Irish standout Katie Taylor fights high atop the Oct. 20 DAZN/Matchroom card in Boston, Mass. and she soaked up some of the local flavor Friday, at a press conference which hyped her bout versus Cindy Serrano, as well as the main event tango, pitting Rhode Islander Demetrius Andrade against UKer BJ Saunders.
Being a “Masshole” myself—I moved to NYC in 1999—I gave Taylor, 10-0, the what for.
“Katie, quiz time…how do you pronounce the nearby town of W-O-R-C-E-S-T-E-R?”
She paused, pondered, and then gamely tried to sound like a Bostonian…
“Worchester,” she said, without confidence, in our Friday phoner.
“Wuhster,” I corrected. “Wuhster” is how you can say it, to blend in.”
Taylor chuckled and we talked for ten minutes about the state of the game, how people view women’s boxing in the UK, and in the US, as well as her longer term planning.
First off, she’s 32; not old in this sphere, but not a pup. Does that affect her desired trajectory?
“I feel very fresh, I don’t feel my age,” said the Olympics ace who is signed to Eddie Hearn. “I feel that I could be fast tracked, and I do love the fact I’m staying busy. I do want to be involved in the biggest fights possible!”
Cindy Serrano isn’t that, to be candid. She is no slouch, but her sister Amanda is the bigger name in the fam. Word is that if Taylor downs this Serrano, the younger sister might come looking for revenge.
“I want to fight the biggest names out there, I think I’m capable of beating all the girls out there, in and around lightweight, I want to go after the other belts,” Taylor, a pro since November 2016, told me. “Me versus Amanda is a huge fight, the biggest in boxing, but I will focus on Cindy, never overlook any opponent!”
Taylor is not a shit talker, and isn’t one to stir the pot with spicy pronouncements or fiery broadsides aimed at foes. She said that she’s seen steady growth in the popularity of the women’s boxing scene since turning pro, and feels “lucky and blessed” to have signed with Hearn. He is paying her well, she said, and having her fight regularly, as well.
Yep, she won’t look past one Serrano for another, she repeated, and is keen to fight people like Amanda, and also Heather Hardy..
..the Brooklyn based hitter who holds a 21-0 mark.
Taylor also noted to me that the biggest surprise to this point is just how different amateur and pro boxing is. “I didn’t realize how different the two sports were, I thought boxing was boxing, but I’m learning all the time. It’s a completely different sport!”
No, not a hint of smack talk from classy Katie; she said that it’s “great to be on the same show” with BJ Saunders, a verbal mega-star, and “I’m not one for talking. I’m very relaxed, don’t get angry too easy. I like to be a lady outside the ring, I like to respect my opponent.”
My three cents: It’s impossible to dislike Taylor, and I dig how she is presenting herself as is, not trying too hard to stir that pot. Her skill set probably does not need it anyway, actually. Anyone out there predicting an upset special, with Cindy Serrano playing wrecking ball to the upcoming Katie Taylor calendar?
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ALSO….Check out this release put out by the Matchroom/DAZN crew, a report from the Friday Boston press conference:
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING CARD ANNOUNCED
FOR BOSTON’S TD GARDEN OCTOBER 20, 2018
Three title bouts featuring huge main event: WBO Middleweight Champ Billy-Joe Saunders
vs. Rhode Island’s Demetrius Andrade
Presented by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA
and Ken Casey’s Murphys Boxing Promotions
Boston, Mass. (August 24, 2018) – Matchroom Boxing USA and Murphys Boxing Promotions today officially announced a major world championship boxing event to be held at Boston’s TD Garden on October 20, 2018. During a press conference at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, officials previewed the October event, which will feature three title bouts and a titanic main event with unbeaten WBO Middleweight Champion Billy-Joe Saunders of England facing unbeaten top contender Demetrius Andrade of Rhode Island.
The October 20th fight night is part of the DAZN Network’s stacked fall lineup of combat sports. It is being produced by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA in association with Ken Casey of Murphys Boxing Promotions.
“This will be the biggest night of championship boxing that the City of Boston has seen in more than 15 years,” said Casey of Murphys Boxing Promotions – who is also a founding member of the legendary Boston band Dropkick Murphys. “Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing have created a tremendous environment around the sport in the United Kingdom, and we’re fortunate to be working with them on this historic event that will feature a stacked bill of some of the sport’s biggest stars.”
At the top of the bill is the mouth-watering World title clash between unbeaten stars Andrade and Saunders. Andrade is a dominant figure among New England fighters and enjoys tremendous support from his native state of Rhode Island, while Saunders has held the WBO middleweight title since 2015.
Others on the bill for October 20th include Irish favorite Katie Taylor, the biggest star in women’s boxing and the WBA and IBF World Lightweight Champ – in a showdown with Brooklyn-based Cindy “Checkmate” Serrano, the Brooklyn-based WBO Featherweight Champ and one of the most exciting combat sports stars to come out of Puerto Rico. Serrano hasn’t lost a fight since 2012 and is gunning for two-weight World glory.
Also on the bill is a showdown between American boxer and IBF Super-Featherweight title holder Tevin Farmer and Irish boxer James Tennyson. Farmer landed the title with a landslide points win in Billy Dib’s Australian backyard in August, gaining redemption in the process after missing out on the crown in a controversial split decision loss against Kenichi Ogawa in Las Vegas in December. Tennyson is the reigning European and Commonwealth champion.
“This event will be massive so I’ve lined up a trio of huge talents in Billy-Joe Saunders, Katie Taylor and Tevin Farmer to defend their titles here in Boston,” said Hearn, whose Matchroom Boxing USA seeks to replicate the runaway success of Matchroom in Europe. “They’ll have some fierce competition in Andrade, Serrano and Tennyson, and these should be sensational matchups.”
The fight program also features three Murphys Boxing fighters, United States Marine Afghanistan veteran Mark ‘Bazooka’ Deluca from Whitman, Mass., Framingham firefighter Danny O’Connor (currently on leave to focus on boxing) and Niall Kennedy, a policeman from Wexford, Ireland. All three will participate in major fights to be announced.
The Murphys Boxing entries have built strong fan followings under Casey’s tutelage. Deluca is the former NABA and IBA World Champion with an impressive 21-1 record. O’Connor is a former U.S. Olympic Team Alternate and also won the WBC International Silver Championship. Kennedy is rapidly becoming a fan favorite and beat Jesse Barboz by a KO to win the Massachusetts Heavyweight Title.
The October 20th fight will also be available on DAZN, the world’s first pure sport streaming service that allows fans to watch their sport, their way, live or on-demand. After launching in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan and Canada over the last two years, DAZN will launch in the U.S. this September at $9.99 per month with more than 70 fight nights planned across Matchroom Boxing, Bellator MMA and the World Boxing Super Series. The platform, available on most connected devices including Smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and game consoles, offers a 1-month free trial and no long-term contract.
In addition to the great world title clashes, the event will also raise funds for first responder related charities through the Boston Bruins Foundation. The event will offer special reduced individual and group tickets for all military and first responders and their families. For first responder information and tickets contact LMurphy@bostonbruins.com or Mbloom@murphysboxing.com.