Pound for Pound in 2019 and More News
By David A. Avila
The end of a tumultuous and successful year 2019 in female prizefighting has arrived. Some fought less than expected and some fought more.
Several weight divisions saw unification bouts take place with Claressa Shields becoming undisputed middleweight world champion and Katie Taylor doing the same in the lightweight division.
We also saw Jessica McCaskill add the WBA title to the WBC title in two super lightweight wars against Argentine fighters Erica Farias and Anahi Sanchez. We also witnessed the return of unified welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus to the boxing ring after a brief unintentional absence due to the departure of HBO and boxing.
Hot spots for women’s boxing continued to burn such as France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. New spots popped up in almost all the continents of the world. One glaring spot in particular finally heated up with the U.S.A finally staging female fights on a more consistent basis.
It’s certainly a new era for women’s boxing.
Below is a list of the very best female fighters pound for pound in 2019 according to thePrizefighters.com.
Pound for Pound Best 2019
- Claressa Shields – The two-time Olympic gold medalist had only one fight in 2019 and it was one of the most anticipated female fights in American history when she fought and defeated Germany’s Christina Hammer. Since that momentous victory last March, injury and outside forces derailed two of her other fights. But her win against Hammer proved her boxing superiority. She is unique.
- Layla McCarter – she was tied in first on our list last year but inactivity and poor competition drops her down a peg. The Las Vegas prizefighter has not lost a fight since 2007 but needs another match soon before the younger wave of fighters pass her by. She still possesses incredible boxing skills but at age 40, time could slow her down.
- Katie Taylor – the Irish fighter had two of the most fierce battles in one year and emerged victorious by a nose. She takes over the third spot because of the superior competition she faced and her ability to use difference tactics to overcome two very strong opponents. Whether some people doubted she defeated Delfine Persoon or not, she performed at a remarkable level of excellence.
- Amanda Serrano – her battle against fellow New Yorker Heather Hardy helped spark interest in American female boxing. That was one of her two fights in 2019 and hopefully the boxing world gets to see more of the southpaw slugger. Could Katie Taylor be next? The seven-division world champion Serrano could be involved in next year’s the Fight of the Year if matched against Taylor. A world awaits.
- Cecilia Braekhus – the welterweight champion finally returned to the boxing ring after a long absence through no fault of her own. She defeated Argentina’s Victoria Bustos this past November for her lone prize fight in 2019. A match against Shields or McCarter would be great but it looks like she has her target set on Katie Taylor.
- Naoko Fujioka – the five-division world champion from Japan had only one fight in 2019 but it was a doozy. She battled 10 fierce rounds with Tsunami Tenkai in a flyweight battle that ended in a draw. Fujioka seeks a fight in the USA. At age 44 she definitely is running out of time and is willing to fight anyone in her weight divisions. Pick one of the five she has already conquered.
- Yesica Bopp – Argentina’s most popular boxer has accomplished her goals with a blend of speed and agility that very few can rival. She seeks to fight in the USA after years competing in South America. A potential clash with Japan’s Naoko Fujioka is in the works for the flyweight world title. Too bad this fight isn’t taking place in the U.S. since both are itching to fight here. Any promoters interested?
- Daniela Bermudez – During the past three years the Argentine bantamweight has wrecked all of her opposition. Though she lost to Yesica Bopp years ago, she has beaten Mexico’s Mariana Juarez. She has tremendous boxing skills and a willingness to fight anybody anytime. A rematch against Bopp now, five years later, might result in a different outcome.
- Mariana Juarez – Mexico’s greatest female fighter of all time seeks a world title in the super bantamweight division. She fought three times in 2019 in defense of the bantamweight world title that she has retained since April 2017. Though she has spoken of retirement she definitely wants a fourth division world title. Juarez has long been one of the most popular fighters in the world.
- Jessica McCaskill – Chicago’s only world champion fought two of the most dynamic fights this year and added another super lightweight world title. She can box or brawl and steadily improves each time she enters the boxing ring. McCaskill is also one of the most fearless fighters in the sport. She also has become one of the most entertaining fighters in the sport.
- Delfine Persoon – The Belgian fighter nearly toppled the mighty Katie Taylor when they clashed this past June in New York. She lost by majority decision to the Irish fighter though many felt she won. There remains debate on whether Persoon won or not, but there are also concerns about her PED test results that have never been revealed. She needs to come forward with proof of clean tests. So far the New York State Athletic Commission and the World Boxing Council have refused to reveal the results of Persoon’s test before her fight with Taylor.
- Maiva Hamadouche – The French tornado has proven to be a crowd pleaser and a feared opponent especially in the super featherweight division. Her nonstop attacking style has enabled her to buzz saw through one dozen foes since her only loss in 2015. That loss was against Delfine Persoon.
Kenia Enriquez, Tsunami Tenkai, Guadalupe Martinez, Jelena Mrdjenovich, Mikaela Mayer, Chantelle Cameron, Heather Hardy, Marcela Acuna, Christina Linardatou, Jackie Nava.
Female Fight News
Nazarena Romero (10-0) defeated Laura Griffa (18-5) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Saturday Dec. 28. The Argentina super bantamweight title fight took place at Buenos Aires.
Amy Naert (2-0) defeated Snezana Siljkovic (1-5-2) by decision after four rounds on Wednesday Dec. 25. The bantamweight fight was held at Izegem.
Elhem Mekhaled (14-0) beat Karina Kopinska (13-31-4) by decision after six rounds on Saturday Dec. 28. The super featherweight fight was held in Marseille.
Marie Priolau (3-1) was the winner by decision after eight rounds versus Wendy Gervois (3-12) on Saturday Dec. 28. The super bantamweight fight took place in Nord.
On Tuesday Dec. 31, super flyweights Miyo Yoshida (13-1) and Li Ping Shi (5-2) meet 10 rounds for the WBO world title at Tokyo. Also, flyweights Marina Sayama (4-1-1) and Yume Hirayama (4-0) meet in a six round bout.
On Monday Dec. 30, lightweights Nina Pavlovic (4-2-1) and Aleksandra Ivanovic (0-0) meet in a six round bout at Becej.
Jennifer Miranda (4-0) beat Vanessa Caballero (3-8-3) by decision after six rounds on Saturday Dec. 28. The featherweight fight took place in Bilbao.
Mia Ellis (1-0) won her pro debut by first round knockout over Uneaka Best (0-1) also making her pro debut on Saturday Dec. 28. The lightweight match was held in Atlanta, Georgia.
On Saturday Jan. 4, super welterweights Sarah Rueda (0-0) and Leslie Pope (3-0) meet in a four round fight at Jefferson City, Missouri.
(Photo by Al Applerose/ThePrizefighters.com)