Katie Taylor’s eagerly anticipated fight with Amanda Serrano could be staged in the 15-acre garden headquarters of Matchroom Sport in Brentwood, Essex.
According to fight promoter Eddie Hearn, Taylor’s promoters, Matchroom, are bringing boxing back with a bang by staging four consecutive behind-closed-door events in mid-July to August.
The events will have an attendance of just 90 people, expected to air on Sky Sports and be named Matchroom Fight Camp.
“Financially this will be painful for us but after the momentum we have worked so hard to build over the past 10 years, I’m not going to let boxing just dribble back. While other guys go with arenas and empty studios, ours will look very different,” Hearn said.
Hearn will be working with the British Boxing Board and the WBC to ensure that they are on board with everything that’s taking place in the set-up for the four events.
Each fighter will be allowed three cornermen. Other essential people for the events will be the broadcast team, medical stage [limited to nine] and the British Boxing Board. As part of the COVID-19 restrictions, a maximum of 90 people will attend each event. The back garden will have a large canopy, ring, and separate changing rooms.
Hearn is eager to get a head-start when the sporting lockdown is eased, with the British Boxing Board of Control indicating bouts can return in two months’ time subject to a series of strict regulations.
He said: “It is a huge mission. We are going to turn our headquarters here into an outdoor venue for live boxing, with a full canopy in the middle of the garden and the ring overlooking London.
“We are building changing rooms for the fighters, setting up a space for a ring walk, and figuring out how we can do everything you need for this kind of production with as few people as possible.”
Hearn’s plan, which he says is at an advanced stage, would include placing the fighters and all fight night personnel in a local hotel for five days prior to the contest.
They would be subject to coronavirus testing and social distancing would be enforced at all times, meaning the cards would have to be staged without fans or media.
Earlier this month, Taylor was set to take on Brooklyn-based Amanda Serrano in the most anticipated women’s super-fight in history. Alas, COVID-19 changed everything.
After months of wrangling and the official announcement that the fight was on, it was no surprise when word subsequently came through that the fight would have to be rescheduled. It was originally rescheduled for July 4 but promoter Hearn revealed that was then unrealistic.
Now the biggest women’s boxing fight could yet take place in the Matchroom garden.
Meanwhile, Taylor has installed a gym downstairs in a house she recently purchased in Connecticut and is working away on her own.
Being effectively cocooned doesn’t bother her in the slightest. In a conversation with promoter Hearn on Instagram Live she said: “I feel like my whole life has been in quarantine.
“I said to my family: ‘You realise you’ve already been in isolation so much when you have to go into quarantine and nothing about your personal life changes’.
“I’ve obviously been over here for a few months training for May 2. But this is just the time for me, now to work on a few things.
“This isn’t a time for anyone to take their foot off the gas. It’s going to pay off for the fighters who are disciplined right now. These are the times when it actually makes the difference, I feel.
“You can turn this into a positive and actually try to work on a few things. And when the boxing world does come back, I’m going to be one of the fighters who was disciplined and I’m going to be ready,” she said.
The stakes will be high if and when Taylor and Serrano do clash. “It is a dangerous fight for both of us, and career-changing for both of us. Whoever wins this fight is cemented at No 1 in women’s boxing,” acknowledged Taylor.