Top 15 of the greatest female professional boxers of all time
Boxing has gained popularity over the years, attracting masses worldwide to participate in the thrill. It is considered the most challenging sport. However, female boxers have stood against that narrative, walked into the ring, and proven to be the best in the game. This listicle ranks 15 of the greatest female professional boxers of all time.
Since its inception in the 23rd Olympiad (688 BCE) Olympics, boxing was considered a man's sport. However, reports on women entering the ring date back to the 18th century, with an intense backlash tied to it, preventing any professional competition for them. Later, in 1993, US Boxing lifted its ban on women's boxing and signed the first professional female boxer Christy Martin.
Since Christy came into the scene, female boxers have not held back, facing each other in the ring ruthlessly for a chance to be crowned the World Boxing Champion. Here is a list of female boxers who have pioneered the sport, demonstrated enormous courage, and dominated the ring over the years to be named the greatest.
Best female professional boxers
Female boxing has become more competitive than ever. The top athletes have done everything humanly possible and have earned a spot on this list. Here are the top boxers who have dominated the sport throughout their existence.
15. Mia St. John
Born on 24 June 1967, Mia is a professional boxer and a former World Boxing Council champion in the super welterweight division. She is also an IBA and IFBA lightweight and taekwondo champion. After her retirement, she dug into a career in modelling and business and became a mental health expert.
Mia, popularly known as 'The Knockout', channelled her pain through boxing, which helped her mercilessly damage any of her opponents. She finally retired in 2016 after a successful 19-year career with 65 fights, 49 wins, 14 losses, and two draws. With a 49-14-2 record, 19 were Knockout wins, and she had 5 Knockout losses.
14. Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey has been incredible ever since she stepped in the ring. She is the first American female to win an Olympic medal in judo after winning a bronze at the 2008 Summer Olympics. After leaving her judo career, she decided to go for a different career path, and in August 2010, she made her debut in Mixed Martial Arts.
Ronda was the first female to sign with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the largest Mixed Martial Arts league. She was a dominant force and defeated some of the game's best. In 2018, she became the first female Hall of Famer in the UFC. Later on, she joined World Wrestling Entertainment, where she finished her fighting career in 2019.
13. Natascha Ragosina
Ranked the top female super middleweight in the world, Natascha is an undefeated retired Russian professional boxer. Aged 46 as of January 2023, she has the longest reigning time as the WBA female super middleweight champion and WBC female super middleweight champion.
Natascha left no stone unturned in her career, damaging every opponent against her mercilessly. She won 30 of her total 30 matches throughout her career, earning a 100% career record. However, there was controversy on whether she would defeat Laila Ali, who, at that time, both were at their peak.
12. Giselle Salandy
Starting off her boxing career professionally at thirteen years, Giselle knew at an early age what she needed to be the best in the game. However, her journey was not long enough, sadly after she had an accident and passed on in 2009 at 21 years of age.
The light-middleweight world champion was undefeated, destroying every soul that went against her in the ring. She was also a champion in the IWBF, WIBA, WIBF, WBA, WBC, and GBU.
11. Regina Halmich
Regina Halmich is undoubtedly one of the best female boxers in the world. She is one of the biggest names in boxing, having played a significant role in popularising female boxing in Europe. The German star is also one of the most successful boxers in the world, amassing most of her wealth from her career. She retired with a record of 54-1-1, 16 of the wins being Knockouts.
10. Christy Martin
It would be unfair to mention female boxing without including the great Christy Martin, credited with legitimising it in the modern era. Her professional career ran from 1989 to 2012, earning the WBC female super welterweight title in 2009. She finished her career with 49 wins, seven losses, and three draws, with 31 wins by knockout.
Her life outside boxing, however, was not the best after it later came to light that she suffered domestic violence and attempted murder from her husband. Torture was common in their marriage, with the most notable being when she was stabbed and shot by her husband. In 2010, he was sentenced to 25 years for attempted second-degree murder.
9. Holly Holm
Holly Holm is an 18-time world boxing champion who is greatly adored for her skills in the ring. Nicknamed 'The Preacher's Daughter', she is a WBF World Light Welterweight and World Welterweight Champion with a 33-2-3 (9 KOs) record. After ending her boxing career, she got into Mixed Martial Art and signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The former UFC bantamweight champion holds an MMA record of 14 wins and five losses.
8. Ann Wolfe
In her boxing career, Ann Wolfe became the most feared female fighter. Digging into pro boxing in 1998, Ann boasts one of the most successful careers, with a 24-1-1 record. One of her most memorable fights was when she had the greatest knockout in female boxing history after she sent Vanda Ward to the ground, unconscious, with one punch.
7. Cecilia Braekhaus
Nicknamed 'First Lady', Cecilia Braekhaus is undoubtedly one of the complete female fighters of all time. The Norwegian professional reigned as the undisputed female welterweight champion from 2014 to 2020 and is the first woman in any weight class to hold the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO titles simultaneously. She boasts a 37-2 record with nine knockouts.
6. Amanda Serrano
Amanda Serrano is a professional boxer, mixed martial artist, and wrestler. She is one of the most successful active boxers, a featherweight world champion, having held the WBO title since 2019 and the WBC and IBO titles since 2021. At 34 years of age as of 2023, the Purto Rican seems still strong, hoping to emerge as the greatest of all time.
5. Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor is regarded as her generation's most impressive Irish athlete, with an outstanding career to back it up. She made her debut in professional boxing in 2016 in a three-round TKO against Karina Kopińska. This was after retiring from her football career, which was also successful, winning 11 caps for the Republic of Ireland between 2006 and 2009. She is a two-weight world champion and the current undisputed lightweight champion.
4. Lucia Rijker
Lucia is one of the most elite fighters ever stepping into the ring. She was once regarded as 'The most dangerous woman in the world' with the extent of the damage she caused against her opponents. The Dutch professional retired after amassing a 36-0 (25 KO) record as a kickboxer, 11-0 as a boxer, and winning four world titles.
3. Laila Ali
Laila Ali is a former professional boxer who became an American television personality after retirement. She is the daughter of the greatest boxer of all generations, Muhammad Ali. She followed her father's footsteps, ventured into the game, and gave it her all. She finished her career undefeated and held the WBC, WIBA, IWBF, and IBA female super middleweight titles and the IWBF light heavyweight title.
2. Mary Kom
Mary is one of the best female fighters and one of the greatest Indian athletes of all time. With a combination of zeal, passion, and strength, her style is unstoppable, earning a spot as the most successful boxer in the World Championships' history. Nicknamed 'Magnificient Mary', she is the only boxer (male or female) to win eight World Championship medals and the only female to win the World Amateur Boxing Championship six times.
1. Claressa Shields
Standing at the top of the ranks is the legendary Claressa Shields. Still active in the game at 27 years of age, she is widely known as the world's best active female light middleweight. She is the only boxer in history, male or female, to hold all four major world titles in boxing simultaneously. She currently has eleven wins in the boxing ring (two knockouts) and a win in MMA.
Black female professional boxers
Black female professional fighters have been in the boxing scene for some time and have done their best to remain on top. While they might be fewer in number, they dominate the ring with Claressa Shield leading them.
Australian female professional boxers
Australia is a big nation when it comes to boxing. This being the case, their beautiful fighters who have represented the country since the inception of the game over there have done incredible, putting Australia on the map. Some of them include Ebanie Bridges, Tayla Harris, Susie Ramadan, Lauryn Eagle, and Diana Prazak, to mention a few.
English female professional boxers
UK women's boxing has progressed over the years and is one of the most popular sports in England. They are privileged to have some of the best boxers in the world. Some include Savannah Marshall, Nicola Adams, Jane Couch, Caroline Dubois, Chantelle Cameron, Ramla Ali, and Natasha Jonas.
Irish female professional boxers
Katie Taylor has been the one outstanding female boxer representing Ireland. However, new talents have risen, taking Ireland to new heights while competing for the top position against the legendary Katie. These fighters include Siobhán O'Leary, Lynn Harvey, Cathy McAleer, and Elaine Greenan.
White female professional boxers
White female stars have dominated the ring since the beginning of boxing. From multiple-time champions, record breakers, and history makers, these women have nothing to stop them as they continue to achieve multiple honours to their names. They include Delia Gonzalez, Mia St. John, Brenda Burnside, Christy Martin, and Para Draine.
Canadian female professional boxers
Canada has produced some of the best boxers in the world in all generations. They have participated in multiple competitions, including the Olympics. Canadian fighters who have paved the way in the sport include Diana Dutra, Mary Spencer, Ariane Fortin, Mandy Bujold, Jelena Mrdjenovich, Tammara Thibeault, and Noriko Kariya.
How much do female professional boxers make?
Female boxers can earn up to $200 to $400 per match. This depends on many factors, including weight class, sponsors, and fighting records. However, the amount will rise with the popularity of female boxing worldwide.
Who is the best female professional boxer?
Despite still being active in her career, Claressa Shields is considered the best of all time. She holds a 13-0 record with two knockout defeats as of January 2023.
Has any female boxer gone unbeaten?
Multiple fighters have gone undefeated in the history of the game. However, Laila Ali is the most undefeated, as she has had more matches undefeated than any other, with a 24-0-0 record as of January 2023.
Female boxing is gaining popularity worldwide, and more fighters are joining the competition. While there are all-time greats who have been ranked to be the best, there are rising stars who will soon conquer the ring.
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Source: Sports Brief News