Women's boxing takes center stage
Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, the two best pound-for-pound female boxers in the world, face off Saturday night at the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden.
Why it matters: This is the first women's boxing match to headline MSG in its 140-year history, and both fighters are expected to take home record seven-figure paydays.
"Never in a million years did I think we'd make this kind of money, on this kind of platform. It wasn't even in my imagination ... We've been fighting and clawing for recognition."— Serrano, via SI
Let's meet the fighters...
In one corner: Taylor, 35, hails from Ireland, but she's lived and trained in Connecticut since 2016 — a quiet existence that suits her simple lifestyle.
- She won gold when women's boxing debuted at the 2012 Olympics, and until 2016 she was trained by her father, Peter, a former light heavyweight champion in Ireland.
- Her professional record is a perfect 20-0 (6 KOs), and on Saturday she'll try to defend her four belts as the undisputed lightweight champion of the world.
In the other corner: Serrano, 33, was born in Puerto Rico but has lived in New York most of her life, compiling a 42-1-1 record (30 KOs) that includes titles in a record seven weight classes.
- Saturday's career-defining opportunity may never have come along if the noted introvert hadn't fired off a rare tweet last April to Jake Paul, asking to fight on his undercard.
- She did, twice, and the YouTuber-turned-boxer is now her promoter. "All I do is sense people who deserve more and help them," says Paul.
The last word: "This is the Mayweather-Pacquiao of women's boxing," says Taylor's promoter Eddie Hearn. "Undisputed champion against seven-division world champion, it can only be a thriller."