Over the years, we’ve seen lists of pound-for-pound the greatest boxer of all-time pertaining to male boxers. In this article, I want to mention, pound for pound, the greatest female boxers and those possibly deserving that title.
Today two-time Olympic Gold Medalists from the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Claressa “T-Rec” Shields seem to be the choice of most boxing people.
After all, winning gold medals in both of those Olympics and compiling an amateur record of 77-1 with 18 stoppages (www.boxrec.com shows a partial list of those matches with a record of 64-1 with 11 stoppages), who could disagree that Shields was the best? She was at least the best amateur with a record like that.
In this article, I will mention two that I considered the best, along with others active today and from the past, along with the one Shields match I covered.
Today Shields, at 14-0 with 2 stoppages out of Flint, Michigan, met and defeated the only opponent she ever lost to in Savanah Marshall, then 12-0 in Marshall’s own country in London, UK, two fights ago in October of 2022.
In defeating Marshall, who held the WBO world title Shields added it to her WBA, WBC, and IBF world titles. Marshall was 61-16 in the amateurs.
In April 2019, I met two of the best active female boxers today, Katie Taylor and Christina Hammer, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, prior to the Hammer fight with Shields.
In covering the fight with Hammer, then 24-0, now 28-1, I felt every time Hammer went on the offense, referee Sparkle Lee interrupted. In the end, Shields won a deserving decision, but what if another referee had worked the bout?
In the dressing room after the fight, I wanted to tell Hammer my thoughts but promoter Tom Loeffler asked me not to say anything to her. When he left, I let her know my feelings.
Taylor had an amateur record of 176-12-1 and was a Gold Medalist in the 2012 London Olympics. She is the WBA, WBO, WBC, and IBF World Lightweight champion with a 22-1 with six knockouts record.
Amanda ‘The Real Deal’ Serrano is the WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF, and IBO World Featherweight champion with a 45-2-1 30 knockouts record. Her sister Cindy held the WBO Featherweight title and was 27-6-3 with six knockouts having her career ended by Taylor.
A very misleading record is held by Germany’s Regina Halmich, 54-1-1 with 16 knockouts. She was 44-1-1 in title bouts as Flyweight and Light Flyweight world champ with 40 defenses and was inducted into the IBHOF. She defeated 19 opponents, making their debut. She boxed in Poland, Ukraine, Italy, and her lone loss in the US.
Cathy ‘Cat’ Davis was 13-0 with all knockouts from New York fighting from 1976 to 1981. She was a real trailblazer.
Speaking of trailblazers, there was Christy ‘Coal Miners Daughter’ Martin with a 49-7-3 32 knockouts record. She was also a promoter.
In Martin’s final bout was a loss to Mia St. John with a 49-14-2 with 19 knockouts record out of L.A.
WBA Super Welterweight champion Terri Harper 14-1-1 with six knockouts is out of the UK. Her lone loss was to WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF, and IBO champion Alycia ‘The Bomb’ Baumgardner, 15-1-1 with seven knockouts.
Colombia’s fighting out of Norway is Cecilia ‘First Lady’ Braekus, with a 37-2 and 9 knockout record. WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF, and IBO Super Lightweight champion Chantelle ‘Il Capo’ Cameron 18-0 with eight knockouts from the UK.
Marlen Esparza was 77-17-1 in the amateurs. 14-1 with 1 knockout as the WBA, WBC, and WBO out of Houston, Texas, and 2012 London Olympian.
WBA and WBC Mini champion Seniesa ‘Super Bad’ Estrada is 25-0 with 9 knockouts out of L.A.
Two that fought one another early were Laila ‘She Be Stingin’ Ali was 24-0 with 21 knockouts as WBA and WBC Super Middleweight champion being Muhammad Ali’s daughter, and “Lady Smoke” Jacqui Frazier Lyde was 13-1 with 9 knockouts only losing to Ali. I thought she beat Ali, and she was the talker, not Ali, just the opposite of their fathers.
My two best are the hard-hitting Ann ‘Brown Sugar’ Wolf was 24-1 with 14 knockouts out of Waco; Texas, was also a trainer. The other was my favorite in Lucia ‘The Dutch Destroyer’ Rijker, 17-0 with 14 knockouts out of the Netherlands and Van Nuys, California. She was also a kickboxing champion. An injury caused her retirement.
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