Female Pound for Pound Ratings 2020
By David A. Avila
With the world of boxing ready to re-launch, it is time to re-establish the top prizefighters in the world.
Most of the elite suffered postponements of one type or another and are eager to perform. From Asia to America fighters are seeking ways to gain an edge and are seeking sparring in secret locations to prepare for their pending encounters.
Let us revisit the top female fighters in the world pound for pound.
We omitted one top fighter simply because her PED tests have not been revealed for two fights. For us that’s an important factor.
It was a difficult decision to decide the top dozen prizefighters pound for pound. Our method is not decided by regularity because women still have a difficult time obtaining fights unless backed by a major promoter with television.
We pick fighters by deciding if all were the same weight and size who would beat who. That’s our method. Our top pick is Claressa Shields. Her speed, skills and endurance for us make her the top female fighter pound for pound. Here is the Dirty Dozen:
- Claressa Shields (USA) – The three-division world champion was poised to meet Canada’s Marie Eve Dicaire in a battle between super welterweight world champions. Their fight has not been officially re-scheduled but they will eventually meet to unify the division. Shields already captured super middleweight and middleweight world titles and was anxious to become undisputed super welterweight champion. In less than four years Shields has climbed to the top with her aggressive speedy assaults. She continues to learn. Eye-popping talent.
- Layla McCarter (USA) – She has long been considered one of the top fighters in the world. The Las Vegas-based boxer is a veteran of more than 20 years and has captured world titles from featherweight to super welterweight. McCarter uses her intelligence and varied skills to defuse attacks and has knockout power when needed. Only lack of activity has detracted from her vast fighting skills. She is fearless and eager to fight any of the other pound for pound fighters on this list. McCarter has not lost a fight since April 2007 and her feats have become legendary. One day a smart movie producer will make a movie on her incredible journey.
- Katie Taylor (Ireland) – After a storied amateur career Ireland’s Taylor entered the professional world and quickly adapted to the professional style with her fleet-footed and aggressive style. She quickly captured her first world title as a lightweight and soon unified the entire division. She also added a super lightweight division title to her collection and engaged in the Fight of the Year with Delfine Persoon in 2019. Now she’s looking to conquer more big game. Taylor could very well be the first female fighter to crack the million dollar glass ceiling. She has speed, endurance and a very good chin. Her scheduled fight against Amanda Serrano was postponed and no new date was established at press time. Their clash should be one for the ages. Taylor is an extremely exciting fighter and willing to prove it.
- Amanda Serrano (USA) – Brooklyn’s Amanda Serrano has captured world titles in seven weight divisions. That’s incredible. Only one other prizefighter can make that claim and that is Manny Pacquiao who has eight division world titles. Serrano has serious firepower and speed from a southpaw stance. Now the Puerto Rican knockout puncher has a date with Ireland’s Taylor in a match many are calling a surefire Fight of the Year. It could even surpass Taylor’s fight with Delfine Persoon in terms of action. If this were a three-minute round fight odds would favor Serrano. But last we heard the fight will be only two-minute rounds and that favors Taylor. One thing about Serrano has always been her ability to end a fight with one punch. Taylor and Serrano will definitely raise the awareness of women’s boxing that is certain. The Puerto Rican fighter is on the verge of greatness.
- Cecilia Braekhus (Norway) – The unified welterweight champion of the world dismantled everyone in the welterweight division except for Layla McCarter because of an inability to reach financial agreement. But the Norwegian prizefighter known as the “First Lady” has never tasted defeat as a professional. Her next test comes against super lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill of Chicago. Expect blows to fly in this one. Braekhus has spent most of the year 2020 in Big Bear at the training camp of noted trainer Abel Sanchez. He teaches Mexican style fighting. What does that mean? Well, Braekhus will be fighting McCaskill who is Mexican and Black and that means all-out war should be the result. Anticipation.
- Naoko Fujioka (Japan) – Japan’s Naoko Fujioka has captured world titles in five weight divisions with her blend of speed and aggressiveness. She yearns to prove her fighting ability in front of American audiences. It’s the only box left for her to uncheck in her great career. Fujioka is now in her 40s but proved she can bang it out with the best. She is considered the best female fighter in the history of Japan. She seeks a match against America’s best and doesn’t care who it is. All she wants is an opportunity to prove her skills in front of an American audience. What are American promoters waiting for?
- Daniela Bermudez (Argentina) – The Argentine fighter has established herself as Argentina’s best fighter in many expert’s opinion. Bermudez has wins over Marcela Acuna and Mariana Juarez and would be a favorite to avenge her loss against Yesica Bopp if they met again. She is one of three fighting sisters and easily the best in her family. Bermudez does not have much recognition outside of South American but that is due to her unwillingness to market herself. She avoids the boxing press and is satisfied to be the big fish in the small pond. But she has skills.
- Mariana Juarez (Mexico) – In a country known for producing world champions Mariana Juarez has become Mexico’s most recognized female fighter. She holds the bantamweight world championship and seeks to become a four-division world champion and the first Mexican woman to accomplish the feat. Juarez knows how to use her 22-year experience to gain advantage and also supports female boxing as a whole. She has long been one of the sport’s greatest ambassadors and never refuses interviews or opportunities to promote women’s prizefighting. Her younger sister Lourdes Juarez is also a talented fighter. Mexican female boxing owes a lot to Juarez who fought underground when female boxing was not allowed in Mexico. Now Mexican female boxing is recognized all over the world.
- Jessica McCaskill (USA) – The Chicago-based fighter who works in the stock exchange arrived with little fanfare and challenged the much more experienced Katie Taylor. Their battle impressed the world and showed that despite only six pro fights at the time, McCaskill was more than capable of fighting anyone in the world. Though she lost that night, she moved on to capture world titles against Argentina’s former pound for pound member Erica Farias and then Anahi Sanchez. McCaskill, who is African American and Mexican American features an aggressive nonstop punching style that brutalizes the opposition. But she can also box and move. She currently holds two world titles in the super lightweight division and is poised to meet Cecilia Braekhus for the welterweight crown. McCaskill is one of the more entertaining fighters in the business.
- Yesica Bopp (Argentina) – The tiny speedster has long been the darling of female boxing in Argentina. Though she has fought professionally for 12 years Bopp has only lost once and that was against former Pound for Pound queen Jessica Chavez many years ago in Mexico. But she has wins over fellow Argentine Daniela Bermudez and Mexico’s Anabel Ortiz. She yearns to prove her talent in America and is eager to face any of the top American fighters to show her skills. She is very good and an excellent self-promoter.
- Seniesa Estrada (USA) – After years of inability to showcase her immense fighting skills the petite fighter from East L.A. was signed by Golden Boy Promotions and off she exploded like a mini-rocket. Estrada blitzed through competition in three different weight divisions with a zeal not often seen in boxing. After years of social media warfare with Olympian Marlen Esparza they finally met last year and exploded during their confrontation in a title fight set at three-minute rounds. Estrada was victorious and openly challenges anyone in the world from mini-flyweights to super flyweights. She has her own fighting style and though she only weighs about 105 pounds on a regular basis she packs firepower in that small frame.
- Kenia Enriquez (Mexico) – Based out of Tijuana, Mexico the former flyweight world champion now fighting at light flyweight has been largely avoided by other world champions even in her own country. She is Mexico’s most avoided fighter and despite being the interim WBC light flyweight titlist has been avoided by the current titlist for years. Enriquez can flat out fight and dares anyone to face her in the ring. She is fearless and willing to fight anywhere in the world. A match between Enriquez and Estrada would be a massive fight in either Mexico or America. Enriquez always moves forward and also has a talented sister Tania Enriquez who could develop into a dangerous fighter too.
Honorable Mention: Jelena Mrdjenovich, Jackie Nava, Maiva Hamadouche, Delfine Persoon, Tsunami Tenkai, Marcela Acuna, Terri Harper, Jessica Chavez, Chantelle Cameron, Dina Thorslund, Marie Eve Dicaire, Miyo Yoshida
DIGITAL IMAGE BY DANNY GARCIA