Katie Taylor pushed to limit in split-decision win over Amanda Serrano

Katie Taylor has retained her undisputed lightweight championship with a split-decision victory over Amanda Serrano in a wildly entertaining back-and-forth scrap at Madison Square Garden.

Two of the ringside judges scored it 96-93 과 97-93 for Taylor while a third had it 96-64 for Serrano, an outcome that all but ensures a rematch.

Taylor relied on her superior hand and foot speed to open an early lead while fighting on the back foot, but was nearly stopped in the fifth round when Serrano’s steady pressure finally broke through.

하지만 2012 Olympic gold medalist was able to find her way back into the fight when Serrano briefly took her foot off the gas. By the 10th and final round, it was Taylor who was shockingly in full command, letting her hands go in the center of the ring while improbably battering Serrano with blows amid the deafening roars of the sold-out crowd of 19,187 at Madison Square Garden.

The hotly anticipated meeting between the world’s two best female boxers regardless of weight was the first summit meeting between the consensus No 1 and No 2 on the men’s or women’s pound-for-pound list since the second fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez in 2008.

Taylor and Serrano became the first female fighters to headline a bill at the Garden and the first women to make well over $1m each from a single bout. The high quality of Saturday’s encounter practically ensures they won be the last.

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