Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Return of Ray Robinson

By Frank BartoliniRingside

Philadelphia, PA: Nearly three years have expired since the last time “The New” Ray Robinson entered a prize ring. On that night, Robinson fought to a draw on the undercard of one the greatest upsets in heavyweight boxing history when a chubby Andy Ruiz Jr dethroned heavyweight king Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden. 

Since then, the boxing world saw Joshua regain and lose his crown. As far as welterweights go, during that time period, former Robinson foe, Yordenis Ugas, ended the career of all-time great Manny Pacquiao. Also, in May of 2019, fellow Philly welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis was a rising prospect. Today, Ennis is one of the top rated welterweights in the world. 

The long layoff found Robinson, Philadelphia, PA, on the top of a club card show promoted by Philly based, RDR Promotions. Twenty-two year veteran of over sixty matches, Silverio Ortiz, Yucatan, Mexico, was chosen as the opponent for this six round tune up. 

Weighing in at 154 pounds, a bulked up Robinson looked fit and solid at the junior middleweight limit. Wasting no time, Robinson showed no sign of ring rust as he went on the attack from the opening bell. Robinson's blows were snapping Ortiz's,156.3 lbs., head back just moments into the match. This pummeling continued for three rounds due to Ortiz's freakish ability to absorb punishment. As the brutality became ugly, Ortiz’s corner showed compassion by not letting their willing man charge out for round four. 

A crowd of approximately 1,000 fans saw Robinson raise his record to 26-3-2, 14 KOs. Ortiz heads south of the border with a pocket full of change and a record of 37-29, 18 KOs. Promoter Rodney Rice put on a fight card that ran smoothly. Handling the ring announcing was "Discombobulating Jones." Marc Abram took care of the post fight interviews inside the ring. As usual, matchmaker Nick Tiberi put together a solid undercard that consisted of seven bouts. 

Most notable was local favorite Jerome Conquest, Philadelphia, PA, who looked to have done enough to out box Oscar Barajas in a lightweight bout scheduled for six. The judges saw it differently, and Barajas, Zamora, Mexico, took home a majority decision win. Judges Lynne Carter and Rob Rubnitz scored it 78-56, while John McKaie saw it even, 57-57. This scribe had it 58-57 for Conquest. Conquest weighed 138.4 lbs. as his record slid to 11-7, 1 KO. Barajas tipped the scale at 139.6 lbs., and is now 18-8-1, 8 KOs.  

Friday, February 25, 2022


Press Release


May 7 Fight Confirmed Against Light-Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol

Pound-for-pound superstar Canelo Alvarez (57-1-2, 30 KOs) has signed a new multi-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN. The first fight will see boxing’s biggest attraction step up in weight to take on Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) in a bid for the WBA Light-Heavyweight title on May 7. The second fight in the multi-fight deal is set for September.

The May 7 blockbuster will be available to subscribers around the world on DAZN, excluding Latin America and Mexico. In the U.S. & Canada, the event will be offered exclusively on DAZN Pay-Per View (PPV) - newly introduced for very select events to come - and priced at $59.99 for current subscribers and $79.99 for new subscribers (inclusive of a one month subscription to DAZN).

Canelo Alvarez claimed the IBF Super-Middleweight strap last time out against a tough Caleb Plant, becoming the first boxer ever to become undisputed champion at Super-Middleweight. Prior to that, the Mexican star picked up the WBA, WBC, WBO and The Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles against Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders respectively, all within a year to make history and cement his spot as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, a memorable period that saw the 31 year old bag numerous fighter of the year awards including ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Ring Magazine.

Dmitry Bivol has been flawless in the paid ranks and now bags the blockbuster showdown he’s been craving in the form of boxing’s pound-for-pound king Canelo. Bivol picked up the WBA Light-Heavyweight title in 2016 and has defended it an impressive ten times already to become of the best active Light-Heavyweight fighters in the world.

"I am very happy with this fight against Dmitry Bivol,” said Canelo. “It is another great challenge for me and my career -- especially as I go up in weight and face an exceptional light heavyweight champion like Bivol.

"I am also very excited that we have this fight slated for Cinco De Mayo Weekend - May 7 - for all the fans to enjoy. We will be ready, like we always are." 

“I always only wanted to fight the best!” said Bivol. “I believe that the rest of my goals will begin materialize on May 7!”

“It is an absolutely honour to announce a multi fight promotional deal with the pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Canelo transcends boxing and is the biggest star in the sport and we look forward to promoting some historic nights in 2022 live on DAZN PPV. First up, Saul takes on yet another champion, this time in the shape of fearsome undefeated WBA Light-Heavyweight king Dmitry Bivol. Fans can expect a thrilling all-action match up and we look forward the pair coming face to face at a press conference in San Diego next Wednesday.”

“Bivol vs Canelo, this is going to be a very competitive and interesting fight,” said Andrei Ryabinskiy of World of Boxing. “I am very glad that we were able to make this happen, for Dmitry this is a big chance!”

“This will be a great night of boxing where two of the best collide for the highest recognition in the sport!” said Bivol’s manager, Vadim Kornilov. “The victor on May 7 will go on to become the biggest name in boxing for many more years to come!”

“We’re delighted to continue growing our long-term partnership with Canelo, beginning with a spectacular clash between the pound-for-pound king and a very tough and determined champ in Dmitry Bivol,” said Ed Breeze, DAZN EVP, Rights. “Both fighters were eager for this battle and we’re thrilled to make it happen around the world on DAZN as well as in the U.S. & Canada by way of the introduction of DAZN PPV. It’s a truly mega matchup and we look forward to broadcasting it to fight fans all over the globe.”

2022 – At A Glance

Aside from the May 7 event, DAZN’s schedule for U.S. subscribers in 2022 is strong as ever, including the below with dozens more still to come:

February 5: Carlos Cuadras vs. Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez (Winner)

February 12: Daniel Jacobs vs. John Ryder (Winner)

February 19: Jaime MunguĂ­a (Winner) vs. D’Mitrius Ballard 

February 27: Lawrence Okolie vs. Michal Cieslak

March 5:  Chocolatito III vs. Julio Cesar Martinez

March 12: Leigh Wood vs. Michael Conlan 

March 19: Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Michael McKinson 

March 26: Kiko Martinez vs. Josh Warrington II 

April 9: Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe

April 30: Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano 

May 7: Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol (Live Exclusively on DAZN PPV)

The May 7 Canelo vs. Bivol mega matchup will be on DAZN PPV in the U.S., marking the first of very occasional events to come that will be sparingly offered to fight fans on top of a DAZN subscription. This event is priced at $59.99 for current subscribers on the app and $79.99 for new subscribers (inclusive of one month’s subscription to DAZN).

The DAZN subscription in the U.S. is currently priced at $19.99 a month or just $99.99 for an entire year (which equates to only $8.33 per month). At this unrivalled value, existing subscribers will continue to enjoy a stacked boxing schedule of at least 50 top-tier fight nights annually, discounted PPV events, and an ever-growing slate of DAZN Originals including many of the most fascinating stories and figures in boxing.

New subscribers to DAZN in the U.S. can continue to take advantage of the current annual subscription cost of $99.99 until May 2.  Those signing up for an annual subscription after May 2 will be charged the new annual price of $149.99 (which still just equates to only $12.50 per month). Existing subscribers will be grandfathered in at their current $99.99 annual subscription cost.

Media contacts:

Team Canelo – Jane Murcia –

DAZN – Fred Mellor –

DAZN – Sam Kelly –

Matchroom – Anthony Leaver –

Wednesday, February 23, 2022


Press Release 

'The Thrill' challenges Guerfi at The O2

Jordan Gill is hoping to put a frustrating 2021 behind him when he clashes with European Featherweight Champion Karim Guerfi on the undercard of Lawrence Okolie's WBO Cruiserweight World Title defence against Michael Cieslak at The O2 in London this Sunday February 27, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding New Zealand and Australia).

'The Thrill' (26-1-1, 7 KOs) was originally scheduled to face Frenchman Guerfi on the undercard of Conor Benn vs. Chris Algieri at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool on December 11, but the two-weight European Champion was forced to withdraw from their Merseyside showdown due to an illness.

Gill suffered a horrific cut in the third round of his eight rounder with late stand in opponent Alan Luques Castillo - the 27-year-old was forced to accept a technical draw after the gruesome head clash. The Chatteris man is aiming to kickstart his World Title push by dethroning 34-year-old Guerfi in his first fight for 2022. 

“I remember laying on the bed and getting stitches afterwards," said Gill. "It was one of those things that could have happened to anyone at any time. It’s unfortunate that it happened to me. It was a nasty head clash – there was no way the fight was going to continue. When they stitched my head up, they stitched around the artery – it was that deep! It’s lucky that it was on my head and not my face, otherwise it would have been a plastic surgery job. It’s good in one way, bad in another. 

“I had a week off and then I was straight back in the gym, keeping fit and keeping my mind active. I knew I was always going to be Mandatory for the European Title. It wasn’t a fight lost because of the technical draw. All in all it was a frustrating 2021 but that’s behind us now and we look forward. 2022 is our year, I’m looking forward to this fight and pushing on to bigger and better things. 

“He’s a very good fighter, you can’t take that away from him. I fully respect him – he’s the champion. He did it against the odds, he’s been to the champion’s backyard and won the Title. He’s very experienced and he’s coming to the latter stages of his career. He’s had some big fights, I think he’s a four or five time European Champion. He’s established and he’s a very good pro. I’m looking forward to mixing it with him.

“As the fight gets nearer, I’m thinking of new ways to beat him. I’m thinking of new things to add to my game. We’re not so much preparing for Guerfi, but we’re preparing myself for the best that I can be. I’m looking forward to the fight. I feel like it has been a long time coming. This is my life. I dedicate my life to boxing. I take myself away from my family. I’m here in Rotherham, working every day. This European Title fight means everything to me, my family and the area that I’m representing. 

“I think I’m going to put on an absolute masterclass and stop Guerfi mid to late rounds and I’m going to push on, beat up that dosser Isaac Lowe and get a World Title shot. Guerfi is ranked 10th or 11th with the WBC. We’ve just got a new WBC Featherweight Champion. I know he’s got to fight his Mandatory for his first defence but after that I can get the winner."

Gill vs. Guerfi is part of a huge night of Title action, Hackney's WBO Cruiserweight World Champion Lawrence Okolie (17-0, 14 KOs) makes the second defence of his crown against Poland's former World Title challenge Michal Cieslak (21-1, 15 KOs), Tokyo Olympic Champion Galal Yafai makes his highly anticipated professional debut in a ten round fight for the vacant WBC International Flyweight Title against Mexico's Carlos Vado Bautista (10-4-1, 3 KOs) Liverpool Middleweight Anthony Fowler (15-2, 12 KOs) faces Poland's Lukasz Maciec (27-3-1, 5 KOs) over ten rounds, unbeaten Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (12-0, 11 KOs) takes on the USA's Daniel Martz (20-9-1, 17 KOs) over ten rounds, Tokyo Olympian Cheavon Clarke makes his professional debut at Cruiserweight against Croatia's Toni Visic (20-29-2, 5 KOs), Lightweight prospect Campbell Hatton (5-0, 1 KO) clashes with Joe Ducker (9-8-2, 2 KOs) over six rounds, Takeley Light-Heavyweight John Hedges (4-0) meets Aleksander Nagolski (2-1, 1 KO) over six rounds and Australian Heavyweight contender Demsey McKean (20-0, 13 KOs) takes on Argentina's Ariel Esteban Bracamonte (11-6, 6 KOs) over eight rounds. 

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Elimination Chamber 2022 Recap

The final stop on the Road to Wrestlemania landed at the Jeddah Super Dome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The WWE took things a step too far this time with their semi-annual cash grab, in my opinion, by holding the event that will likely mold the landscape for the Showcase of the Immortals overseas. The card featured seven matches and was headlined by the Men’s Elimination Chamber match with the WWE Championship on the line.

WWE Universal Championship

Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns (c) w/ Paul Heyman

Winner: Roman Reigns via submission

No one saw this match coming to fruition as Goldberg recently shocked the WWE Universe when he returned to Smackdown to challenge The Tribal Chief for his Universal Championship - and of course it was set for Saudi Arabia because it’s a known fact that they put out extra money for extra star power as part of their agreement with WWE. Now we knew that Roman Reigns would retain his title but this match was absolutely terrible - something that it pains me to say for how much of a fan I‘ve been of Goldberg over the years. Goldberg’s most significant offense consisted of a couple of spears as he was never able to execute his patented Jackhammer before Reigns deeply cinched in a guillotine choke which Goldberg eventually succumbed to.

Women’s Elimination Chamber

Alexa Bliss vs. Bianca Belair vs. Nikki A.S.H. vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Liv Morgan vs. Doudrop

Winner: Bianca Belair

The stakes were high for the Women’s Elimination Chamber match as the winner would earn a shot to compete for the RAW Women’s Champion at Wrestlemania. The match began with Nikki A.S.H. and Liv Morgan as the other four were locked in their respective pods around the ring. The first participant released from her pod was the massive Doudrop who immediately laid waste to Nikki and Liv. The next participant to enter the fray was Rhea Ripley. Ripley wasted little time making the first elimination of the match as she pinned Nikki following a Samoan drop. Alexa Bliss was the next to enter the match as she had her first in-ring action since September. The next elimination came at the hands of Liv Morgan as she was able to pin Doudrop just moments before the final combatant, Bianca Belair, entered the contest. Alexa Bliss secured the next elimination as she executed a perfect Twisted Bliss which allowed her to pin Liv Morgan.

Belair next expunged Ripley from the bout in short order following a KOD leaving her alone in the ring with Alexa Bliss. After Bliss was unable to execute a Twisted Bliss and multiple DDT attempts, Bianca Belair made Bliss the next victim of the KOD allowing her to punch her ticket to Wrestlemania where she will compete for the RAW Women’s Championship.

Charlotte Flair & Sonya Deville vs. Ronda Rousey & Naomi

Winners: Ronda Rousey & Naomi via submission

This contest featured two women who will compete for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania, champion Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey, on opposite teams with the added stipulation where Ronda would need to tie one hand behind her back. The match, which quite predictably never saw Rousey and Flair in the ring at the same time, came to it’s conclusion as Rousey hit the Piper’s Pit on Deville before she trapped her in an armbar to secure the submission victory.

Falls Count Anywhere Match

Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Mos w/ Happy Corbin

Winner: Drew McIntyre via pinfall

As a result of the ambush he sustained at the hands of Moss and Corbin at WWE Day 1, Drew McIntyre has found himself in arguably the worst feud of his WWE career since he was a member of Three Man Band and unfortunately, it probably will not conclude until Wrestlemania where McIntyre will likely end up battling Happy Corbin. After McIntyre nearly broke the neck of Madcap Moss with a botched Alabama Slam, he put him away moments later with the Claymore Kick despite continued interference at the hands of Happy Corbin.

RAW Women’s Championship

Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lita

Winner: Becky Lynch via pinfall

Despite making appearances in the Women’s Royal Rumble multiple times, Michael Cole made it known prior to the match that this was Lita’s first significant single’s match in 16 years. Lita displayed virtually no ring rust as she gave the performance of someone who could still hang with the current women’s roster. In the closing moments, Lita seemed poised for a monumental upset after she executed the Twist of Fate immediately followed by a moonsault, however, Becky was able to kick out of a subsequent pinfall attempt. As Lita attempted to mount more offense to continue her momentum, she was promptly stifled with The Manhandle Slam which allowed Lynch to escape with her title.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship

The Usos (c) vs. The Viking Raiders

Winners: No contest

This match never even started as The Usos ambushed The Viking Raiders in the midst of their ring entrance leaving them in a heap of human debris.

WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match

Bobby Lashley (c) w/ MVP vs. Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles vs. Seth Rollins vs. Riddle vs. Austin Theory

Winner: Brock Lesnar

This match created an interesting dynamic as Brock Lesnar already had his ticket punched to challenge Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania for the Universal Championship and should he win the Elimination Chamber, would enter as the WWE Champion as well. The match began as Seth Rollins stepped toe to toe with Austin Theory while the other men remained locked in their respective pods chomping at the bit to enter the bout. Just before Riddle entered the match as the first to be released from his pod, Rollins power bombed Theory through Bobby Lashley’s pod knocking the champ senseless in the process. The fourth man to enter the fray was “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles. 

Bobby Lashley was the next to enter the match, however, he had been escorted from the ring by medical personnel. Brock Lesnar proceeded to kick through the chamber wall and inserted himself in the match prematurely. Lesnar immediately F5d Rollins for the elimination, then decimated Riddle for the next elimination, and delivered another F5 to Styles to eliminate him as well. In the midst of all the chaos, it was announced that Lashley had been placed in concussion protocols meaning a new champion would be crowned. The final two competitors were Brock Lesnar and Austin Theory.  Theory attempted to flee Brock by climbing up the chamber, however, Lesnar delivered an F5 to Theory that propelled him from the top of one of the pods. Lesnar then easily pinned Theory to become new WWE Champion setting up a showdown between champions at Wrestlemania.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022


Press Release

'Miracle Man' meets Ryder at Alexandra Palace

Two-time Middleweight World Champion Daniel Jacobs insists that he still has plenty left to achieve in his career as he prepares to face Islington's John Ryder in an Eliminator for the WBA Super-Middleweight World Title this Saturday February 12 at Alexandra Palace in London, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding New Zealand and Australia).

The 35-year-old Brooklyn native (37-3, 30 KOs) earned a split decision win over two-time World Title challenger Gabriel Rosado last time out in November 2020 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, just under a year on from his fifth round stoppage win against Mexico's Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. 

Despite his inactivity, the former WBA and IBF Middleweight ruler, who has taken pound for pound stars Gennadiy Golovkin and Saul Alvarez the distance, still has a burning desire to mix it with the best in the world and write his name into the history books as a two-weight World Champion. 

“I’m looking forward to a good scrap," said Jacobs. "He’s a good fighter from what I’ve seen. I know he’s in his hometown so I’m expecting him to be pumped and excited about it. Also I’ve heard from him before that this is an important fight for him to get towards title contention. I’m looking forward to seeing exactly everything that he has to bring. 

“It has been one of my goals as a professional to fight in the UK, probably in London because I’ve been here before and I know how the magic works. I know how deep the crowd is into their  boxing. I look forward to experiencing that. Good city, good town, good people. 

“Everything is fabulous, I’m back to where I need to be mentally and I realise that now coming back with my old trainer Andre Rozier and Anthony Irons things are where they need to be. I was missing that good spirit that I once had in my career, and now it’s back and I’m looking forward to presenting it and giving the fans a good show. 

“Every fight is must-win. Every time you go in the ring you don’t go into a fight looking at it like, ‘If I lose this one the next one will still be a good opportunity’. There’s always going to be a step back if you lost a fight in boxing. I’m grateful that I still have the opportunity to have these big fights. The biggest goal for me right now is to stay focused and keep the eye on the tiger. 

“Granted we win this fight, which I’m sure we will, my next fight should be an opportunity to become a two division World Champion. I have the opportunity to do that and this guy is in the way. I have to make an example but also be myself. This camp I’ve been myself the entire time. I can’t ask for anything better."

Jacobs vs. Ryder tops a huge night of action, undefeated Wokingham Middleweight talent Felix Cash (14-0, 10 KOs) faces unbeaten Russian Magomed Madiev (15-0-2, 4 KOs) for the WBC International Title, Romford Heavyweight sensation Johnny Fisher (4-0, 4 KOs) takes on Spain's Gabriel Enguema (10-11, 6 KOs) over six rounds in front over 2,200 of his supporters, Catford's Ellie Scotney (3-0) goes for her first title when she clashes with Argentina's Jorgelina Guanini (9-3-2, 1 KO) for the WBA International Super-Bantamweight crown, undefeated Texas Middleweight Austin 'Ammo' Williams (9-0, 7 KOs) fights in London for the second time as he meets Javier Francisco Maciel (33-15, 23 KOs) over eight rounds, Leeds Super-Bantamweight Hopey Price (6-0, 2 KOs) fights Ricardo Roman (14-12-3, 5 KOs) over six rounds, Ashington Welterweight Cyrus Pattinson (2-0, 1 KO) fights Evgenii Vazem (9-21, 4 KOs) over six rounds and Welterweight prospect Shiloh Defreitas (2-0, 2 KOs) fights Alexey Tukhtarov (4-23-6, 3 KOs) over six rounds. 

Monday, February 7, 2022


Press Release

Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:

“An incredible building here for an incredible fight, an incredible moment for the sport of boxing. April 30 the undisputed Lightweight Championship between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano – live on DAZN from Madison Square Garden.

“We all felt and hoped that this event would be a game changer, this event would iconic, historic and break the records. Last week for the pre-sale we recorded the second biggest pre-sale in the history of boxing in 140 years at Madison Square Garden.

“Of course, this is the biggest female fight of all time but it’s also one of the biggest fights in boxing, April 30 the world will stop to watch these two great fighters change the sport and take women’s boxing to a new level.”

Joseph Markowski, EVP, DAZN:

“I think this is a fight that transcends not only women’s boxing but potentially if we get this right to transcend the sport of boxing. The energy in New York last week, the tickets sales, the turnout from the media today, the reaction on social media, Jake’s involvement. There are so many ingredients to this that give it the potential to really cut through.

“When you have the opportunity with a boxing event to really cut through to mainstream sport, you want to give it your best shot, and we’re determined to do that. We’ve got a couple of months to do that with a fantastic group of people pushing it, we’re really excited about the opportunity we’ve got to celebrate women’s sport and go beyond the four walls of boxing.

“Eddie and I have been in the States last week and he’s been stopped in the streets to talk about this fight far more than you would do for a women’s boxing event. I think that we’re seeing that it’s cutting through, we’re confident when we look at your numbers, the numbers on social media, the numbers on the content we’ve already got.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to grow our subscription audience and drive a massive audience on DAZN in many countries around the world – notably here in the UK, Ireland and over the States. A huge opportunity and one we’re really excited about.” 

Nakisa Bidarian, co-founder of Most Valuable Promotions:

“This all started because of you [Eddie] and Joe when Jake made his debut on DAZN just two years ago. To think we’re here now with the biggest fight in women’s history, the biggest fight in boxing this year, is of course a credit to Eddie Hearn, Matchroom, DAZN, to Katie and Amanda, but also to my partner Jake Paul.

“Jake in little over two years have shaken combat sports upside down and is now sitting next to Eddie Hearn as co-promoter at age 25. There’s a guy on Boxxer that claims to be the youngest promoter in the UK, the youngest promoter in the UK is sitting on this stage right now and his name is promoter Paul.

“Jake and I have been very fortunate in our careers today, mine longer than his given I’m a lot older, we don’t need to be doing this, but we want to be doing this. This is a privilege, an honour, this is something that’s disrupting sports as a whole led by Jake, Katie and Amanda.”

Jake Paul, co-founder of Most Valuable Promotions, professional boxer and content creator:

“This is very serious, I’m just excited for April 30th first and foremost. People better get their tickets at because otherwise they’ll be sitting in the nosebleed section the way these tickets are selling.

“I want to give these ladies a round of applause for what they’re doing, what most people in boxing aren’t doing, the pound-for-pound two best going at it. This is what boxing needs more of whether it’s male or female, they’re putting it all on the line for this fight which is what makes it big.

“This is unprecedented and more boxers across the sport should take notes from these two ladies, make the big fights happen if you’re one of the pound-for-pound best and tell your promoters you want these fights. That’s what these ladies did and that’s why we’re here.

“To me it doesn’t matter because I’m passionate about it, if people want to show me respect then cool, if not then cool. I’m still going to be doing my thing but like the hat says, all I want to do is bring more to this sport than I took from it – that’s what I want to do.

“I believe Amanda will win, stylistically. All credit to Katie Taylor she has an amazing career and is an amazing person, but stylistically the way Amanda comes forward and her body shots. We saw Katie Taylor have a little bit of trouble with that against Persoon and she was head hunting and not necessarily going towards the body. That’s what Amanda brings, a power puncher that comes forward, unlimited cardio, that’s why I’m excited about this. Obviously, it’s going to be a great fight, but I believe in Amanda.” 

Amanda Serrano, seven-weight World champion:

“I want to thank London for having me, it’s a beautiful city. The struggle has been real but I’m super happy and excited that I’ve finally get to see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel with this fight with Katie Taylor. We’re making history and that’s what I want to do, I want to continue to open the doors for the new generation coming into the sport.

“I’m a woman for equality and we all talk about equality, on this table multiple times, we’re making history at the Garden being the first women to headline. We’re making the biggest payday for both of us, and I think we should just continue to make this iconic, make changes to this game and if Katie Taylor is willing and ready and able to make this an equal fight of 12 rounds of 3 minutes. If we want to make change, I think we should pave it right now on DAZN. This is all about equality and we should make the change right now.

“I understand that this fight is iconic but if we want to make a change for the future and get people to notice it, get these promoters to not talk badly about women, I think we need to take a stand.

“My plan is to fight smart, to be smart on April 30. I know I have all the tools to beat Katie Taylor, I just have to go out there and be smart – victory will be mine.

“I have everything, there’s no questioning my heart, my skills, my power and my chin. There’s nothing I think Katie Taylor has that will answer the questions that need to be answered. I have Latin blood and all the heart in the world.” 

Katie Taylor, undisputed World Lightweight champion:

“I don’t think changing to 12 3 minute rounds will make a difference, this event is already iconic the way it is. The fact the pre-sales are the second best in MSG history says it all really, this fight is more important than we realise, and this proves that the perceptions have changed already. Boxing is boxing regardless, and the fight is already iconic the way it is.

“I think we’re making a stand the way we’re actually fighting each other in the first place, the best fighting the best. This fight is going to determine the best pound-for-pound female fighter in the world so we’re already making a stand by taking this fight.

“This is the fight I’ve wanted from the get-go, ever since I turned pro, I had me sights set on Serrano. I’m just so excited the fight is happening now; I do genuinely believe this is the best fight and most exciting fight in boxing right now. The fact it’s headlining Madison Square Garden and the pre-sales were the second best in boxing history, means this fight is more important than we realise and proves that there is a strong appetite with the public for these big female fights.

“Not only are we breaking the ceiling for female purses, but we have actually changed perceptions of the sport and if our careers have only achieved that then all the hard days in the gym have been absolutely worth it.

“I’m obviously expecting the toughest fight of my career and I’m expecting that, I know that I won’t be found short on grit and heart, I know my mind can take me to places I have no right to go because I’ve been there before both in the gym and on big nights. The whole world has seen me do it, I don’t think anybody has ever asked the question has Katie got what it takes to go to that place and win the fight in the trenches, that question has been answered. I’m not sure that Amanda has answered that question yet and her legacy will depend on the answer to that question, and I guess we’ll find out April 30.”