Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano: Is Taylor the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world?

NEW YORK — From time to time, the boxing world comes together to debate who is the best fighter today. Canelo Alvarez and Terence Crawford have recently been topics of discussion. But what about women?

Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano fought in front of an excited crowd. They were the main event, and they took the opportunity to deliver a classic in front of over 19,000 people. With Claressa Shields calling herself the “GWOAT” as a two-division champion, Serrano being a seven-division champion, and Taylor being the undisputed lightweight champion, the doors are open for a full-blown debate.

There is also Mikaela Mayer, Seniesa Estrada and Jessica McCaskill. All three are champions who have fought tough opponents. Recently, The Sporting News looked at the greatest female boxers of all time. Shields, Serrano and Taylor were in the top three, with Taylor leading.

It looks like she’s going to stay there.

MORE: Are we gearing up for a trilogy for the ages?

Not only did Taylor beat Serrano, her toughest opponent to date, but she also continued her incredible run. It’s now been 13 defenses of his lightweight title. It also ended Serrano’s 28-game winning streak. Taylor survived Serrano’s onslaught in the fifth round, when his opponent landed over 40 strikes. She then dictated the pace and landed her own heavy hits.

With Serrano’s loss, Shields – two-time Olympic gold medalist and middleweight queen – may have taken second place in the standings. In fact, it’s very close to the top spot, and it wouldn’t be far to say that it deserves to be there. But Taylor’s big win and the circumstances surrounding the fight help justify his place at the top.

When asked if Taylor was compared to Shields, Laila Ali and Christy Martin, Hearn was very honest with his assessment. After working with her for so many years, he couldn’t help but be proud of “The Bray Bomber.”

“They are great champions,” Hearn said. “I think when you’ve looked at what Katie has done, from amateur play at the Olympics to how she’s opened so many doors… I actually said on social media tonight that she’s opened the way for so many people. Tonight is pretty much Katie is very selfless. She wanted to inspire the next generation without really realizing that these moments are what she worked for and she created.

MORE: Where Taylor-Serrano ranks among the best moments in women’s combat sports

“That’s what was good with the ring walk tonight. Most of the time she’s been at the bottom of other shows. When she boxed (Delfine) Persoon here, she was on the card. “Anthony Joshua. Tonight they were all there for her. It was the first time I’ve seen her go out and soak it up. She deserved this moment. It’s nice to give to others. It’s nice to pave the way for others, but you should also be very proud of what you achieve.”

For years, these two women have shown what they are capable of. It’s only fitting that they went head-to-head to not only determine who is the undisputed lightweight champion, but who should be called the undisputed best fighter today.