Ross Enamait advice to Katie Taylor after brutal fifth round was on the money
"She's slowing the **** down!"
One of the most fascinating aspects of the thrilling Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano slobberknocker, on Saturday night, were the insights and advice that came from the corners of both fighters.
Taylor had her manager Brian Peters alongside her coach Ross Enamait in her corner, as well as cutman Ian 'Jumbo' Johnson and Tomas Rohan. Serrano had a four-person team, too, led by coach Jordan Maldonado.
During the 60-second breaks between rounds, the DAZN broadcast offered audio and pictures of each fighter getting some vital snatches of advice and tactics as running repairs were made and water was taken on board.
Early in the fight, Taylor's superior movement was getting her in and out of range to land strikes, but Serrano did not take long to work out this ploy. She often backed Taylor towards the corners and uncorked some big shots.
During the break between the third and fourth, Enamait was trying to get through to Taylor as he told her,
"LISTEN! Don’t go head-hunting like crazy! Bring in the changes, sometimes... hit her up with an uppercut. Take it to the body, go downstairs with... her defence is just throwing punches. She doesn't have no defence."
At the end of the fourth round, during which Serrano had the lightweight champion unsteady on her feet, Maldonado declared:
"She’s getting hit harder than she has ever been hit! ... A little bit more pressure and you've got her."
"You need to turn this into a dog-fight!"
There was near pandemonium at Madison Square Garden as Katie Taylor took one hell of a beating and yet made it to the end of the fifth round.
Ross Enamait's advice to Katie Taylor, at this stage, was do whatever she had to do to throw Serrano off and stay away from the ropes in the sixth round. It had been a brutal round for the 35-year-old but, crucially, she was still in the fight.
"She wants to hit you like you're a heavy-bag," he shouted. "You've got to work back to the centre of the ring, Katie!"
DAZN co-commentator Jessica McCaskill noted that, in her opinion, Taylor had a glazed look and may not have taken any of that coaching advice on-board. That was not the case, though, as the Bray boxer did as advised and worked hard to keep the fight away from the ropes in the sixth and seventh rounds.
Enamait was urging Taylor to make the bout 'into a dog-fight' and 'sit inside' with Serrano while varying her shots. "You don’t wanna just go rock-em sock-em robots with Amanda," he said.
At the end of the seventh round, Enamait felt Taylor was well on her way to taking back control of the contest. "She’s slowing the fuck down!" he proclaimed, as he told Taylor to go for Serrano's body. Meanwhile, over in Serrano's corner, Maldonado said, "You took the last round off. Now, you're gonna need it."
The end of the eighth round had Maldonado telling Serrano that Taylor was not going hard with her left at all - "She can only throw right hands". He was also asking questions to see if Serrano was responsive, and taking his advice in. Enamait, heading into the ninth, was asking his fighter to 'give me a little more work'.
Heading into the final round, Enamait wanted some big right hooks from Taylor while Maldonado felt the 10th round was make-or-break. "We win this [round], we win the fight," he told her.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 1, 2022
As it played out, Taylor was awarded the final three rounds by all three judges. That superior finish, after coming back from the brink, was what saw her clinch the split decision victory to successfully defend her belts.
As most coaches and trainers would tell you, most of the credit goes to the ones out there throwing leather in the ring. Their job, in the corner, is to distill simple pointers and advice into words that break through the noise, fatigue and pain.
Maldonado and Enamait did just that, and earned their corn [and their cuts] on Saturday night.