Jake Paul has become a household name in boxing after success as the YouTube sensation with over a million followers, though it remains to be seen where an undefeated 5-0 record will take him. Those in boxing say he has talent but needs to be tested.
In boxing circles, a test with a viable opponent usually determines an outcome of failure or success, but Paul, who is not shy at calling out some of the elite champions, believes he has made an impact with the transition of YouTube fame to a boxing ring.
There was Paul Tuesday afternoon on a cloudy observation deck of the Empire State Building and near him, Matchroom boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. The duo is promoting a historic female main event at Madison Square Garden Saturday evening, streamed live on DAZN.
Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are rated top two female fighters and will make history at the Garden. Years ago, seeing two female fighters highlight a main event at “The Mecca” was not possible.
However, female boxing has arrived. A majority of the main and mid-major promotions have highlighted one or two female attractions. Female fighters have been a tough sell and the names don’t create a buzz compared to their male counterparts who earn the lucrative paydays.
But times have changed. Paul has always believed in equality and that applied to his newfound success as a pro fighter. He established a management team, (BAVAFA Sports) and recently signed Serrano.
You may say, no Jake Paul and Amanda Serrano is not highlighting a historic evening of boxing at the Garden. Perhaps that is the question here. However, Serrano has earned her right for a big payday after she became the face of female boxing.
Serrano has become an advocate for others who wish to fulfill a dream. Paul, (5-0) was the main event in his last win over UFC fighter Tyron Woodley in December. Serrano, the 7-time champion and current lightweight title holder from San Juan Puerto Rico (who resides in Brooklyn) and Paul had that similarity of making an impact.
“Being a Latina from Brooklyn, I’m excited to say, ‘I’ve made it’”, said Serrano. “I’m fighting the main event at Madison Square Garden. I’m making seven figures, a young Latina from Brooklyn. I never thought it could happen.”
The Garden opened up more seating, so this boxing card has sold. Serrano will have followers from Brooklyn and Puerto Rico and there will be a stacked undercard that includes Jessie Vargas and Liam Smith in a crucial Super Welterweight bout.
But for female boxing this is a milestone for sure. Taylor and Serrano are two of the main female fighters in the sport and they say when you are part of the main event at the Garden, that is the goal and a highlight of their career.
Taylor (20-9 6 KOs) of Ireland defends the lightweight titles for the sixth time since winning them in June 2019. Serrano (42-1-1 30 KO’s) came off a knockout over Daniela Bermudez last March. She dominated Miriam Gutierrez on a card that co featured Jake Paul and was the 2021 Female Fighter of the Year for DAZN, ESPN, and the WBC.
“I’ve had my eyes on Amanda Serrano and this is a fight I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time now,” Taylor said. “This is history right here and all of our hard work is going to be paid off for at this time.”
Taylor said this was the exciting fight for boxing and not just for the female division and added, “We are both great champions. She has a great record and she’s a great fighter. I want to be the best fighter.”
“No time is better than right now,” Serrano said. “Happy women and girls in sports day. Women, we are changing the sport. I am honored to share the ring with Katie Taylor. I don’t want to talk bad about any of my opponents. I do all of my talking inside the ring.”
Serrano said it took her 13 years to achieve this milestone and “Never did I imagine making the money I have today. I mean, headlining MSG, like what?”
She can thank Paul, who helped promote Serrano as a headliner at his last fight.
The reality, though, is female boxing has arrived. When two world class female fighters’ headline at “The Mecca” of Madison Square Garden, the questions of struggle and recognition have been answered.
”You think of Madison Square Garden, and you think the likes of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier kind of fights.” Serrano said. “I think years and years later from this fight people are still going to be talking about Katie Taylor versus Amanda Serrano.”
This will be life-changing for both girls and I know for Amanda Serrano in particular,” Paul said.
Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso