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Women's Boxing Pound-for-Pound Top 10 Rankings

Eddie Hearn was excited. In a recent interview, Hearn, Matchroom Boxing’s longtime promoter, giddily discussed a title unification fight. Only it wasn’t Anthony Joshua’s planned rematch with Oleksandr Usyk or Lawrence Okolie’s hunt for more belts at cruiserweight. It was Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano, who are headed toward an anticipated 135-pound showdown in April. “The contracts are getting finalized at the moment,” Hearn said. “We’re on the brink now.”

Women’s boxing has been around for decades, though its biggest stars (Christy Martin, Laila Ali) often lacked the kind of opponents that made for compelling fights. No longer. Whether it's in the lower weight classes, where Seniesa Estrada has stormed through three divisions, or the heavier ones, where Claressa Shields has built on her success in the amateur ranks, women’s boxing is as strong as ever, with several significant fights already in the works for 2022.

As we begin the year, we introduce SI’s first women’s boxing pound-for-pound rankings.

Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor is our top-ranked female boxer to begin 2022.

1. Katie Taylor

Record: 20–0
Last fight: UD win Firuza Sharipova
Next fight: TBD

Taylor, 35, one of boxing’s most decorated amateurs, has enjoyed a meteoric rise since turning pro after the 2016 Olympics. She won a world title in her seventh fight, became a unified champion in her ninth and needed just 14 fights to become the undisputed champion at 135-pounds. Taylor, who picked up a title at 140-pounds, in 2019, is a significant draw, both in the U.K. and Stateside. Her next fight could be her biggest: As mentioned, negotiations are intensifying for a fight between Taylor and Amanda Serrano, which most see as the biggest fight in women’s boxing.

2. Claressa Shields

Record: 11-0
Last fight: UD win Marie Eve Dicaire
Next fight: Ema Kozin

How dominant has Shields been since turning pro in 2016? The two-time Olympic gold medalist has claimed undisputed status in two weight divisions (154 and 160-pounds) while collecting a pair of titles in a third (168). A lack of high level opponents has hurt Shields, pushing her, briefly, into mixed martial arts. That will change this year: After a tune-up fight in February, Shields, 26, is headed for a middleweight showdown against Savannah Marshall—the only boxer to beat Shields in the amateur ranks.

3. Amanda Serrano

Record: 42-1-1
Last fight: UD win Miriam Gutierrez
Next fight: TBD

Serrano’s resume is impressive. She’s a seven-division world champion who effortlessly bounces between the 115 to 140-pound weight classes. Consider: In 2018, Serrano beat Yamila Esther Reynoso to win a vacant title at junior welterweight. Four months later Serrano dropped down to super flyweight to knockout Eva Voraberger and claim another belt. With a showdown against Katie Taylor looming, Serrano, 33, will get an opportunity to knock off the women’s No. 1—and cement her status as one of the greatest women’s boxers of all-time.

4. Seniesa Estrada

Record: 22-0
Last fight: UD win Maria Micheo Santizo
Next fight: TBD

Estrada’s rise the last three years has been meteoric. In 2019, Estrada defeated ex-U.S. Olympian—and arguably women’s boxing’s best 112-pounder—Marlen Esparza. Last March, Estrada dropped down to 105-pounds to defeat long reigning titleholder Anabel Ortiz. In July she moved up to 108-pounds to take a second title off Tsunami Tenkai. Finally, in December, Estrada completed a three-fight year by stopping Maria Micheo Santizo, successfully defending her 105-pound belt. Mixed in Estrada recorded the fastest knockout in women’s boxing history, a seven-second obliteration of Miranda Adkins. Estrada, 29, aims to unify the 105-pound titles this year—a fight with IBF champion Yokasta Valle is in the works—before moving back up in weight, potentially for an anticipated rematch with Esparza.

5. Jessica McCaskill

Record: 11-2
Last fight: TKO win Kandi Wyatt
Next fight: TBD

Entering 2020, McCaskill was a solid fighter known for a pair of wins over ex-titleholder Erica Farias and a competitive loss to Katie Taylor. A close win over longtime reigning welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus earned McCaskill four 147-pound belts and a lopsided win in the rematch stamped her as one of the best in women’s boxing. Big opportunities await in ’22, with McCaskill, 37, lined up to face the winner of a planned fight between unified junior welterweight titleholders Chantelle Cameron and Kali Reiss, a fight that would pit undisputed champions in two weight divisions against each other.

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6. Mikaela Mayer

Record: 16-0
Last fight: Maiva Hamadouche
Next fight: TBD

Mayer, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, continues to build momentum. Mayer won a vacant 130-pound title in 2020 and picked up another last year, defeating Maiva Hamadouche, a fight that headlined an ESPN show. Mayer, 31, will look to collect all four belts in 2022 before moving up, where a showdown against Katie Taylor could be waiting.

7. Delfine Persoon

Record: 46-3
Last fight: RTD win Beatriz Aguilar
Next fight: TBD

Persoon’s gaudy record and five-year reign as a 135-pound titleholder are evidence of her world class status, but it was two of her losses that stand out. In 2019, Persoon waged war with Katie Taylor, throwing a whopping 586 punches in a narrow majority decision defeat. She lost a competitive rematch in 2020 but rebounded with back-to-back wins last year. At 130 or 135-pounds, Persoon, 37, remains one of the best.

8. Savannah Marshall

Record: 11-0
Last fight: TKO win Lolita Muzeya
Next fight: TBD

Marshall, 30, turned pro in 2017 with a significant name on her amateur resume: Claressa Shields, who Marshall outpointed in 2012, at the World Amateur Boxing Championships, the lone blemish on Shields’s boxing resume. Marshall has showcased crushing power as a pro, stopping nine of her first 11 opponents. She won a middleweight title in 2020, stopping Hannah Rankin, and is targeting another title in the first quarter of ’22 before taking on Shields in what will be a huge fight in women’s boxing.

9. Christina Hammer

Record: 27-1
Last fight: TKO vs Daniele Bastieri
Next fight: TBD

Hammer’s run as unified middleweight champion ended in 2019, when she lost a decision to Claressa Shields. She has won three straight since, including a pair of knockouts at super middleweight. At 31, Hammer recently aligned with Wasserman Boxing as she prepares another world title run this year

10. Alycia Baumgardner

Record: 11-1

Last fight: TKO win Terri Harper

Next fight: TBD

Baumgardner burst onto the world scene last November with a one-punch knockout of Terri Harper that put Harper out on her feet—and put Baumgardner in the mix for knockout of the year. Armed with two belts at 130-pounds, Baumgardner, 27, is likely headed towards a fight with Matchroom stablemate Hyun Mi Choi. A win would set up a showdown with Mikaela Mayer for the undisputed super featherweight championship. 

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