Boxing tips: Katie Taylor to dominate challenger and close in on Amanda Serrano

The Bray Bomber looks to dispatch her WBA mandatory challenger on December 11 to set up a huge 2022 clash against Amanda Serrano…

Katie Taylor defends her unified world lightweight titles against the Kazakhstan-born Firuza Sharipova.

Despite the ongoing Covid situation, Taylor has been active this year as her defence against Sharipova will be her third fight in 2021.

In May, she defended her belts against Natasha Jonas on the Derek Chisora vs Joseph Parker undercard.

The two esteemed boxers stole the show that night as they put on one of the best women's fights in recent memory.

Taylor was the better woman on the night as she triumphed via unanimous decision. She then fought Jennifer Han in front of 20,000 in Leeds as part of the Mauricio Lara vs Josh Warrington II card - the headline fight ended in a draw.

Han was not on the same level as Jonas and while the fight went the distance, the American was knocked down in the eighth. 'The Bray Bomber' had her hand raised after the ten rounds as all three judges scored the bout 100-89 in her favour.

On Matchroom's penultimate 2021 UK card, Taylor returns as she puts her titles on the line against Sharipova, who is the WBA mandatory challenger. The 27-year-old won gold medals at National Championships in 2012 and 2013. But she lost her first professional bout on points in 2016. Sharipova is now on a 14-fight winning streak.

Like Taylor, Sharipova has fought twice this year. She has picked up TKO victories over Russian duo Yuliya Chernoborodova and Liubov Beliakova. The former IBA world super lightweight champion makes her UK debut this month and it would be a huge shock if she dethroned Taylor.

The stats that matter…

Taylor is eight years older than her challenger but has far more experience both as a professional and as an amateur.

The Irish superstar has a perfect record, unbeaten from her 19 pro bouts. Sharipova meanwhile has one loss, as that came in shocking fashion against Sofya Ochigava in 2016. Her defeat came in a four-round contest, as she was bested via unanimous decision.

Interestingly, Taylor beat Ochigava in the gold medal contest at the London Olympics in the lightweight class in 2012.

Sharipova has recovered from that defeat as eight of her 14 victories have come via TKO/KO (53%). On paper, she carries more power than Taylor, as just six of her 19 wins were via stoppage (33%).

Taylor goes into this fight with a slight reach advantage (66½" to 66"). Both boxers fight out of an orthodox stance and Sharipova has only fought 74 rounds as a professional, which is 82 fewer than Taylor's 154.

The unbeaten champion also has more late round experience. Sharipova has only completed 10 rounds against three opponents compared to Taylor who has fought ten-rounds eleven times as a pro.

What would a victory mean for Taylor?

This defence appears to be the last remaining stumbling block in the way of Taylor fighting Amanda Serrano. The mega fight is highly anticipated and has been in the works for years.

It should have taken place last year only for it to fall through because of Covid-19 before further negotiations stalled due to a low purse being offered to Serrano.

A clash in Las Vegas has been mentioned and this would be a fitting backdrop to what is the biggest fight to make in women's boxing right now. Taylor previously fought Amanda's younger sister, Cindy Serrano, for the WBA and IBF world lightweight titles in 2018.

Amanda is the better of the two siblings as she is the only woman to win world titles in more than four weight classes. 'The Real Deal' currently holds the WBC, WBO and IBO world featherweight titles. She also fights in December.

Serrano is set to defend her belts against Spain's Mirian Gutierrez on the Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury undercard on December 18 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa. Should both champions get through their fights unscathed, Taylor vs Serrano looks set to take place at some point in 2022.

Neither boxer should look past their respective challengers in December, though. You only have to look at Anthony Joshua and Teofimo Lopez's defeats this year to find examples of plans being ruined by surprise losses.

With that said, Taylor is in great form and if she is focused (as she always is) then the 35-year-old should get past Sharipova with relative ease. A comfortable points victory or late stoppage for Taylor are the safe bets. She can then switch her focus to what could be a monumental year for her in 2022.

When and where?

Taylor vs Sharipova is the co-headliner on the Conor Benn vs Chris Algieri card on Saturday, December 11.

The event takes place at Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena. The ring walks should get underway at around 9:30pm GMT.

What's on the line?

Katie Taylor

The Bray Bomber is putting her WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and The Ring world lightweight titles on the line.

Where can I watch it?

The full Matchroom Boxing card will be streamed on DAZN in the UK, in the United States and around the globe.

Read more: Katie Taylor - Five-fight form guide ahead of December return in Liverpool

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