Female fighters rarely have their fights televised so they fly under the radar except in countries like Mexico, Japan, Germany, Argentina, and France.
A number of women have been proving their abilities for a number of years. Here are the best female fighters pound for pound in the world.
1.) Layla McCarter (37-13-5) – The Las Vegas prizefighter has not lost a fight in almost nine years and has beaten many top females in that span. Along the way in her career she’s grabbed world titles as a featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, and super welterweight. She was not able to get a fight in 2015 but not from lack of trying. The Nevada State Athletic Commission would not sanction several opponents for McCarter in proposed fights in Las Vegas. Otherwise, the best fighter in the past 10 years has not been able to step into the boxing ring. Look out for McCarter in 2016. Hopefully she gets a bout with some of the other top lightweights or welterweights.
2.) Delfine Persoon (35-1) –Belgium’s Persoon, 30, needs a fight with Layla McCarter to prove her abilities. That fight can be made but it’s all about the money offered to McCarter who would probably need to travel to Europe for that fight.
3.) Cecilia Braekhus (27-0) – Norway’s Braekhus, 34, was not busy in 2015. But the Colombian-born prizefighter has accumulated the all the major welterweight titles. Will she be back in 2016? She’s a very athletic fighter.
4.) Ibeth Zamora Silva (24-5) – Mexico City’s Silva, 26, has defeated several top female fighters in her weight class such as Ava Knight and Jessica Chavez. She’s a human tornado that never seems to tire.
5.) Melinda Cooper (23-2) – Las Vegas first world champion has sought fights with Jackie Nava and Yazmin Rivas. Both declined. What does that say about her abilities? Cooper, 30, has all of the fighting tools and could easily move to the top. A very exciting female fighter when at her best.
6.) Erica Farias (22-1) – The current junior welterweight world champion from Argentina has proven unafraid of traveling to other countries. Farias, 31, has the itch to prove her talent. Her only loss was to Delfine Persoon in Belgium. Farias is very strong.
7.) Jackie Nava (32-4-3) – One of Mexico’s best fighters for the past five years, Nava fought only once in 2015. The super bantamweight may be at the end of her career. Tijuana’s Nava, 35, has been in numerous wars including memorable fights with now retired Ana Maria Torres.
8.) Amanda Serrano (26-1-1) – The Puerto Rican southpaw has pure power. Serrano, 27, fights at super featherweight but can fight as a lightweight. Now living and training in Brooklyn, she fought four times in 2015, winning two by knockout.
9.) Yazmin Rivas (34-8) – The current bantamweight champion fights out of Torreon, Mexico. Rivas, 27, fought three times in 2015. Her most impressive win was over the very strong Celina Salazar who dropped down in weight. Rivas is a boxer-puncher with good stamina.
10.) Melissa Hernandez (22-6-3) – The slick fighting Hernandez has been one of the top female fighters for a number of years. Hernandez, 35, is the last fighter to defeat Layla McCarter. That in itself is reason for her to be included in anyone’s pound for pound list. She’s fearless.
11.) Jelena Mrdjenovich (35-10-1) – Edmonton, Canada’s Mrdjenovich, 33, lost her last bout in Argentina. That’s usual in that country that has horrible judges and referees. No foreigners win there unless by knockout.
12.) Celina Salazar (6-2-2) – The San Antonio, Texas super bantamweight dropped down in weight to challenge Yazmin Rivas but fell short. Salazar, 27, only has 10 pro fights but most are against elite fighters. Salazar has wins over Ana Julaton and Maria Villalobos. Strength is her asset.
13.) Yulihan Avila (12-2-1) – The current bantamweight champion fights out of Durango, Mexico. Avila, 21, recently had a tremendous war with Maureen Shea in Los Angeles. She has good skills and knows how to use her reach.
14.) Kaliesha West (16-2-3) – The former bantamweight champion did not fight in 2015, but not for trying. West, 27, lives in Moreno Valley, Calif. and looks to fight in the very talented super bantamweight division. She has speed and power.
15.) Jessica Chavez (25-4-3) – Mexico City’s Chavez has defeated several top flyweights in the past five years including Arely Mucino, Melissa McMorrow and Yesica Bopp. Now 27, a rematch with current champion Ibeth Silva seems to make sense. Silva has two wins over Chavez.
16.) Susi Ramadan (23-2) – The former bantamweight champion has fought only twice in three years and last year did not fight. Ramadan, 36, fights out of Australia and has good speed and technique. A fight in the U.S. would be ideal.
17.) Maureen Shea (25-2-1) – The native New Yorker now lives and trains in California. Shea, 34, had a rousing fight against Yulihan Avila in Los Angeles this past summer. It was one of the best female fights in 2015.
18.) Melissa McMorrow (10-5-3) – The San Francisco flyweight has never shied from fighting any of the top contenders in the U.S. or Mexico. McMorrow, 34, fought only once and that was a win against the very talented Kenia Enriquez. She’s an in-your-face kind of fighter.
19.) Kenia Enriquez (15-1) – Tijuana’s Enriquez suffered her first loss against pressure-fighting Melissa McMorrow in a close fight in Tijuana. At 22 years old she has plenty of time to establish dominance in several weight divisions. She can box or punch.
20.) Susi Kentikian (35-2) – The flyweight from Germany has been fighting solely in that country. If not for the home cooking, who knows how good she really is? Kentikian, 28, has two losses to Californians Melissa McMorrow and Carina Moreno in Germany.