Smith and Vargas are in the seventh round of their 12 rounds before tonight’s main event. In the meantime, here’s Tess Crain’s look at Amanda Serrano, whose unlikely partnership with YouTuber-turned-boxer and promoter Jake Paul gave one of boxing’s most decorated and overlooked champions the promotional boost she needed to reap her first scholarship. seven figures of her career.
While the pair may seem odd – the hyper-focused Serrano doesn’t date, drink or own a cell phone, while the extremely online Paul puts “social” and “media” on social media – they’ve proven to be a powerful complement. Serrano lends credibility to Paul as an athlete and puts him in a new benevolent light as a women’s champion in sport. In the meantime, he’s helped raise her profile beyond boxing circles and given her an unprecedented edge in securing fights like this one.
Paul evaluated Serrano’s social media presence and gave her specific ways to amplify her brand: what and when to post, how to engage with fans online, take professional photos. Her followers on Instagram and Twitter increased. “It’s definitely a big help,” Serrano said. “Now I have Jake Paul behind me and promoting me, shining that light and writing about me on social media and giving me that push.” It has worked. Along with the history and glory, this will be Serrano’s first career seven-figure purse.
Liverpool’s Liam Smith and USA’s Jessie Vargas are in the ring for tonight’s final preliminary fight. An almost sold-out audience of around 18,000 is expected for tonight’s card and many of them are already in their seats.
Both Taylor and Serrano were shown entering the arena on the Jumbotron between rounds during the previous fight. Taylor’s sight drew amused cheers from the stands, but there was an even bigger wave of noise for Serrano, who appears to have a marginal advantage in crowd support.
The atmosphere in and around the building was crackling all night. And here’s something you don’t normally see: at least three of the Irish pubs on Seventh Avenue were packed with fight fans watching the DAZN broadcast during my walk to the Garden tonight. Normally, television restrictions around fights make it nearly impossible for local bars to show boxing when it’s this close, but the normal rules were lifted for the night and that only added to the sense of occasion.
Hello and welcome to New York for tonight’s showdown between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano for the undisputed lightweight title. We’re in the ring at Madison Square Garden for this long-awaited meeting between the two best female boxers in the world, regardless of weight: the first summit meeting between the #1 and #2 consensus on the men’s or women’s pound-for-pound list since the second fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez in 2008.
Notably, tonight’s main event marks the first time that two women have headlined the 140-year history of the famous Manhattan venue.
The penultimate knockout bout between Franchon Crews-Dezurn of Baltimore and Elin Cederroos of Sweden has just concluded with Crews-Dezurn winning a wide unanimous decision to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion in women’s boxing history. Next up is a 12-round junior middleweight bout between Jessie Vargas and Liam Smith, followed by Taylor and Serrano, who should be making their ringwalks near the start of the hour. So much more to come between now and then!
Bryan will be here soon. In the meantime, here’s Donald McRae’s preview of tonight’s main event.