Best Fighters in the World Pound for Pound Are?
By David A. Avila
(Image by Felipe Leon)
We rarely do rankings more than twice a year for Pound for Pound ratings. Our rankings are based on one major comparison: who would beat who if they were all the same weight?
The rankings are not a popularity survey and are not dependent on how good a fighter looked in a recent fight, unless they lose.
These are summer rankings 2022:
Best Fighters Pound for Pound
- Claressa Shields (12-0) -undisputed middleweight and super welterweight champion has an imminent showdown with Savannah Marshall later this year. Shields has speed, skills and an engine that never wavers. She has reigned as the top fighter for several years now. Truthfully her toughest test was in her debut fight against Franchon Crews-Dezurn. Now we know why.
- Katie Taylor (21-0) – Ireland’s jewel showed us everything and more in her clash with Amanda Serrano that went 10 full rounds at a packed house in Madison Square Garden. Taylor’s battle with Serrano was the best fight ever seen by this reporter. It had everything a great fight should have including skill, heart and talent in abundance. What a great fighter.
- Amanda Serrano (42-2-1) – Brooklyn’s Serrano proved why most experts see her as the most dangerous fighter in boxing. Her fierce battle with Katie Taylor left fans gasping for every second of every round. Until the last second Serrano seemed capable of ending the night with a knockout shot. The seven-division world champ earned the respect of the world for moving up to fight the mighty Taylor.
- Jessica McCaskill (11-2) – People forget the Chicago-based fighter moved up from lightweight to welterweight and now is the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. Undisputed is not an easy accomplishment to attain but McCaskill seems to have been forgotten. She fights this week against Mexico’s Alma Ibarra in San Antonio, Texas and can regain some attention. She can fight any style. Strength is her asset.
- Franchon Crews-Dezurn (8-1) – when you lose your first pro fight fans tend to dismiss you. Most forget that Crews lost her debut to Claressa Shields in a four-round battle that was more fierce than any other fight that night in Las Vegas in 2016. Now, here she is, the undisputed super middleweight champion after dominating Elin Cederroos at Madison Square Garden. Determination and a hammering overhand right got her on this list.
- Mikaela Mayer (17-0) – Every top fighter improves but no one has adapted to a pro style better than Mayer. Despite having size, reach and speed advantage over most foes, she has learned to fight inside close quarters. It’s a style few learn and even fewer use. She has become one of the most versatile prizefighters in the sport. A showdown with Alycia Baumgardner looms later this summer for undisputed status.
- Seniesa Estrada (22-0) – Since fighting in her proper weight class Estrada has dominated the opposition with knockout power seldom seen below flyweight. The East Los Angeles fighter has become one of the most entertaining fighters in the sport. And like another fighter on this list, Estrada is capable of ending a fight at any juncture with a single punch. She is petite, but powerful.
- Chantelle Cameron (16-0) – The British fighter hungers for a big fight and was set to face Kali Reis to decide the undisputed super lightweight championship. Their fight was postponed for hopefully later this year due to health issues. Cameron recently defeated Victoria Bustos. So far, no one has been able to slow down her assault on attaining undisputed status.
- Dina Thorslund (18-0) – Denmark’s best fighter has looked dominant since dropping down to the bantamweight division. She had already won a world title at super bantamweight and now seems too strong for most bantamweights. Thorslund yearns for a unification clash with Mexico’s Yulihan Luna.
- Marlen Esparza (12-1) – The Houston, Texan eked out a convincing victory over longtime pound-for-pound fighter Naoko Fujioka of Japan to unify the flyweight titles. It was an impressive performance for the 2012 US Olympian. Now Esparza has the WBC and WBA flyweight titles and seeks the others.
- Layla McCarter (45-13-5) – Based in Las Vegas, the super skilled McCarter fought in Mexico and continued her remarkable career with another smooth win. She has not lost a fight since 2007, that’s 15 years without a loss or draw. Now 43, she seeks a world title match with any of the champions from 135 to 147. McCarter has won world titles in four weight divisions and last year defeated a light heavyweight.
- Yulihan Luna (24-3-1) – Mexico’s Luna avenged an earlier loss to Jessica Gonzalez to retain the WBC bantamweight title by unanimous decision. It took eight years but Luna got her vengeance with another dominant win. Will she be willing to face WBO champion Dina Thorslund of Denmark? Both have completely different styles.
Alycia Baumgardner (12-1) – American super featherweight Baumgardner is set to meet fellow American Mikaela Mayer to unify the titles later this summer. It should be a very good matchup. Forget all the talk. This could determine not only the undisputed super featherweight champion, but the lightweight champion as well. A lot is at stake.
Kenia Enriquez (24-1) – the Tijuana-based fighter was frozen out of a light flyweight championship bid for more than four years. Now she has moved up to the flyweight division. She looks stronger than ever and seems even hungrier to prove why she has become Mexico’s most feared fighter.
Kali Reis (19-7-1) – Based in Philadelphia now Reis battled through consecutive tough foes to win two world titles at super lightweight. A battle with Chantelle Cameron looks later this year.
Tsunami Tenkai (28-13-1) – the only fighter to win multiple rounds against Seniesa Estrada.
Delfine Persoon (47-3) – nearly beat Katie Taylor. But lost to amateurs during Olympic qualifying.
Erika Cruz (14-1) – toppled a longtime champion Jelena Mrdjenovich.
Naoko Fujioka (19-3-1) – was a longtime top 10 pound for pound fighter. Lost to Marlen Esparza in close fight.
Yokasta Valle (25-2) – speedy fighter whose only losses were to world champions.
Lourdes Juarez (34-2) – sister of Mariana Juarez who bedazzles foes with timing and footwork.
Maiva Hamadouche (22-2) – strong fighter whose two losses were against dominant champions.
Savannah Marshall (12-0) – hard-hitting fighter has yet to be tested. A match against Claressa Shields will answer the question of her talent.
Jamie Mitchell (8-0-2) – Became a champion at a late age but has skills and power.
Terri Harper (12-1-1) – former champion moved up to lightweight. It could be a wise move.
More Fight News
Gabriela Alaniz (13-0) knocked out Tamara DeMarco (10-5) in the seventh round on Saturday June 18. The WBO flyweight world title fight was held in Buenos Aires. Demarco was making her first defense of the title she won by technical decision against Debora Anahi Lopez. Also, super flyweight Aldana Lopez (4-0) beat Maria Echenique (1-1) by decision after six rounds.
Maria Baumstarh (5-6-1) won by majority decision after 10 rounds versus Aixa Adema (4-9-5) on Friday June 17. The South American light flyweight title fight was held at Buenos Aires.
On Friday June 24, super flyweights Maribel Ramirez (13-9-3) and Clara Lescurat (6-0) meet 10 rounds for the WBA world title at Buenos Aires.
Jamie Edenden (2-1) defeated Enja Prest (2-2) by decision after eight rounds on Saturday June 18. The welterweight fight took place in New South Wales.
On Saturday June 25, super flyweights Carla Campos (4-1) and Fabiana Gonzalez (0-0) meet six rounds at Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
On Thursday June 23, super welterweights Mary Spencer (5-0) and Chris Namus (25-7) meet eight rounds at Montreal. Also, super featherweights Leila Beaudoin (5-0) and Amel Anouar (2-2-1) meet six rounds.
Viviana Ruiz (4-1) defeated Darianis Garcia (3-1) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Fridau June 17. The super flyweight bout was held at Barranquilla. Also, super flyweight Paola Rincon (4-0) defeated Kimberlin Reina (3-7) by decision after six rounds.
On Saturday June 24, super flyweights Alexas Kubicki (0-0) and Claudia Ferenczi (20-93-8) meet six rounds at Usti and Labem.
Claribel Mena (9-1) defeated Vanessa Colina (2-7) by unanimous decision after six rounds on Sunday June 19. The welterweight fight was held in La Vega.
Odelia Ben Ephraim (3-1) won by decision after six rounds versus Karla Merida (2-1-1) on Saturday June 18. The featherweight fight was held at Blagnac.
Oshin Derieuw (16-0) beat Elsa Hemat (4-7-2) by decision after six rounds on Saturday June 18. The super lightweight match was held at Maubeuge.
Melina Ainaoui (1-0) defeated Narymane Benloucif (1-1) by split decision after six rounds on Friday June 17. The super bantamweight fight was held at St. Nazaire.
On Saturday June 24, super bantamweights Melina Ainaoui (1-0) and Lydie Bialic (1-1) meet six rounds at Herault.
Dilar Kisikyol (7-0) knocked out Stephanie Wirt (0-3) in the fifth round on Saturday June 18. The welterweight bout took place at Rostock.
Leonie Giebel (13-0-2) and Nicole Schaefer (2-0-1) fought to a draw after four rounds on Saturday June 18. The super featherweight fight was held at Dorsten.
On Friday June 24, super lightweights Pamela Noutcho (1-0) and Alessia Vitanza (2-0) meet six rounds at Bologna.
On Wednesday June 22, bantamweights Makoto Kikuchi (1-1) and Marina Sayama (4-3-1) meet eight rounds for the OPBF title at Tokyo. Also, super flyweights Yunoka Furukawa (9-2-2) and Michiko Abiru (3-6) meet six rounds; plus super bantamweights Kei Sugimoto (2-3) and Sari Ito (1-0-1) meet six rounds.
Yulihan Luna (24-3-1) defeated Jessica Gonzalez (8-6-2) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Friday June 17. The WBC bantamweight world title match was held at Reynosa, Tamaulipas. Luna avenged an earlier loss to Gonzalez.
On Saturday June 24, light flyweights Marlen Sandoval (2-5-2) and Jessica Rangel (4-15-1) meet six rounds at Jocotepec.
On Friday June 24, light heavyweights Lani Daniels (5-2-2) and Tinta Smith (0-0) meet eight rounds at Putaruru.
Anahomi Gimenez (1-1) knocked out Yasumaly La Boissiere (0-1) in the second round on Friday June 17. The bantamweight bout was held in Panama City.
Aleksandra Vujovic (5-19-2) won by decision after six rounds versus Milica Stojisin (0-1) on Saturday June 18. Also, lightweight Nina Pavlovic (7-4-1) beat Nevena Markovic (0-1) by decision. Both fights were held at Becej.
Wassana Kamdee (5-6) knocked out Tassana Paladsrichuay (4-8) in the second round on Wednesday June 15. The super flyweight bout took place at Nonthaburi.
On Friday June 24, super flyweights Catherine Nanziri (1-0) and Sadra Mohamed (0-1) meet six rounds at Kampala.
Vicky Wilkinson (4-0) defeated Lianne Bush (3-1) by decision after six rounds on Saturday June 18. The super featherweight match was held at Nottingham, England.
Chloe Watson (3-0) beat Fara El Bousairi (5-3) by decision after six rounds on Friday June 17. The flyweight match was held in Liverpool, England.
Aida Satybaldinova (6-2-1) won by unanimous decision after six rounds versus Jaica Pavilus (3-6-1) on Saturday June 18. The super lightweight fight was held in Commerce, California.
Olivia Curry (5-1) beat Kaitlin LaVigne (1-2) by unanimous decision after eight rounds on Saturday June 18. The middleweight bout took place at Rosemont, Illinois.
Stevie Morgan (1-0) knocked out Shaniqua Frazier (0-3) in the first round on Saturday June 18. The super lightweight bout took place at Memphis, Tennessee.
Carisse Brown (7-1) knocked out Karla Valenzuela (3-27-3) in the fourth round on Friday June 17. The featherweight fight was held at St. Petersburg, Florida.
Melissa Odessa Parker (6-0) defeated Mikenna Tansley (5-1) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Friday June 17. The IBO bantamweight title fight took place at Houston, Texas. Also, minimumweight Alexis Martinez (1-4) beat Jennifer Morales (1-2) by decision after four rounds.
On Friday June 24, super featherweights Jaime Clampitt (23-5-2) and Miranda Reyes (5-1-1) meet eight rounds at Lincoln, Rhode Island.
On Saturday June 24, welterweights Jessica McCaskill (11-2) and Alma Ibarra (10-1) meet 10 rounds for the undisputed welterweight world championship at San Antonio, Texas. This is McCaskill’s third defense of the undisputed championship.
On Saturday June 24, featherweights Elizabeth Tuani (1-7) and Karen Dulin (5-23-1) meet four rounds at Frederickson, Virginia.
Debora Rengifo (17-9-1) knocked out Kairuan Montenegro (3-11) in the second round on Friday June 17. The light flyweight match was held at San Antonio de los altos. Also, minimumweights Maria Milano (12-3-2) and Luisa Bello (0-5-1) fought to a draw after four rounds.
On Saturday June 24, super bantamweights Lina Kasweka (6-0) and Felista Modesto (1-0) meet six rounds at Chipata.