leaves Taylor as a best-priced +125 - or a win chance of just 44% - the first time she has been listed as a betting outsider in her career to date.
With championship bouts scheduled for ten rounds, and each lasting just two minutes, the potential for knockout wins - precisely the type that get fans talking - is tempered somewhat, often favoring the better technician, or those with a high output, over thudding punchers who benefit from the long durations, as we so often see in the male equivalent. 30 wins by way of knockout suggest that hasn’t been a particular issue for Serrano thus far, but it would be reasonable to assume that Taylor’s own KO percentage - as with that of many others - would have been boosted had the rounds been 60 seconds longer.
Nonetheless, while Serrano’s seven-division dominance is hugely impressive, she has never fought anyone of the caliber of Taylor, and while the opposite may also be true, it would be a shock if Taylor were to become knockout victim #31. At +350, Serrano by stoppage is considered a 22% shot, but the feeling is that any recent Taylor decline would need to be extremely pronounced for that to land. Conversely, a Taylor win inside the distance is a rank outsider in the Method of Victory market at +1100 (8%), and with her last KO coming seven fights and over three years ago, most bettors will be happy to disregard that as a viable option.
More likely is that we do see the full 20 minutes of action, with the fight listed at -225 (69%) to hear the final bell. Serrano is available at +188, or a 35% implied chance, to win on points and hand Taylor her first professional defeat, while the +175 (36%) on a Taylor decision represents the slimmest price in this particular prop market. Given the unpredictability going into this fight, those prices hold little appeal.
Those looking for a longer-odds punt could do much worse than the draw at +1500 which, despite being given just a 6% implied probability, could well give its backers a real run for their money, and is well worth a small play, even in combination with a larger stake elsewhere.
In terms of a main selection, the value appears to be clearly on the Taylor side, and that drift to +125 feels difficult to justify. It is rare that bettors will find an unbeaten pound-for-pound #1, fighting at their best weight, being handed just a 44% chance — and is a price that, win or lose, could be argued to have well overshot the mark.
Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano free pick:
Katie Taylor (+125)
The Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano fight starts at around 9:30pm ET. For the masses of Taylor fans in Ireland and the UK, the fight will start at around 2:30am.
The Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano fight comes to us after an action packed evening of top class boxing. Here's the full Taylor vs Serrano undercard:
Jessie Vargas vs Liam Smith
Franchon Crews Dezurn vs Elin Cederroos
Galal Yafai vs Miguel Cartagena
Reshat Mati vs Joe Eli Hernandez
Khalil Coe vs. William Langston
Austin Williams vs. Chordale Booker
Skye Nicolson vs Shanecqua Paisley Davis
Boxing fans can find a Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano live stream on DAZN.com. The fight will be streamed live to over 270 countries around the world on your TV, smartphone or laptop.
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