Super-welterweight world champion Hannah Rankin believes undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor will suffer the first defeat of her career against Amanda Serrano on Saturday.
Ireland’s Taylor is taking on Serrano at Madison Square Garden as a women’s fight headlines the iconic New York venue for the first time.
Rankin, who is on course for a mega-fight of her own against fellow British world champion Natasha Jonas, is predicting an “epic” encounter in the Big Apple.
“I think this is a really exciting fight, two completely different styles,” Rankin told Sky Sports News. “I have Amanda winning it.
“Later on in the fight, I think she’s going to come on strong, but early on we’re going to see Katie dominating.
“So I think it’s going to be in the second half of the fight where it will be decided and I can just see Amanda taking the win on this one, but it’s going to be epic.”
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‘Brilliant Taylor has showcased women’s boxing’
Rankin will become the first woman to headline another arena with plenty of boxing history, Glasgow’s Hydro, when she defends her WBA and IBO belts in a homecoming bout against Alejandra Ayala on May 13.
If Rankin comes through that fight, both she and Jonas, who became a world champion in February, have expressed their desire to unify later this year.
That possible bout, along with Savannah Marshall’s expected middleweight undisputed clash with fellow world champion Claressa Shields, are evidence of the incredible development of women’s boxing in recent years.
“I think we must give huge props to Katie Taylor,” Rankin says. “She’s really brought women’s boxing to the forefront.
“I think every single female boxer out there, we all love Katie Taylor, she’s just brilliant. She’s actually just showcasing an amazing level of ability and talent, and people started to really get behind her, and then also started to look at more female fighters. It’s kind of stirred people’s interest in the sport, which is brilliant.
“I am incredibly proud to be part of that movement, to be at the forefront of change is just super exciting and it means that everyone is looking at you waiting to see what you’re going to do next, so it’s an exciting place to be.”
Watch Hannah Rankin’s full interview with Jacquie Beltrao live on Sky News on Saturday morning at 9:35am.