At one point, a lightweight bout between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano was heralded as one of the biggest fights in women’s boxing history. Now, dreams for the bout have come crashing down, escalating to a social media war.
The two were scheduled to fight on May 2 before the coronavirus pandemic postponed the bout. Rumored to take place in the summer, an issue of money on both sides was slowly starting to cause dissension. Recently, Taylor was booked for Matchroom Boxing’s “Matchroom Fight Camp” on August 22, with an opponent to be determined. If recent events are any indication, Taylor might not be facing Serrano anytime soon.
According to The Athletic, Serrano, a champion in seven different weight classes, was rumored to appear on “Exatlon”, a Telemundo-produced obstacle course reality show. Due to the pandemic, it was unknown if a boxing fight were to happen at all. If she won, Serrano would have received $200,000. Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn sent Serrano, her promoter and lawyer Lou DiBella, and Telemundo letters threatening legal action if Serrano were to go through with the show.
Things started to escalate Sunday night when Hearn, DiBella, and Serrano engaged in a war of words on social media about fight contracts, with each trying to control the narrative.
Serrano stated: “Yes I signed 4 contracts to fight @KatieTaylor & despite what lies @EddieHearn wants to say he offered us a purse deduction & a change of location in addition to yet another date May 2nd, July 4th now August 22nd my team will handle this. I’m Not a Toy I’m DONE WITH THE GAMES!”
With eight weeks to go until the fight, Hearn made it known that he understood Serrano wouldn’t take a pay reduction. The original contract would have had Serrano earn $300,000, something considered a hefty amount compared to other fights she has competed in.
Hearn responded to Serrano, stating: “Your promoter will confirm that exactly one week ago today we confirmed in writing the new date and that you would be paid the full amount that was in your contract. Yes there were two date changes due to a slight global pandemic. You have 8 weeks no excuses!”
Your promoter will confirm that exactly one week ago today we confirmed in writing the new date and that you would be paid the full amount that was in your contract. Yes there were two date changes due to a slight global pandemic. You have 8 weeks no excuses!
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) June 28, 2020
According to Sky Sports, if a fight does not get done with Taylor and Serrano, Hearn has been in contact with Delfine Persoon. Taylor beat Persoon for the WBC Lightweight Title inside Madison Square Garden in June 2019. It was a highly-contested affair that had fans wanting more. 29-year-old Chantelle Cameron also put her name into the mix of challengers, as BoxRec’s second-best lightweight fighter is ready to put on a show.
“There’s a mandatory challenger at two weights right here, waiting in England so no problems with travel or training,” Cameron stated on Twitter. “If Serrano don’t want the fight I’ll happily step up for August 22nd. Would be an honour to share the ring with @KatieTaylor.”
DiBella, of DiBella Entertainment, took to Twitter to address the situation. He mentioned travel bans, gyms being closed, and a lack of preparation for the bout as a result of the pandemic making things not as realistic as Hearn thinks it is. He also stated that unnecessary reductions and negotiations were a big factor.
“No, she signed for a May 2 fight,” DiBella stated on Twitter.“She didn’t postpone it. Even though it was ridiculous, and you caused fighters to train for NO reason, you foolishly rescheduled it for early July. Amanda didn’t cancel that either. Stop acting like we’re not in a pandemic. Wtf!”
No, she signed for a May 2 fight. She didn’t postpone it. Even though it was ridiculous, and you caused fighters to train for NO reason, you foolishly rescheduled it for early July. Amanda didn’t cancel that either. Stop acting like we’re not in a pandemic. Wtf!
— Lou DiBella (@loudibella) June 28, 2020
Speaking to The Athletic, DiBella discussed the fact that Hearn was threatening to sue him. He pointed out that it was a personal services contract and that they didn’t know the initial fight was off until it was on social media.
“I’m a lawyer. If a fighter wants to cite the pandemic, they can do that. She doesn’t want to fight in Eddie’s backyard! She made a deal to fight in a massive event in England,” DiBella would state.
“You can’t compel someone to perform no matter how pissed he is. I’m a promoter, I’m not against promoters. No matter how pissed he is, to stop this girl from earning a few bucks (on Exatlon) when she earned roughly $15,000 in the last year, is that the right thing to do? Because he can punish someone? For what?”
Serrano (38-1-1) hasn’t lost a bout since 2012, winning 24 in a row. Her last bout was a TKO-win against Simone Da Silva right before the Super Bowl. Taylor (15-0) is the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring Lightweight Champion. Her last bout was in November, beating Christina Linardatou for the WBO Junior-Welterweight Title. The Olympic medalist has six wins via knockout and nine via decision.
DiBella once called this bout the Super Bowl of women’s boxing, while Hearn believed it could have main evented MSG. Now, it is looking like a distant memory; only an idea. Stay tuned, as updates regarding this potential clash should come out soon.