Layla McCarter is number 1.
Women’s Pound for Pound Top 12
1.) Layla McCarter (35-13-5, 8 KOs) – The Las Vegas based McCarter jumped up two weight divisions and promptly knocked out South Africa’s Noni Tenge to win the vacant WBA junior middleweight title last September in South Africa. Utterly fearless, McCarter is the best of the best in female prizefighting.
2.) Ana Maria Torres (28-3-3, 16 KOs) – Mexico City junior bantamweight world champion has been out of action due to pregnancy. But she owns wins over Jackie Nava, Mariana Juarez and Ava Knight who are all on this list. Torres is one of the best.
3.) Cecilia Braekhus (21-0, 5 KOs) – The welterweight from Norway recently defeated France’s power punching Anne Sophie Mathis by decision in a neutral site in Denmark. She needs to fight Holly Holm next in a neutral site to secure complete dominance.
4.) Melissa Hernandez (18-3-3, 6 KOs) – Puerto Rico’s Hernandez will fight anyone anywhere regardless of the location. She has the skill set to battle with featherweights to junior middleweights. It seems the only way Hernandez can lose is by hometown judgments in other countries.
5.) Ann Sophie Mathis (26-3, 22 KOs) – The French bomber lost back-to-back fights for the first time in her career. But her moment in the sun was a blistering knockout of Holly Holm in New Mexico. No one can stand in front of her and withstand her bombs. She’s one of the few knockout punchers in the women’s boxing world.
6.) Ava Knight (10-1-3, 5 KOs) – San Francisco’s Knight traveled to Mexico City and defeated hometown favorite and pound for pound fighter Mariana Juarez by unanimous decision. The battle of the flyweights was Knights moment to prove dominance of the 112-pound weight class. What’s next for Knight? There are a lot of options once she moves up in weight.
7.) Mariana Juarez (35-6-3, 16 KOs) – The Mexican Barbie had her best year in 2011 but stayed too long at 112 pounds. A promise to move up another weight class was broken when she fought and lost to Knight. Now 33, Juarez can no longer fight at flyweight. Can she fight and win at junior bantamweight?
8.) Melinda Cooper (22-2, 11 KOs) – After back-to-back losses by decision Cooper won a hard-fought decision win over San Antonio’s super tough Celina Salazar at junior featherweight. Now the petite Las Vegas boxer is returning to her proper weight class of 118 pounds or 115 pounds. But will anybody fight her at that weight? It’s been difficult to find anyone willing to meet the boxer/puncher.
9.) Jackie Nava (28-4-3, 12 KOs) – The Tijuana based prizefighter is out of action due to pregnancy, but she will be back. Nava seeks to avenge a loss to Ana Maria Torres or fight Filipina Ana Julaton in a marquee fight showdown. Whenever she comes back the female fight world is better for it.
10.) Kaliesha West (16-1-3, 4 KOs) – Southern California’s West moved up a weight division and captured her second world title as a junior featherweight last October by unanimous decision against Christina Ruiz of Texas. West has big plans for 2013 and the 122-pound weight class seems to suit her.
11.) Holly Holm (31-2-3, 9 KOs) – The New Mexico queen of boxing avenged a knockout loss to Anne Marie Mathis. But can she regain any semblance of dominance again. More than a few observers say she has a severe hometown advantage that has been exploited to hide her flaws. Her next welterweight fight is set against Australia’s Diana Prazak who is really a junior lightweight.
12.) Kina Malpartida (14-3, 4 KOs) – Peru’s first world champion has proven to be extremely athletic and tenacious. Malpartida has not lost a fight in four years and has defended the WBA junior lightweight title five times since 2009. Next up is former featherweight champion Stacey Reile on Dec. 8 in Dominican Republic.
Monica Acosta, Alicia Ashley, Yesica Bopp, Ana Julaton, Lisa Brown, Jessica Rakoczy, Etsuko Tada, Susie Ramadan, Hanna Gabriel, Erica Farias, Janeth Perez.(November 2012)