Women's boxing will have its biggest display this weekend as undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor (20-0-0, 6 KOs) takes on Amanda Serrano (42-1-1, 30 KOs) Saturday night at the Madison Square Garden on the streaming service DAZN. What's the big deal about it? You can't be serious.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn was, speaking weekly on “The AK and Barak Show,” summed up this fight ideally:
“No one's talking about (Oscar) Valdez-(Shakur) Stevenson. I'm sorry, it's a great fight, but Taylor-Serrano is a moment in time,” Hearn stated on the program.
I'll talk about Valdez-Stevenson later as that is another major card in the states, but back to this fight because Hearn says it is a moment in time, and he is right. Besides the fact that all of the belts are on the line at lightweight, this history-making, the long-overdue contest will pivot women's boxing back towards a casual eyeball. It's a movement that's been slow in the making and still has a ways to go for women in the sport. Showing up on NBC's “Today” show to promote the fight usually helps. Remember the last time that happened for a boxing contest airing on DAZN? Exactly.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 26, 2022
So who do I have? It's a pretty even fight, and I think Serrano will find a way to try to muscle her way inside against the long-reigning champion in Taylor. I'm rolling with Serrano by unanimous decision in what will be the start of a relaunch in women's boxing. This bout is a great one in a stretch that has been a good roll lately.
Is this the last of Tyson Fury?
Long answer short? No, for now.
In front of a massive crowd of 94,000 at Wembley Stadium, Tyson Fury did what many expected Saturday night, stopping Dillian Whyte in the sixth round. With a picture-perfect uppercut and a legal push-off that would impress Michael Jordan, why does no one believe this is the last rodeo for the Gypsy King? Because, post-fight in the ring, he has mentioned every other thing next up for him.
“I promised my lovely wife Paris of 14 years that after the Wilder 3 fight, that would be it. And I meant it,” Fury said following the win Saturday. “We had a war. It was a great trilogy. And I meant that. But I got offered to fight at Wembley at home, and I believe that I deserved—that I owed it to the fans, I owed it to every person in the United Kingdom to come here and fight at Wembley. Now it's all done. And I have to be a man of my word. And I think this is it. This might be the final curtain for the Gypsy King. And what a way to go out! A big thank you to the United Kingdom!”
— NFKings (@NFKingsPro) April 26, 2022
So, for the time being, he's not taking any primary boxing contest and will retire undefeated (32-0-1, 23 KOs) but looks to cash in other non-boxing-related spectacles. Fury mentioned this while bringing in UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to say he'd be next up for Fury for a “hybrid match.” I wasn't keen on that before when he mentioned this during the period before Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury, 3 took place, so I'll believe it when it happens. As for the contest itself, after a few rounds of nothing, the fight picked up somewhat with fouls leading referee Mark Lyson to issue a warning to both fighters before the knockout ended this in the sixth.
This bout wasn't Thomas Hearns vs. Marvin Hagler here but made up for the undercard in terms of entertainment as that rivaled a colonoscopy. At least in the colonoscopy, they put you to sleep before placing that light tube in the backdoor. It's a reminder that most of that 94,000 reported in attendance that didn't show up until main event time were the smart ones.
As for Fury's next boxing match, let me know when Fury relinquishes the heavyweight title. For those in the short-term investment market, William Hill has Fury at 11/10 to fight again this year and just 4/11 to enter the ring before 2023. Those odds all but lead to Fury vs. whoever later on, and soon we'll know who. Until then, this reads like a smokescreen for the next highest bidder next up for the likes of Fury.
Oscar Valdez and Shakur Stevenson Finally Clash at MGM
Oscar Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) and Shakur Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) finally face off in a unification bout at the MGM Grand this weekend on ESPN at super-featherweight. What's at stake is a unification bout and the Ring Magazine title, as both are ranked in their publication at 1 and 2, respectively. The last time this happened, some future Hall of Famer named Manny Pacquiao did it in 2008. I mentioned earlier about Hearn stating that no one was speaking about this fight, but I beg to differ. This contest has been years in the making—one of Stevenson's answers on the media call this Tuesday lays the backdrop out.
“This fight is three years in the making. Everyone knows that I've wanted to fight Oscar Valdez since 2019, when he vacated his belt at 126 instead of fighting me. He avoided me for as long as he could, but now is the perfect time for this fight. The fans are in for a show when we finally step into the ring,” Stevenson said on Tuesday's media call.
On the same media call, Valdez also pointed out how I think this fight will play out.
“He is the type of fighter that talks a lot and is always running his mouth on social media, but I'm not like that,” Valdez stated. “I let my fists do the talking. He is the type of fighter that is not willing to go to war. I'm the type of fighter that always wants to give the fans what they want. Since he is not willing to give the fans what they want, this will be more of a chess match. It will be a more technical fight. The smartest fighter inside the ring will win. For this kind of challenge, I prepared myself very well physically, but more importantly mentally.”
Now that it has become unavoidable, we will have banter coming out of it as we will know who the king is at 130 pounds after Saturday night. I'm rolling with Stevenson on points in what I believe will be a tactical contest.
You can follow Marquis Johns on Twitter @weaksauceradio .