A key date in securing the long-term
future for Women's boxing, as a competitive sport came on the 14th
August 2009. That day was so significant because it was
announced by the International Olympic Committee’s Executive
Board whom had approved the inclusion of women’s boxing for the
Games in London for the 2012 Olympics. Since that milestone was
agreed, the sport has gone from strength to strength at all
The female version of pugilism has
had various guises over the years in attempts to equal its male
equivalent. The United States of America has been the major
hotbed of the professional side of the sport, but the balance is
changing as fast as the sport's growth.
Photo Credit: Katie Taylor/Facebook
South America and specific parts of
Europe – namely United Kingdom – has shown a vast increase of
interest within Women's boxing, both from a participation and
spectator perspective. It is less than 20 years since Female
boxers were able to hold a professional licence to box in Great
Britain, but with the successful Olympic performances of GB star
Nicola Adams and Ireland's Katie Taylor in recent years, the
sport has rapidly gained new notoriety and interest.
Photo Credit: Nicola
2018 promises to be an exciting and
intriguing year for the sport, and here we will look at three
weight classes that will hopefully provide some excellent bouts
in the months ahead.
The Super welterweight category is
for female boxers who weigh no more than 154lbs or 69.9kg as its
metric equivalent. Costa Rican fighter, Hanna Gabriels currently
holds the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing
Organisation (WBO) belts. The 34-year-old is unbeaten in her
last five bouts, with her last defeat back in February 2013
outsider Oxandia Castillo of the Dominican Republic.
Gabriels avenged that defeat in her most recent fight by gaining
a unanimous points decision over Castillo to improve her
impressive record to 18 wins – 11 stoppages - from 20 fights,
with one defeat and one drawn contest.
International Boxing Federation (IBF)
champion Chris Namus won the vacant super-welterweight belt back
in August with a points victory over Argentinian, Yamila Esther
Reynoso. Namus has since had one successful defence her
Uruguayan compatriot, Katia Alvarino. Namus took on the brave
challenge to face Norwegian female boxing legend, Cecilia
Braekhus at welterweight back in February 2016, but was – like
31 others – defeated. Namus may look to secure a unification
bout with Gabriels in 2018, to determine the leading lady of
this exciting category.
For fighters who can maintain their
weight under 135lbs (61.2kg). The future of the Lightweight
division is likely to evolve around two main protagonists.
Firstly, Belgian boxing star, Define Persoon is widely regarded
as one of the pound-for-pound best female fighters on the
planet. The 32-year-old has tasted just one defeat in her
40-professional fight career, and currently holds the World
Boxing Council Lightweight (WBC) belt.
Rising star, Ireland's
Katie Taylor is ultimately on a collision course to take on
Persoon, perhaps in 2018. After winning Olympic gold back in
2016, Taylor decided to turn professional – and has not looked
back since. The Irish star won the WBA Lightweight title in only
her seventh professional contest, as the 31-year-old outpointed
Anahi Esther Sanchez in October. Taylor wasted little time in
returning to the ring to face American, Jessica MaCaskill
recently, with Taylor continuing her impressive rise up the
Lightweight ranks. Surely the bout between these two stars will
happen, and what a contest it may prove to be!
This category is for boxers under
the 115lbs (52.2kg) limit. The Super Flyweight division is
littered with South American stars, with Mexican, Guadalupe
Martínez Guzmán being one of the most prominent fighters in the
division. Guzmán holds the WBC title, but is without a perfect
record. The 25-year-old has 16 wins and nine defeats from her 25
bouts, but has suffered just one defeat in her last 10 contests.
Her upturn in form could offer a
rematch with IBF champion, Débora Anahí Dionicius of Argentina.
Dionicius is unbeaten in her 26-fight career so far, and already
has Guzmán as one of her victims back in 2013. Despite having
only two previous professional contests, British fighter,
Nicola Adams could gate crash the Super Flyweight scene in
2018. At 35 years of age, time is against Adams, but the double
Olympic champion has the talent to usurp the best fighters in
this weight division.