Eddie Hearn on Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano: ‘This is Mayweather against Pacquiao of women’s boxing’


Eddie Hearn believes this is just the beginning for women’s boxing.

This weekend will see the greatest fight in women’s boxing history when Katie Taylor takes on Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden. Hearn has also been overwhelmed by the response to Taylor’s promotion through Matchroom Sports.

“The media that are here this week, the different kind of media, it is incredible how big this thing has become,” Hearn told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “When we talk about women’s sport, there is a real consistency among broadcasters and commercial organizations to think, ‘Let’s support women’s sport because it’s a good look. It’s box ticked.’ This breaks through the barriers of that. Katie Taylor has told me that that mindset of ‘it’s a good look’ is not equality. It’s disrespectful to women’s sport.

“Women’s sport and women’s boxing needs to maintain its position through quality, through demand, through viewership, through ticket sales. This is how to create sustainable products and long-lasting sports. And that’s the most pleasing thing about this. Madison Square Garden won’t be sold out because so many people will go, “Oh, I’ll support women’s Boxing.” They are buying tickets to see a great fight .”


The fight certainly is that. Serrano is the WBC, WBO, and IBO featherweight champion, has a career record of 42-1-1, and she’s the No. 3 pound-for-pound female boxer according to The Ring. Serrano has also held nine titles across seven different weight classes, a record. Meanwhile, Taylor is The Ring‘s top-ranked pound-for-pound female boxer with an Olympic gold medal, five more world championships, and a professional record of 20-0. For all intents and purposes, this is not only the biggest fight in women’s boxing history, it is also the best.

“This is Mayweather against Pacquiao of women’s boxing,” Hearn said. Hearn said, “Undisputed world champion against seven-division champion. This fight is bound to be thrilling. You combine that with Madison Square Garden’s history, which has never had a female fighter headline, and you get the greatest female fight ever, Puerto Rico. For the first time in a fight, I’ve never felt so much good will. Even in the boxing community, but particularly outside of that community, in sport, in entertainment. We’ve seen the WWE really get behind this event as well. MMA, everybody. There’s never a feeling of good will in a boxing fight, but this is very different and it feels great to be a small part of that.

“But you also want to go deeper. You talk about inspiring the next generation of athletes and young people. I have two daughters. I want to talk to them about this fight and show them two great athletes had a dream and worked so hard and were told this wasn’t possible. You can see them shining on Saturday night. And even beyond young women, young girls, anyone. Anyone who has a dream, who was told it’s not possible, anyone who works hard enough to achieve what no one ever thought could be done. On Saturday night, you’re going to see it.”

If there is one issue with the event though, it’s that the fight will stay take place under the archaic rules structure of women’s boxing, which insists on 10 two-minute rounds instead of 12 three-minute rounds as is standard for men’s championship bouts. This was something Serrano mentioned in her pre-fight press conference. She argued that a fight this large should be made history for women’s boxesing. Taylor rejected the suggestion. And according to Hearn, that’s because doing so could have distracted from the fight itself.

“I’ll tell you one thing about the pay in women’s boxing: the duration of the rounds has absolutely no regard for the amount of money these fighters get paid,” Hearn said. It’s perceived that it does. However, there is no commercial benefit. Will a broadcaster pay more for three-minute rounds? No. Will more people buy tickets for three-minute rounds? Not really.

“So right now, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Your views will change over time. We need to improve and ensure that only the elite of the sport has three minutes rounds. However, I’ll also add that fast-paced content can be great when you introduce something to a market. Two minute rounds are fantastic because you have two minutes. You’ve got to win the round. The pace will be faster but there will be more stops in three-minute rounds.

“I didn’t feel that now was the time we needed to introduce that. It would be much more common to talk about three minute rounds rather than focusing on the actual fight, which is huge and huge. In time, I’m with you.

Taylor and Serrano meet this Saturday, April 30, at Madison Square Garden in New York.