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Serrano And Valdez Lose On Historic Boxing Night

Credit: Matchroom Boxing

New York: Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor achieved boxing history Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. More than 19,000 fans saw two female fighters main event at the arena for the first time leaving little doubt that female boxing is on the map. The two put on a fight that could be in a category as fight of the year.

This was boxing and will be remembered years later as an iconic fight that goes with the rest during the illustrious history of the Garden and historic frights. Taylor, with an Irish contingent of fans, would go on and dethrone Serrano via decision for the undisputed lightweight titles. Serrano, San Juan Puerto Rico and Brooklyn, NY, was considered the top female fighter world wide and will probably get a rematch.

But that rematch will not come in New York as all indications are Taylor will make her first undisputed title defense in Ireland.

Taylor controlled the opening four rounds but Serrano came on strong in the fifth and had her fans on her feet as she seemed to hurt the Irish legend and both traded heavy blows, but Serrano seemed to be getting on top.

April 30, 2022; New York, NY, USA; Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano during their bout at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

Both fighters knew the boat was in the balance and showcased a stunning final two minutes that could be classified as one for the annals in Garden boxing history as Taylor would get the split decision (97-93, 96-93 and 94-96).

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who handles Taylor, said a rematch would be held in Ireland. Based on the success of this historic event in New York a demand would be for the fight and another sellout guaranteed. The fight was televised on the DAZN streaming network and the rematch would be also.

VALDEZ DOMINATED; STEVENSON UNIFIES TITLES: In Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Arena Shakur Stevenson was dominant and became the unified junior lightweight champion with a unanimous decision over Oscar Valdez.

The Top Rank promoted and ESPN televised fight also played before a sellout crowd. Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) established the southpaw jab in the early going. The Mexican and top rated Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) could not get his offense going outside of pockets of success in the third round. In the sixth, Stevenson spun Valdez into the ropes and knocked him down with a right hand.

It was all Stevenson in the second half of the fight, who built a great advantage on the cards. Valdez won the 12th round on all three judges’ cards, but it was too little, too late. Stevenson asserted his dominance and is now the 130-pound king.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Shakur Stevenson (L) and Oscar Valdez (R) exchange punches during their WBC and WBO junior lightweight championship at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“This victory means everything,” Stevenson said. “ I told ya’ll what I was going to do. I said I’m gonna beat Valdez. He made reference to Canelo Alvarez and Eddy Reynoso. Both were there with Valdez in preparation for this fight. Alvarez, is the unified 168-pound champion but will move up in class Saturday night and seek to take the light heavyweight title from Dmitry Bivol, a fight that will be televised on DAZN Pay-Per-View.

“So that was my game plan, beat the whole team and I feel good about it,” Stevenson said about Alvarez and Reynoso. “Much respect to them, but that was my game plan. I want to collect all the belts at 130 and become undisputed. I deserve to be a superstar, so that’s what I gotta do.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Shakur Stevenson is victorious as he defeats Oscar Valdez during their WBC and WBO junior lightweight championship at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“He did what he had to do to win the fight,” Valdez said. “He’s a great fighter. His speed is there. Power is there. He was just the better fighter tonight. Overall, a great fighter.”

MORE TOP RANK RESULTS; DAVIS KNOCKS OUT SANCHEZ: The future of the lightweight division, Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis, battered Mexican veteran Esteban Sanchez (18-2, 8 KOs) en route to sixth-round TKO in the co-feature. Sanchez provided some resistance, but Davis (5-0, 4 KOs) wore down his foe round by round. He landed 56.8 percent of his power shots, including 34 of 53 in the sixth round.

Davis said, “He’s a great fighter, and I didn’t realize that until the first round. I said, ‘Whoa, he can fight!’ I knew I had to snap into a different Keyshawn. He’s a great fighter, a real respectful fighter. Hat’s off to Esteban Sanchez. Thank you for this opportunity. We should see a lot of Esteban Sanchez in the future.

“I just kept staying steady, staying with my rhythm. My coach, {Brian McIntyre}, kept telling me to go to the body. I was trying to stab him a lot in the rounds, and honestly, I was just picking up round after round. I loved this fight because it challenged me. I felt challenged in the ring. I was happy I got a great performance and the stoppage.”

Ali Walsh Destroys Ibarra: The youngster with the famous last name, middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, ignited the MGM Grand with a brutal first-round knockout over Alejandro Ibarra (7-2, 2 KOs). Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KOs), the grandson of The Greatest, ended matters with a sweeping right hand.

Ali Walsh said, “I was setting him up with the right hand. I noticed his left hand was going down when he threw the jab. I was trying to counter it, and that’s what I did. I wish the best for him and his team. He’s a true warrior. But I just waited for that setup, and I saw it and I took advantage.”

Rich Mancuso is a senior writer with Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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