Here’s our list of female prizefighting’s top pro boxers in the world. A few will be fighting in the ring very soon and others have not fought for more than a year. But we’re basing our assessment on pure talent, not activity. In the U.S. many of the top female fighters have a difficult time getting on fight cards so we take that into account.
- Layla McCarter (38-13-5, 8 Kos) 36, Las Vegas, USA – After a slow career start “The Amazing” McCarter learned her craft and has won world titles in the featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, and super welterweight divisions. Her true weight is 135-pounds but she is willing to fight anyone from lightweight to super welterweight. McCarter has not lost a fight since April 2007. She is one of the few female fighters with more than 50 pro fights and has fought all over the world and beaten women in their native countries. That’s tough to do.
- Ibeth Zamora Silva (24-5, 9 Kos) 27, Mexico City, Mexico – After campaigning most of her pro career as a mini-flyweight, the female fighter known as “La Roca” is jumping up a few divisions to tangle with the bigger girls. No surprise. She defeated a number of world class opponents in the past four years including Ava Knight, Jessica Chavez, and Esmeralda Moreno. She’s a pint-sized punching machine with great stamina. Her pressure style has been tough to stop. Zamora is becoming Mexico’s darling. Now she needs to prove she can win outside of Mexico.
- Cecilia Braekhus (29-0, 8 Kos) 35, Bergen, Norway – Known as the “First Lady” the Colombian-born Norwegian grabbed every welterweight world title belt and is the undisputed welterweight champion when it comes to belts. But can she beat Layla McCarter that’s the big question? She recently fought in her homeland for the first time in her career and won by stunning knockout against France’s Ann Sophie Mathis. Braekhus has incredible athleticism and poise inside the boxing ring. Can that translate into a win against America’s best? Lots of questions.
- Delfine Persoon (36-1, 16 Kos) 31, Roeselare, Belgium – The Belgian female prizefighter has dominated the lightweight division especially in Europe. She was tabbed the “Fighter of the Year” by the WBC Female Convention. Last year she defeated Erica Farias of Argentina and Diana Prazak of Australia. Female fight fans would love to see her battle one of the top North American lightweights to see how good she really is. Right now she’s merely a European sensation.
- Erica Farias (22-1, 10 Kos) 31, Buenos Aires, Argentina – The WBC super lightweight world titlist is the only Argentine willing to travel outside of her native country to test herself. Farias suffered her only loss to Delfine Persoon as a lightweight. Now she fights in the heavier 140-pound super lightweight division and has been doing well. Her fight against Klara Svensson in Denmark last May was voted Female Fight of the Year by the WBC Women’s Convention. “La Pantera” Farias is a very strong fighter who knows how to use her strength.
- Jelena Mrdjenovich (37-10-1) 34, Edmonton, Canada, the lithe featherweight has a stylish approach and is utterly fearless. She recently traveled to France and handed Gaelle Amand her first defeat as a pro. Mrdjenovich has fought Layla McCarter three times and has one victory. Those are three more fights against McCarter than Cecilia Braekhus has attempted. The Canadian prizefighter also fought Melissa Hernandez another pound for pound fighter.
- Jessica Chavez (28-4-3, 4 Kos) 27, Mexico City, Mexico – “Kika” was the first to hand Argentina’s Yesica Bopp her first pro loss and has faced a number of top female contenders and champions. Chavez has been fighting for 10 years as a pro and knows a thing or two inside the boxing ring. Since 2011 her only loss came against “La Roca” and that’s not too shabby. Her most recent win came against Japan’s feared Naoko Fujioka in a close battle in her native Mexico City. Can she travel and win that’s the question most Mexican girl fighters face?
- Yesica Bopp (30-1) 32, Wilde, Argentina – After a brief two-year layoff due to pregnancy, the darling of South America has returned. Utterly fearless and supremely athletic, Bopp returned to the wars and immediately grabbed three wins in 2016. She regained the WBA light flyweight world title against Nancy Franco and retained it against Anahi Torres. They aren’t Mexico’s best but still provided stiff challenges. Bopp is back.
- Naoko Fujioka (15-2) 41, Tokyo, Japan – She currently holds the WBO bantamweight world title but was more than willing to drop down in weight to challenge Jessica Chavez in her hometown. She lost, but once again proved regardless of weight or hostile territory, Fujioka loves a challenge. Her only other loss came to Germany’s Susi Kentikian in that fighter’s home territory. Fujioka has world titles in the minimum weight and super flyweight divisions. Forget her age. She can fight.
- Marcela Acuna (44-6-1) 39, Buenos Aires, Argentina – she’s the queen of boxing in Argentina and deservedly so. Who else can claim to have fought Lucia Rijker and Christy Martin in their first pro fights? That takes guts. Since then, Acuna has climbed the ladder and gathered world titles in the bantamweight, super bantamweight, and featherweight divisions. Few have her skillset and experience. How much does she have left in her career?
- Amanda Serrano (30-1-1) 28, New York City, USA – after dropping down from lightweight to super featherweight and now to super bantamweight, the big questions was could she make the weight. She can and she is defending the WBC title against former bantamweight queen Yazmin Rivas of Mexico. Serrano has great power and has one of the best knockout percentages in female prizefighting. Serrano will meet Rivas in January in Brooklyn and it will be televised on Showtime.
- Kenia Enriquez (17-1) 23, Tijuana, Mexico – Although a former flyweight world champion she dropped down to light flyweight and is stronger than ever. Enriquez has all the tools to dominate the light flyweight and flyweight divisions. She can box or blow out opponents with her speed and power. The Mexican female is the total package and only 23 years old. It’s been a while since she was in the ring. This is a bad time to be inactive.
Melinda Cooper, Zulina Munoz, Ava Knight, Melissa St. Vil, Mariana Juarez, Susie Ramadan, Susi Kentikian, Melissa McMorrow, Heather Hardy, Daniela Bermudez, Alicia Ashley, Kaliesha West, Catherine Phiri, Jennifer Salinas, Yazmin Rivas.
By The Prizefighters staff