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Female fighter of the year

Katie Taylor
Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
The best female fighter of 2019

1. Katie Taylor
THE Irish superstar did have a tough, close fight with Delfine Persoon, but Taylor’s achievements this year virtually speak for themselves. In three fights in 2019 she first unified three lightweight world titles, when she stopped Rose Volante, then became the undisputed champion by outscoring Persoon, before moving up to become a two-weight titlist when she outpointed WBO 140lb champion Christina Linardatou. She now wants a superfight in 2020.

Katie Taylor

2. Claressa Shields
SHIELDS only fought once in 2019 but it was significant. She became the undisputed middleweight champion, unifying all four belts when outpointing Christina Hammer. The Flint, Michigan fighter was then due to drop down to super-welter to box Ivana Habazin for world honours. But unfortunately for Shields that all fell through. The bout was postponed after Habazin’s trainer was attacked after the boxers had weighed in.

3. Seniesa Estrada
THE Los Angeles flyweight advanced to 18-0 and finished her year taking on Marlen Esparza, claiming a meaningful points victory. Esparza is an Olympic medallist and has been one of America’s most high-profile boxers since London 2012. That their bout took place on the Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev undercard, one of the year’s biggest fights, sets Estrada up for a bright future. Estrada also notched two other wins in 2019 prior to this.

4. Jessica McCaskill
CHICAGO’S McCaskill may be a former Katie Taylor victim and has a humble 8-2 record but she has continued to advance this year. In 2019 she beat two much more experienced boxers, going the distance with both. She took on Anahi Sanchez, a two-weight world champion, to unify the WBA and WBC 140lb titles. Then she rematched Erica Farias, a former double-division world champion, and secured another points victory.

5. Amanda Serrano
IT is baffling how Puerto Rico’s Serrano manages to leap around the weight classes. In 2018 she was boxing and winning world honours at super-lightweight. By January of this year she dropped all the way down to super-flyweight to knock out Eva Voraberger for the vacant WBO title at Madison Square Garden. But in September she was up at featherweight to outpoint New Yorker Heather Hardy for another WBO crown at MSG once again.

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