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The Taylor vs Serrano fight has been on-again, off-again more times than we can count just since Christmas. Eddie Hearn, speaking to Sky Sports on Sunday, seemed to be confident that the fight could still be made. However, just today Hearn had a run-in with Serrano over Twitter, in which he was forced to once again confirm that Serrano would be getting her full purse amount.
A couple of weeks ago Lou DiBella, Serrano’s promoter, detailed issues with the reduced purse offer from Matchroom, saying they were offered “a purse not up to par with the magnitude of the fight. But, since Amanda wants to make history for Puerto Rico, we happily accepted… now they’re offering us the fight for August but removing almost fifty percent of Amanda’s purse… We understand there is a situation around the world with COVID-19 and there are changes in the boxing platform, but big fights are big fights… If we accepted this new offer, we’d be creating a new negative precedent in female boxing, after so many women have worked so hard to heighten the level of the sport.”
It’s easy to see why Serrano’s promoter would have had a problem with offering his fighter a reduced purse, especially given his argument of not want to backstep on the strides women’s boxing has taken in recent years. Serrano made similar comments saying “Currently, I’m being offered a very low purse. As if I was starving to death. Throughout my career, I’ve sacrificed earnings to stay active in boxing, but now my achievements speak for themselves and I’m staying firm.”
Whether there was indeed an initial lowball offer from Hearn or not, this was clearly addressed by Matchroom as Hearn said in the days following, both to Sky Sports and on Matchroom’s YouTube channel, that they would be offering the original undisclosed amount to keep the fight on the last Fight Camp card. Somewhere behind the scenes, though there seems to be miscommunication or dishonesty, as Serrano and Lou DiBella continue to claim that they are not being offered what was agreed.
On Sunday Serrano took to Twitter, making comments which again threw the fragility of the supposed agreement into focus, “Yes I signed 4 contracts to fight @KatieTaylor & despite what lies @EddieHearn wants to say he offered us a purse deduction & a change of location in addition to yet another date May 2nd, July 4th now August 22nd my team will handle this.” While Serrano is well within her rights to complain about a lack of transparency and financial remuneration, she shows a severe lack of understanding of what goes into organizing an event this large by complaining about COVID-19 related date changes.
For his part, Hearn seems to have maintained the same stance throughout all of the talks. Each time since the purse halving was mentioned, he has stood firm that he has offered the amount that Serrano agreed upon when signing the contracts. In response to Serrano’s tweet, he was direct, “Your promoter will confirm that exactly one week ago today we confirmed in writing the new date and that you would be paid the full amount that was in your contract. Yes, there were two date changes due to a slight global pandemic. You have 8 weeks no excuses!”
For there to be a difference between what Serrano thinks she’s getting paid and what Hearn says she was offered, someone is either lying or there’s a break in communication. Lou DiBella should be relaying all relevant information to his fighter. Eddie Hearn should be telling the truth in public about what he has privately offered Serrano. Serrano should be aware of the terms of the contract she signed and what her purse will be for August. For a week to go by, according to Hearn, with Serrano apparently unaware that the correct fight purse was offered, shows something is not happening the way it should.
Is it an excuse?
It’s also a small possibility that Serrano is using this as an excuse to avoid fighting Taylor in August. It could be that Serrano doesn’t want to fight one of the biggest fights of her career without earning as much as possible due to a lack of ticket revenue. It’s also possible she just doesn’t want to fight Taylor at all and is looking for an excuse to get out of a contract she regrets signing.
We don’t think that is actually the case, but it is possible and it wouldn’t be the first time a professional fighter has used contracts and money as an excuse to duck a fighter. For years people believed that Mayweather didn’t want to fight Pacquiao and even now claim that he waited until he was older and slower. Many people believe the top Middleweights are avoiding Demetrius Andrade and using his lack of PPV draw as an excuse. If Serrano was doing the same thing here with Taylor, she would simply be playing a game that has been a part of professional boxing ever since it began.
Taylor mirrored the no-nonsense voice of her promoter and basically claimed that the contract was done so Serrano needs to stop talking and decide if she wants the smoke, “@Serranosisters. We both signed contracts, all financial barriers have been removed and any training/travel issues are the same for both of us as I’m also training in the US. No more excuses, this is a fight to elevate the sport. August 22 is our time to make history. You in?”
There have even been stories that Amanda Serrano signed a contract with Spanish-language American broadcaster Telemundo to appear in a reality TV show called Exatlón, over the summer months. This would put her fight with Katie Taylor directly into jeopardy and as she had already signed a contract with Hearn, he took initiated legal action against both Serrano and Telemundo which led to Telemundo dropping Serrano form the show before she had even begun filming. If all this is true it would seem that Serrano signing such a contract whilst still unsure of whether she would be fighting Taylor, shows her willingness to look at other opportunities rather than ensure the fight against Taylor went ahead.