Top 30 Female Fighters Under 30 Part II
By Felipe Leon
In part one we gave you the top 15 female fighters under 30 led by unified super welterweight champion Claressa Shields. Here in part two, we give you the rest of the list you should keep an eye on because they are the future of the sport.
With some of the biggest names in the sport in the last 10 years, Mariana Juarez, Yesica Bopp, Amanda Serrano, Katie Taylor, Cecilia Braekhus and Jessica McCaskill among others, all north of 30 years old, the names on the list should be considered the next wave of talented fighters who will take the place of the aforementioned stars.
Following is the list from 16-30:
- DIANA FERNANDEZ (22-3, 4KO) SUPER FLYWEIGHT – The 25-year-old Mexican from the state of Chihuahua will fight anybody. From traveling to Argentina for her first world title shot to giving a good account of herself against legendary Mariana Juarez, Fernandez is making a name for herself at 115 pounds. She dropped a split decision loss to Lourdes Juarez and beat former champion Esmeralda Moreno. She might not have what it takes to be a world champion now, but she’ll give a hell of a fight as she tries to capture a coveted strap.
- KIM CLAVEL (12-0, 2KO) LIGHT FLYWEIGHT – The superhero by day (she’s a nurse on the Covid-19 frontlines in her native Canada) made a splash in her last fight a couple of months ago. It was her debut in the United States and it was broadcast live by ESPN. Not only that but the 29-year-old picked up an ESPY this year for her day job. With an undefeated fan friendly style and a heap of talent to go with it, she might be the best bet for super stardom on this list.
- HYUN MI CHOI (17-0-1, 4KO) SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT – One thing that can be said about Mi Choi, 29, is that she is mysterious. A defector from communist Korea and makes her home in the south and captured the WBA title at 130 pounds in her pro debut. She owns wins over Claudia Lopez and Mayra Gomez of Argentina, Shannon O’Connell of Australia and Jessica Gonzalez of Mexico but never has stepped out of her home country. Will Terri Harper or Maiva Hamadouche be able to entice her to the UK or France respectively to unify? It would be one of the biggest stories of the sport.
- ALONDRA GARCIA (20-4-1, 1KO) LIGHT FLYWIEGHT – Despite only being 24 years old, Garcia is one of the most experienced fighters on this list. Her four losses have come in world title fights. Like the aforementioned Fernandez, #16 on the list, Garcia might not be good enough to be world a champion now but she is good enough to give a terrific fight which only makes her all that more exciting. With nothing to lose, she goes all out in her fights and is more than capable to dish out a surprise.
- SEGOLENE LEFEBVRE (13-0, 1KO) SUPER BANTAMWEIGHT – France is not really known for their fistic achievements although they have a rich history in boxing. Currently it is the home of one of the most exciting fighters you have never heard of, IBF 130-pound champion Maiva Hamadouche. Lefebvre, 27, is hot on Hamadouche’s heels in being the #1 female boxing export from France as she is making a tear through all the B level fighters in her weight class including wins over Ana Maria Lozano, Yesica Marcos, Laura Griffa and former world champion Gabriela Bouvier among others. With an extraordinary amateur pedigree and now signed to international MTK Global, hopefully Lefebvre is ready to jump onto the world stage.
- NAZARENA ROMERO (10-0, 4KO) SUPER BANTAMWEIGHT – Argentina is one of the world’s female boxing power houses. The fighters who have fought representing the blue and white flag have been some of the most exciting and accomplished like Alejandra Ontiveros, Marcela Acuña, Yesica Bopp, Daniela Bermudez, Erica Farias among many, many others. The 26-year-old Romero seems to be following the tradition amassing a respectable resume as a up and coming prospect. Look for her to make a bigger splash soon as she fights more challenging opposition.
- ESTELLE MOSSELY (6-0, 1KO) LIGHTWEIGHT – A gold medalist at the 2016 Olympics, the 28-year-old is on the fast track in her native France. In only 6 fights she has captured the IBO lightweight and more than likely in less than a year she will become a major challenger for whoever holds the other major titles at 135 pounds whether it will be Taylor or anybody else.
- DEBORAH ANAHI LOPEZ (16-0-1, 1KO) FLYWEIGHT – At 25, Lopez is the WBO flyweight champion beating Niorkis Carreno for the vacant strap. Undefeated, Lopez hasn’t beaten anybody of note but if she wants to hold on to the title or lift her profile, she needs to. Any fight against the other champs, Naoko Fujioka, Ibeth Zamora and/or fellow Argentinean Leonela Yudica should suffice. It is just a matter of making them.
- JOANA PASTRANA (15-3, 5KO) MINIMUMWEIGHT – Spain’s best export besides paella, the 29-year-old Pastrana is the former IBF 105-pound champion. On a bit of a downward spiral, losing two in a row against Yokasta Valle and Katia Gutierrez, both fights were tightly contested wars with the Spaniard losing both via split decisions. Despite the rash of bad luck, Pastrana still has enough to offer whether she stays at 105 or goes big-game hunting at 108 and decides to try her luck in the USA or even Mexico.
- TANIA ENRIQUEZ (16-0, 8KO) LIGHT FLYWEIGHT – The younger sister of interim WBC light flyweight champion of Kenia Enriquez, those in the know in their hometown of Tijuana, Mexico, say Tania, 23, is the better of the two. Tall, southpaw and tough as nails, Tania is the current WBC International champion in her weight class but more importantly it gets her a top 15 ranking and a chance for a world title opportunity. Unfortunately, since current WBC champ at 108 Yesenia Gomez is ducking Kenia Enriquez, her older sister, it is not likely she would like to face the younger Enriquez.
- FABIAN BYTYQI (15-0-1, 5KO) ATOMWEIGHT – The 24-year-old WBC 102-pound champion hasn’t left the comfy confines of her native country of Czech Republic except for nearby Germany a handful of times. She’s defended her title twice after holding the 105-pound version for a split second. The 102-pound weight division might be the least publicized in the whole sport so we can’t expect for her to leave her mark there but she is young enough to look for challenges at a bit heavier categories namely 108 pounds where some of the biggest names campaign at.
- ALYCIA BAUMGARDNER (9-1, 6KO) SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT – With only ten professional fights, Baumgardner, 26, has already gotten an opportunity against a world class rival in Christina Linardatou coming up short via a split decision. The fact Linardatou is now a world champion can give Baumgardner the confidence she is ready to hang with the bigger names in her division. Vocal on social media, Baumgardner is doing all the right things outside of the ring, now she must do the same inside of it.
- EMA KOZIN (19-0-1, 10KO) MIDDLEWEIGHT – At 21 Kozin is the youngest member of the list and quite possibly its best kept secret. A pro for four years, she owns a myriad of fringe titles. In fact, in one of her most recent fights, a unanimous decision win over Maria Lindberg, five different titles were disputed. A native of Slovenia, nearly non-existent in the boxing world except for her, how soon must we wait to see her in a meaningful fight against a world class opponent?
- SANDRA ROBLES (24-3, 12KO) FLYWEIGHT – Another Mexican fighter who gives it her all every time she fights, the 26-year-old Robles has fought twice for world titles coming up short at 105 pounds against Anabel Ortiz and 108 against Yesica Bopp. She’s another example of being good enough to fight for a world strap but not necessarily good enough to win one. Still with her southpaw relentless style she’ll put up a good fight trying.
- SAVANNAH MARSHALL (8-0, 6KO) SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT – Her pro career as of now might not look like much but she does have a very important win on her resume, she is the only woman to have ever beaten the top fighter on this list as an amateur, Claressa Shields. Marshall defeated Shields 2012 at AIBA world championships and has never let Shields, and the boxing world, forget it. On the strength of that win Marshall might get another shot at Shields sooner than later.
(Illustration by Felipe Leon)