Leading Ladies: The Top Women Boxers You Should Know

August 5, 2023
From: Spartacus
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In a world where the ring has often been dominated by men, a new wave of warriors is disrupting the status quo. The surge of women in boxing has invigorated the sport, introducing a new dimension of competition that fans are eager to watch. 

We’ll be spotlighting the top female boxers who are carving their names into the annals of boxing history. These women, through their grit, tenacity, and exceptional talent, are redefining boxing, demonstrating that the sport isn’t a realm exclusive to men.

Christy Martin

 

Christy Martin, also known as “The Coal Miner’s Daughter,” is one of the most recognizable names in women’s boxing and a true pioneer in the sport. Known for her relentless determination, Martin made an indelible impact on boxing at a time when the sport was largely dominated by men.

Her boxing journey began in the 1980s, and over her career spanning two decades, she notched up an impressive 49 wins, including 31 knockouts, against only 7 losses and 3 draws. Her charismatic personality and gritty fighting style drew spectators and significantly boosted the popularity of women’s boxing.

Martin’s most notable bout came in 1996, when she faced Deirdre Gogarty. The two engaged in a ferocious and thrilling battle which Martin won by decision. The fight was broadcast on the undercard of a Mike Tyson bout, bringing her unprecedented visibility and thrusting women’s boxing into the mainstream. Martin quickly became a household name and was even featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated – a first for a female boxer.

The magnitude of her achievements transcends her win-loss record. As a trailblazer, Martin knocked down barriers for future generations of female boxers. Her tenacity, grit, and success paved the way for many women, validating their aspirations to step into the ring and compete at the highest level.

In 2020, she was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, a testament to her enduring legacy in the sport. Christy Martin remains one of the most significant figures in women’s boxing, her accomplishments a beacon that continues to illuminate the path for emerging talents in the sport.

Laila Ali

 

Laila Ali, daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali, stepped out of her father’s shadow to carve her own path in the boxing world, ultimately becoming a phenomenon in women’s boxing. Her career serves as a testament to her talent, resilience, and dedication to the sport.

Laila Ali began her professional boxing career in 1999, a time when women’s boxing was still struggling to gain recognition. Despite this, her performances in the ring drew in audiences and quickly established her as a force to be reckoned with. She combined technical precision with an unyielding fighting spirit, mirroring the prowess of her father.

In a career that spanned eight years, Laila Ali remained undefeated, boasting an impressive record of 24 wins, with 21 by knockout. She became a Super Middleweight Champion and made a significant impact in raising the profile of women’s boxing globally.

Her most iconic bout was perhaps against Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, the daughter of Joe Frazier, in a symbolic reprisal of their fathers’ legendary rivalry. The fight garnered significant media attention, further enhancing the visibility of women’s boxing.

Off the ring, Laila Ali has been a passionate advocate for women in sports, continuously pushing for equal recognition and opportunities. Her influence transcends the sport, as she’s become a role model for women and girls, inspiring them to pursue their passions and break down barriers.

Laila Ali’s impact on women’s boxing is undeniable. Her success in the ring coupled with her advocacy for women in sports cemented her place in boxing history, and her legacy continues to inspire the next generation of female boxers.

Claressa Shields

 

In the landscape of women’s boxing, Claressa Shields is a trailblazer and a symbol of unyielding determination. From her humble beginnings in Flint, Michigan, Shields rose to become a two-time Olympic gold medalist and an undisputed world champion, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.

Shields’ boxing journey started at an early age, under the guidance of her father, a former boxer himself. She honed her skills at Flint’s Berston Field House and soon started racking up victories in the amateur circuit. Her talent, grit, and commitment led her to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, where women’s boxing was included for the first time. At just 17, Shields emerged victorious, securing a gold medal and becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic boxing title.

Claressa didn’t stop there, however. She continued to dominate in the ring, defending her Olympic title at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and becoming the first American boxer—male or female—to win back-to-back Olympic golds. Her victories on the Olympic stage elevated her to an iconic status and paved the way for her entry into professional boxing.

As a professional boxer, Shields’ record is just as impressive. She has conquered multiple weight classes, becoming the undisputed champion in two of them, and is renowned for her technical skills, agility, and power. Shields’ bouts are characterised by her fearless approach and her ability to outsmart her opponents with deft movements and swift combinations.

Shields’ influence goes beyond her achievements in the ring. She’s a vocal advocate for gender equality in sports, consistently pushing for better pay and more visibility for women boxers. Her passion and determination, both in and out of the ring, have made her an inspiration for upcoming fighters.

Claressa Shields’ journey from a tough neighbourhood in Flint to the pinnacle of international boxing is a testament to her remarkable talent, resilience, and tenacity. Her impact on the sport is profound, and her legacy will undoubtedly influence the future of women’s boxing.

Cecilia Brækhus

 

Hailing from Norway, Cecilia Brækhus is not only a significant figure in women’s boxing, but she also holds a historic place in the sport overall. Known as the “First Lady” of boxing, Brækhus’s accomplishments have cemented her status as one of the greatest female boxers of all time.

Brækhus embarked on her professional boxing career in 2007, and her ascension in the sport was nothing short of spectacular. Known for her exceptional technique, sharp footwork, and precision punches, she quickly rose through the ranks, and by 2009, she had secured her first world title.

However, what truly distinguishes Brækhus’s career is her unprecedented achievement of becoming the first woman – and only the fifth boxer ever – to hold all four major world titles – WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO simultaneously. She claimed this undisputed status in 2014 and successfully defended her titles on numerous occasions, demonstrating her dominance in the welterweight division.

Beyond her impressive record, Brækhus has been a trailblazer for boxing in her home country. Professional boxing was banned in Norway until 2016, but Brækhus’s international success was a significant factor in the lift of this ban. In October 2016, she made history again by participating in the first sanctioned professional boxing event in Norway in over 30 years.

Outside the ring, Brækhus has used her platform to inspire women and fight for gender equality in sports. She has spoken out about the disparities in pay and coverage between male and female boxers and has used her influential status to push for changes.

Cecilia Brækhus’s impact on women’s boxing extends far beyond her undisputed status and a glittering array of titles. Her fight for gender equality, her role in reshaping boxing in Norway, and her undying passion for the sport have made her a pivotal figure in the world of boxing. Her trailblazing career is a beacon of inspiration for aspiring female boxers globally.

Katie Taylor

 

Katie Taylor, a phenomenal name in the world of boxing, hails from Ireland. Her journey in boxing began in the amateur ranks, where she set an unprecedented record that makes her one of the most decorated female boxers of all time. Taylor’s illustrious amateur career was punctuated by a staggering five consecutive gold medals at the Women’s World Championships, six golds at the European Championships, and five golds at the European Union Championships.

In 2016, Taylor transitioned to professional boxing. From her debut, she exhibited her characteristic power, speed, and technical prowess that distinguished her in the amateur ranks. Her dedication and focus saw her swiftly ascend the ranks, capturing the WBA lightweight title in 2017. She unified the lightweight division by 2019, holding the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO titles simultaneously. 

Beyond her indomitable spirit in the ring, Taylor is celebrated for her role in elevating women’s boxing to a wider audience. She has consistently advocated for equality in the sport, calling for better promotion of female fighters and fair pay. Her commitment to these issues has not only made her a champion inside the ring, but also a champion of women’s rights in the sport of boxing.

Taylor’s career serves as a testament to her skill, determination, and advocacy for women’s boxing. As she continues to cement her legacy in the sport, she stands as an inspiring figure for future generations of female boxers.

Amanda Serrano

 

Hailing from Puerto Rico, Amanda Serrano has redefined what it means to be a versatile fighter. An awe-inspiring achiever, Serrano holds the distinction of being the only woman to capture world titles across seven weight classes, an accomplishment that aligns her with an exclusive group of male fighters.

Serrano’s boxing style is characterised by an intoxicating blend of ferocity and strategy, her powerful punches frequently leading to knockouts. Her fights are a spectacle of strength, demonstrating her dominating presence in the ring. But her contribution extends far beyond her professional record. Serrano is a powerful advocate for equality in boxing, demanding greater exposure, opportunities, and fair compensation for female athletes in the sport.

Mikaela Mayer

 

Among the legion of women’s boxing champions, Mikaela Mayer shines brightly. Her journey from an amateur boxer to an Olympic athlete and now a world champion is a testament to her unwavering dedication and discipline. Representing the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics put Mayer on the global stage, and she has continued to impress ever since.

Transitioning to a professional career in 2017, Mayer demonstrated her will to rise through the ranks quickly. She secured the NABF super featherweight title within a year, and by 2020, she was the reigning WBO junior lightweight champion. Mayer’s technical brilliance, coupled with her potent punching power, ensures her fights are always eagerly anticipated.

Off the canvas, Mayer uses her platform to champion the cause of women’s boxing. She has been vocal about the need for more visibility for women’s bouts and for pay parity within the sport. As a boxing champion and an advocate, Mikaela Mayer continues to pave the way for future generations of female fighters, showcasing the limitless possibilities that come with talent, hard work, and unwavering determination.

Ringing in a New Era: Women’s Boxing on Spartacus

Spartacus, as a leading combat sports platform, has played a significant role in promoting and elevating women’s boxing. By giving the sport the same prominence and respect as its male counterpart, Spartacus is instrumental in raising the visibility and status of women boxers. 

Spartacus’ platform has proven to be an essential resource for fans and aspiring female boxers alike. It provides comprehensive profiles of women boxers, allowing fans to learn more about these athletes’ journeys, achievements, and contributions to the sport. By giving these boxers the spotlight, Spartacus helps to inspire a new generation of female boxers, showcasing that success and recognition in the sport are not exclusive to men. 

Moreover, Spartacus is known for its live streaming of matches, and this inclusivity extends to women’s boxing as well. By broadcasting women’s matches, Spartacus helps to ensure that these events reach a global audience, which, in turn, increases the sport’s popularity and fosters a more extensive fanbase for female boxers.

Beyond this, Spartacus also offers invaluable resources for training. From tips on technique and fitness routines to advice on mental preparation, Spartacus provides a wealth of information for those aiming to improve their boxing skills. This feature is equally beneficial for male and female athletes, highlighting Spartacus’ commitment to promoting gender equality within the sport.

Spartacus’s contribution to women’s boxing is significant. By providing a platform that promotes and supports women in the sport, Spartacus helps to ensure that these athletes receive the recognition they deserve while inspiring a new generation of women to step into the ring. It’s clear that with Spartacus, the future of women’s boxing looks promising and continues to thrive.

Conclusion

As we reflect on the strides women have made in the boxing world, we’re reminded of how far the sport has come, and yet how much further it can still reach. The contributions of the women mentioned in this article have not only changed the perception of the sport but also laid a strong foundation for future generations of female boxers. Their victories aren’t limited to their bouts; they’re winning a much larger battle for recognition and equality in the sport.

Now more than ever, it’s crucial for fans and followers of the sport to champion women’s boxing. By tuning into their matches, celebrating their victories, and acknowledging their skills, we contribute to the growing prominence of women in boxing. Platforms like Spartacus, which offer comprehensive coverage of combat sports including women’s boxing, play a crucial role in this endeavour. So, keep up with the action, watch the legends in the making, and be a part of the exhilarating journey of women’s boxing!

 

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