Katie Taylor and Monica Gentili female boxers

Women’s boxing has come a long way in the last couple of decades. Prohibitive legislation left the sport largely restricted to exhibition bouts until the 1990s. In 1996, British fighter Jane Couch’s tireless campaigning resulted in the ban being lifted, and women’s boxing has since exploded in popularity to become one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

In 2022, this was exemplified by Irish star Katie Taylor’s super fight against Amanda Serrano, with Taylor’s undisputed lightweight titles on the line, which became the first women’s boxing match to headline Madison Square Garden. Taylor defeated Serrano on points in what was dubbed the biggest women’s boxing fight of all time.

Ahead of Taylor’s defence of her undisputed championship title against Chantelle Cameron in Dublin on May 20th, here is a breakdown of some of the best female boxing knockouts.

Best female boxing knockouts of all time

  1. Christy Martin vs. Andrea DeShong (1996)

Christy Martin, a pioneer in women’s boxing who is recorded as the first female inducted into the boxing Hall of Fame in 2019, scored a devastating knockout against Andrea DeShong in 1996 with a powerful right hook. This fight helped bring attention to women’s boxing and solidified Martin’s status as one of the leading lights in the sport.

  1. Cecilia Braekhus vs. Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (2018)

Cecilia Brækhus Norwegian boxer

Norwegian legend Cecilia Braekhus holds the record as longest reigning female boxing champion of all time, holding the WBC and WBA World Female welterweight Titles f0r 11 years, 8 months and 10 days. A dominant force for most of her career, Braekhus showcased her skills in a fight against Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes in 2018. In the sixth round, Braekhus landed a brutal right uppercut that sent Lopes crashing to the canvas.

  1. Amanda Serrano vs. Edina Kiss (2017)

One of the most decorated fighters in the game, Puerto Rico’s Amanda Serrano, a multi-division champion, faced off against Hungarian Edina Kiss in what was the second defence of her WBO super bantamweight title. In only the second knockout defeat of Kiss’ career, Serrano delivered a stunning knockout with a perfectly timed left hook.

  1. Claressa Shields vs. Nikki Adler (2017)

Claressa Shields is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and world champion who after this fight confidently declared herself to be the greatest female boxer of all time. It was only her fourth professional fight, but she claimed the WBC and IBF super middleweight titles and remains undefeated and undisputed to this day. Against a plucky Adler, Shields unleashed a barrage of punches in the fifth round, ultimately dropping her with a right hand to end the contest.

  1. Seniesa Estrada vs. Miranda Adkins (2020)

Perceived by many to be a mismatch prior to the contest, undefeated Seniesa Edwards scored the fastest knockout in female boxing history by defeating 42-year-old Adkins in just seven seconds with a blistering five punch combination to leave the previously undefeated American out cold. It was an absolute demolition.

  1. Jelena Mrdjenovich vs. Olivia Gerula (2011)(2011)

This was the third meeting between Canadian rivals Jelena Mrdjenovich and Olivia Gerula.  Jelena Mrdjenovich had won their first contest by knockout, with Gerula evening the score with a unanimous decision victory five years later in 2005. It took a further six years for the rubber match to be made and give both fighters the opportunity to settle the score. Mrdjenovich ended the rivalry in devastating fashion with a crashing left hook in the ninth round to claim the WIBA featherweight title.

  1. Katie Taylor vs Kimberly Connor (2018)

Katie Taylor celebrates beating Kimberly Connor during their IBF and WBA World Female Lightweight Title

Taylor headed into the night looking for her tenth straight victory and was defending both her WBA and IBF lightweight titles, looking to set up against Cindy Serrano, older sister of Amanda. The Irish sensation was in scintillating form, swarming Connor from the off in typical fashion. An accidental clash of heads had visibly injured Taylor in the second round, allowing Connor to briefly get back into the fight. This only proved to spur Taylor into action, landing a body shot which rocked Connor, before stalking her down with a flurry, finally ending with a flush left, right hook combination to take the victory.

  1. Ava Knight vs. Arley Mucino (2011)

Defending champion Arley Mucino was most certainly the favourite to defend her IBF flyweight belt heading into the bout against California native Knight and edged the first round. In the second, Knight used her height and reach advantage to great effect, putting the champ on the back foot and scored what she thought was a knock down, only to be ruled a slip. Undeterred, just moment later, Knight swarmed Mucino with a right hook to the body, followed by a left hook to the face to claim an incredible victory and the IBF title in the process.

  1. Amanda Serrano vs Maria Maderna (2014)

Serrano’s second entry on the list, her dismantling of Maria Maderna to win the WBO lightweight title was one of the early world title wins and part of a 27 fight winning streak which lasted for a decade before her loss to Katie Taylor in 2022. Maderna was looking for her fourth title defence, but Serrano dominated the fight from the first bell, with her speed and power simply too much for the Argentine. Serrano landed a perfect right hook in the sixth round to take home the belt and set her on the way to dominating the division.

  1. Christina Hammer vs. Gifty Ankrah (2017)

Christina Hammer was a dominant and undefeated champion leading into the contest against Ghanaian Ankrah and was looking for a path to cement a case for a fight against Claressa Shields. She needed to make a statement against Ankrah in Munich, and absolutely delivered. Hammer proved just too good, effectively using her jab and making the most of her height and reach advantage with extremely effective combinations. As the fourth round was drawing to a close, a thumping straight right directly into the nose sent Ankrah to the canvas. Despite the opportunity to allow Ankrah to go back to her corner, the referee had seen enough and correctly ended the fight.

  1. Katie Taylor vs Monica Gentili (2017)

It was only Katie Taylor’s third professional bout but was a clear display of her seamless transition from the amateur ranks and set her on the path to become one of the most dominant forces in the sport. Taylor left Gentili overawed right from the start of the fight, using her inimitably relentless pressure to pepper combinations and body shots which Gentili could only try and survive rather than launch any offensive of her own. She displayed her toughness to last until the fifth, but a vicious barrage of shots culminating in a clean left, right combination sent Gentili down face first and caused the referee to wave off the bout for a TKO victory.

  1. Zulina Munoz vs Vanesa Taborda (2016)

Entering the defence of her WBC junior bantamweight title, Mexican fighter Munoz was a heavy favourite with only one defeat in 50 contests. Taborda was winless in seven fights, and it got off a bad start for the Argentine, with Munoz dropping her in round one with a left hook. She beat the count, and fought back to surprisingly take the ascendancy, scoring a knockdown of her own in the third round. Her dominance continued into the fourth round until Munoz swung a bat out of Hell overhand right to end the fight in an instant with one of the cleanest one punch knockouts you’re likely to see.

  1. Natasha Ragosina vs Pamela London (2009)

The contest between Natasha Ragosina and Pamela London for the WIBF super-middleweight world champion title was an intriguing matchup, with Russian Ragosina gave up a significant weight disadvantage over heavyweight champion London. She used her significant height and reach advantage to stay on the outside and counter punch against the pressure London and this proved decisive in round eight. London continued her forward momentum and Ragosina caught her with a straight right while rushing in, face planting her to claim two additional belts in the process.

  1. Anne Sophie Mathis vs. Holly Holm (2011)

Holly Holy has gone on to be a true combat sports great, transitioning from being a multiple time boxing world champion to UFC champion, with her knockout defeat of Ronda Rousey considered one of the biggest combat sports upsets of all time. Back in 2011, Holm was on a seven-year undefeated streak prior to heading into the fight against Anne Sophie Mathis for the vacant IBA female and WBAN welterweight titles. French native Mathis, however, was on a 25-fight streak of her own, and caused an upset for Holm in front of her hometown audience in Albuquerque. In the seventh round, Mathis’ power had started to make the difference and caught home with two left hooks that sent Holm stumbling to the other side of the ring. Mathis followed her every step of the way, backing her up to land an upper cut followed by two hooks to leave Holm tangled up in the ropes.

  1. Ann Wolfe vs. Vonda Ward (2004):

Any list of female boxing knockouts would be seriously remiss without Anne Wolfe’s devastating knockout of Vonda Ward in 2004 in at number one.  For the vacant IBA female light heavyweight title and IBA world light-heavyweight title, Wolfe was the considerably smaller fighter but certainly proved she packed a much bigger punch. In just the first round, Ward sprang forward to launch her own attack, only to be met with a looping overhand right from Wolfe that completely flatlined her with no need for a count from the referee.