Katie Taylor defends world titles with dominant win over Serrano

Katie Taylor defends world titles with dominant win over Serrano
Cindy Serrano and Katie Taylor during their WBA & IBF Female Lightweight World title bout at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Declan Taylor

Midway through the seventh round of the toughest test of her career to date, Katie Taylor dropped her hands, retreated to the ropes and invited her opponent, the former world champion Cindy Serrano, to take a free shot.

It was an attempt to display how easy she was finding this 10-round defence of her WBA and IBF titles, and how futile Serrano's infrequent attacks had become.

Serrano was by far the most accomplished opponent of her 11-fight professional campaign but Taylor had it all her own way in a lopsided unanimous decision win which further cemented her position as the woman to beat at lightweight.

Watching on from ringside was Serrano's younger – and more successful – sister, Amanda. The 30-year-old is an icon in women's boxing having won world titles in six different weight classes.

The Puerto Rico-born New Yorker was regularly on her feet between sessions, barking orders at her elder sister as Taylor banked round after round.

Now the Bray superstar is hoping this victory will tempt the second Serrano into a mouth-watering showdown back here on the east coast at some point in 2019.

All three judges returned scorecards of 100-90 and there was not a single round where you could argue Serrano deserved even a split, so vast was the gulf between the pair.

Conor McGregor, who had given Taylor a pre-fight pep talk before taking his seat at ringside, would have been impressed by the near-punch-perfect display from his compatriot.

Taylor had started reasonably patiently, dominating centre ring while Serrano circled with back to rope. The champion was in no hurry to engage but began to shift through the gears as the fight wore on.

Her trademark right-hand, left-hook combination was paying dividends but Serrano, who has still never been stopped, proved her toughness by staying on her feet throughout.

The seventh-round invitation from Taylor provided a brief moment of comedy but, even when beckoned in, Serrano was in little mood to fall into the trap by engaging at full throttle.

On another night, Taylor may have pressed harder for the stoppage but the job was done. The two-minute rounds also do not help the 2012 Olympic champion, who always seemed to be building up a head of steam and finding her groove as the bell sounded to end the stanza.

Referee Leo Gerstel raises Katie Taylor's hand in victory. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Referee Leo Gerstel raises Katie Taylor's hand in victory. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Now, 11-0 and still unified lightweight champion, Taylor is expected to box once more before Christmas, either in London or another DAZN show in America.

Earlier, Belfast's James Tennyson failed in his bid to dethrone IBF super-featherweight king Tevin Farmer.

The self-styled 'American Idol' was an overwhelming favourite to retain his title and he lived up to the pre-fight predictions by stopping Tennyson after 1:44 of the fifth round.

The 28-year-old southpaw dropped his challenger with a vicious left hand to the body in the fourth round, from which Tennyson did well to rise from at all.

But when the same shot sent the Lisburn-born 25-year-old to the canvas once more in the fifth, referee Arthur Mecante Jr waved it off.

It was a happier night for heavyweight Niall Kennedy, who beat dropped New Jersey hardman Brendan Barrett en route to a unanimous decision after six rounds.

Meanwhile, Belfast starlet Sean McComb opened the show by stopping Carlos Galindo in the third of their scheduled four-rounder, moving him to 4-0.

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