In the world of boxing, the spotlight has often been dominated by the larger-than-life personas and incredible achievements of male fighters. However, history tells a different story—one that is filled with fearless and awe-inspiring women who have left an indelible mark on the sport. From fierce warriors who shattered glass ceilings to trailblazers who paved the way for future generations, these women have redefined what it means to be a champion. In this blog, we will embark on a thrilling journey as we unveil the top 14 greatest women’s boxing champions in history.
Through their raw power, unwavering determination, and undeniable skill, these female fighters have captivated audiences worldwide, captivating our hearts with their incredible stories of triumph and perseverance. From iconic figures who rose to prominence decades ago to modern-day warriors who continue to inspire, each champion on this esteemed list has left an indelible legacy that goes beyond the boxing ring.
Join us as we celebrate their remarkable accomplishments and explore the impact they have had on the sport. From overcoming societal barriers to breaking records, these women have shattered stereotypes and paved the way for future generations of female boxers. Their stories are testaments to the strength of the human spirit and the unyielding pursuit of greatness.
Daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali is one of the most successful female boxers ever. She retired with an undefeated 24-0 and held multiple world titles in different weight classes.
Considering her family legacy, Laila Ali’s success as a boxer is not surprising. Her father, Muhammad Ali, is regarded as one of the greatest boxers ever. Laila started her professional boxing career in 1999, and her first match was a knockout win against April Fowler. Throughout her career, Laila was known for her powerful punches and footwork. Laila Ali is a television personality, author, and health and wellness advocate. She has appeared on several television shows, including Dancing with the Stars and Chopped: All-Stars. Laila has also authored two books, Reach! Finding Strength, Spirit, and Personal Power and Food for Life: Delicious & Healthy Comfort Food from My Table to Yours! As a health and wellness advocate, she has worked with several organizations to promote healthy living and nutrition. Laila Ali’s impact in and outside the ring makes her a true legend in boxing.
Claressa Shields is indeed a remarkable boxer and her accomplishments speak for themselves. She became the first American boxer, male or female, to win back-to-back gold medals at the Olympic Games, accomplishing the feat at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics. Shields turned professional in 2016 and quickly made a name for herself, winning her first world title in only her fourth fight.
Shields is known for her technical proficiency and powerful punches, making her a dominant force in the sport. Her athleticism, work ethic, and determination have also contributed to her success inside and outside the ring. In addition to her boxing career, Shields has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights and has used her platform to promote social justice causes. She is a trailblazer in women’s boxing and a role model for aspiring female athletes.
Christy Martin is one of the true pioneers of women’s boxing, having fought when female boxers struggled to gain recognition and respect in the sport. Despite her many challenges, she became a true legend, winning multiple world titles and earning the respect of fans and fellow boxers alike.
One of the most memorable moments of Martin’s career came in 1996 when she fought Deirdre Gogarty in what many consider to be one of the greatest women’s boxing matches ever. The two women put on a fierce, back-and-forth battle that went the distance, with Martin ultimately coming out on top in a close split decision. It was a landmark moment for women’s boxing and a testament to Martin’s skill and determination in the ring. In 2010, she was rightfully recognized for her contributions to the sport when she was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Cecilia Braekhus is known for her incredible accomplishments in the world of boxing. She held the undisputed welterweight title for over ten years, making her the longest-reigning world champion in boxing history. Braekhus successfully defended her title 25 times, cementing her status as one of the greatest female boxers ever. Her only loss came in her 37th professional fight against Jessica McCaskill, which led to her retirement from the sport.
Braekhus was not only a dominant fighter, but also an important figure for women’s boxing. She advocated for the sport and helped pave the way for future female fighters. In 2020, Braekhus was inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, a testament to her incredible career and lasting impact on the sport.
Ann Wolfe is regarded as one of the most intimidating boxers ever, with her imposing physical presence and knockout power. Despite only having 25 professional fights, she captured a world title and retired with a stellar record of 24 wins and only 1 loss. Wolfe was known for her relentless attacking style and ability to knock out opponents with a single punch.
After retiring from boxing, Wolfe turned to coaching and has since become one of the most respected trainers in the sport. She has trained some of the best female fighters in the world, including multiple world champions. Wolfe is known for her tough-love approach to coaching, pushing her fighters to their limits and instilling in them the same aggressive fighting style that made her a legend in the ring.
Lucia Rijker’s career as a kickboxer began in the 1990s when she won numerous world titles in the sport. However, she transitioned to professional boxing in the late 1990s and quickly became dominant in the ring. Rijker was known for her powerful punches, quick footwork, and aggressive fighting style.
In addition to her success in combat sports, Rijker also made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. She played the role of Billie “The Blue Bear” in the critically acclaimed film Million Dollar Baby and also appeared in other movies and TV shows. Rijker’s influence on women’s boxing can still be felt today, as she paved the way for many female fighters who came after her.
Holly Holm, also known as “The Preacher’s Daughter,” is a versatile combat sports athlete who has succeeded in boxing and MMA. Before transitioning to MMA, Holm had a successful boxing career, winning multiple world titles in three weight classes. She retired from boxing with an impressive record of 33-2-3 and a reputation as one of the best female boxers of her time.
In addition to her boxing accomplishments, Holm is known for her notable upset of Ronda Rousey in 2015. She knocked out the previously undefeated MMA fighter in the second round of their highly anticipated matchup. This win made Holm the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and solidified her as a force to be reckoned with in combat sports.
Jackie Tonawanda pioneered women’s boxing, breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations of female fighters. Born in 1947, she began her boxing career in the early 1970s when the sport was still largely underground and illegal for women. She fought in the first-ever women’s professional boxing match in Madison Square Garden in 1975, winning by TKO in the second round.
Throughout her career, Tonawanda won multiple titles and fought against some of the best female boxers of her time. She was known for her tough, aggressive fighting style and her ability to take a punch. In addition to her boxing career, Tonawanda was also a talented musician and artist. She passed away in 2009 at 62, but her legacy as a trailblazer in women’s boxing lives on.
Mary Kom, also known as Magnificent Mary, is a force to be reckoned with in women’s boxing. Her achievements include five world championships and an Olympic bronze medal, making her one of the most decorated female boxers ever. Her success in the ring has inspired many young women in India, where she is also a member of Parliament.
In addition to her athletic and political achievements, Kom is known for her philanthropy and activism. She has used her platform to advocate for women’s rights and education, particularly in rural areas of India where access to resources can be limited. She has also established a boxing academy to train young women and allow them to pursue their sports dreams. Kom’s dedication to her athletic and humanitarian pursuits has made her a role model for people worldwide.
Amanda Serrano’s boxing career is one of remarkable achievements and consistency. Her power and versatility have helped her win world titles in multiple weight classes, and she has established herself as one of the greatest female boxers of all time. In addition to her 11 world titles, Serrano has held the WBO and WBC featherweight titles simultaneously and the WBO and WBC super bantamweight titles simultaneously.
Aside from her success in the ring, Serrano has also advocated for women’s boxing and equality. She has spoken out about the lack of opportunities for female fighters and has worked to raise the profile of women’s boxing worldwide. Serrano is a true champion and an inspiration to many young women who aspire to succeed in a male-dominated sport.
Mia St. John
Mia St. John was not only a formidable boxer, but she also had a passion for advocacy. Her advocacy efforts focused on raising awareness about mental health and addiction. Mia’s motivation for advocating for these issues came from her own struggles with bipolar disorder, addiction, and the tragic loss of her son, who died of suicide.
To help those struggling with these issues, Mia founded the non-profit organization “El Saber Es Poder,” which means “knowledge is power” in Spanish. The organization offers resources and support for individuals who are affected by mental health issues and addiction. Mia’s advocacy work, combined with her successful boxing career, made her an inspiration to many people around the world.
Katie Taylor is not only a formidable force in the ring, but also an inspiration to many. She represented Ireland in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, winning gold in both tournaments. In her professional career, she holds an undefeated record of 19-0 and has held multiple world titles in different weight classes.
In addition to her success in boxing, Taylor is also known for her humanitarian work. She has been an ambassador for UNICEF since 2018 and has used her platform to raise awareness for various causes, including child poverty and human trafficking.
Regina Halmich’s impact on women’s boxing extends beyond her impressive record. She helped to popularize the sport in Germany and Europe, and her fights were often televised on national networks, drawing large audiences. Halmich was also known for her charitable work, supporting organizations that fight against violence and abuse towards women. In 2007, she retired from boxing and became a successful television personality and businesswoman while promoting women’s sports. Today, Halmich is recognized as a trailblazer for female athletes in boxing and all sports.
Cecilia Brækhus started her boxing career in 2007 after previously being a kickboxer. She quickly made a name for herself, winning the WBA female welterweight title in her eighth professional fight. Brækhus went on to win the other major world titles, becoming the undisputed welterweight champion in 2014.
Brækhus has fought in numerous countries and has faced some of the toughest opponents in the sport, including Mikaela Lauren, Anne Sophie Mathis, and Jessica McCaskill. In addition to her boxing career, she has advocated for women’s sports and used her platform to promote gender equality in athletics. Despite retiring from boxing in 2021, Brækhus’ legacy as one of the greatest female boxers ever inspires future fighters.