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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Katie Taylor named American boxing writers' female fighter of the year for second year running

The Irish icon has retained the prestigious end-of-year award and also remains top of the BWAA’s pound-for-pound rankings.

Katie Taylor makes her way to the ring for her most recent lightweight title defence against Miriam Gutierrez.
Katie Taylor makes her way to the ring for her most recent lightweight title defence against Miriam Gutierrez.
Image: Matchroom Boxing/Dave Thompson/INPHO

UNDISPUTED LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION Katie Taylor has been named the Boxing Writers Association of America’s (BWAA) Female Fighter of the Year for the second year in a row, and remains the American boxing journalists’ consensus pound-for-pound no.1 after a year in which she defended her titles against Delfine Persoon and Miriam Gutierrez.

Taylor is the first back-to-back winner of the award, albeit the female category has been in existence for only four years. The BWAA’s awards are, along with their Ring Magazine equivalents, generally seen as the most prestigious end-of-year awards in the professional sport.

The 34-year-old narrowly beat out her former opponent, Jessica McCaskill, who this year ended the long welterweight reign of inaugural BWAA queen Cecilia Braekhus in a close encounter in Oklahoma.

“It was a tough decision between Katie and Jessica,” said Thomas Gerbasi, chairman of the BWAA women’s seven-person selection committee. “In fairness, the McCaskill-Braekhus fight was very close, while Katie beat Delfine Persoon the second time more convincing than she did the first time, and Delfine has long been on the pound-for-pound list.

“Then, Katie defended all of her titles against undefeated Miriam Gutierrez, who came in highly touted and was among The Ring’s top five lightweights. Katie beat her convincingly. Like I said, it was a tough vote this year, and I think you can also toss Mikaela Mayer and Terri Harper into the mix and say they had strong cases, too.

“It was a nice race, which shows where women’s boxing is going these days.”

Taylor, who was informed of the BWAA’s decision on Monday morning, said: “It’s such an honour to be chosen twice. To win this award again is amazing.

“I’m hoping to be fighting in February or March of next year, and we’re not too sure who or where it will be, but I’m excited to be fighting again.

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“Going into 2020, I was hoping this would be a good year for me. I was happy to finish off the year fighting my mandatory and I’m delighted to finish my year off strong. I always go into every year trying to make huge strides in the sport.”

Taylor unseated Claressa Shields atop the BWAA’s pound-for-pound rankings last December and did the same in the Ring Magazine’s updated rankings following her one-sided victory over Miriam Gutierrez, a solid mandatory contender and former Spanish amateur standout who was made to look like a punchbag amid a whirlwind-like Taylor display.

The Irish icon remains top of the BWAA’s list of the best 10 female fighters at the end of 2020, with McCaskill entering at #4 following her historic victory over Braekhus. The Chicago native and Norwegian legend are due to meet again in early spring, with the eventual winner hoping to land a fight against Taylor.

Taylor was also recently announced as one of six nominees for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year ‘World Star’ award, which is contested by athletes from outside of Britain.

Boxing Writers Association of America women’s pound-for-pound rankings:

1. Katie Taylor – Ireland – 17-0 (6KOs)
2. Claressa Shields – United States – 10-0 (2KOs)
3. Cecilia Braekhus – Norway – 36-1 (9KOs)
4. Jessica McCaskill – United States – 9-2 (3KOs)
5. Amanda Serrano – United States – 38-1-1 (28KOs)
6. Delfine Persoon – Belgium 44-3 (18KOs)
7. Yesica Yolanda Bopp – Argentina – 36-1 (16KOs)
8. Daniela Romina Bermudez – Argentina – 29-3-3 (10KOs)
9. Marcela Acuna – Argentina – 49-7-2 (20KOs)
10. Mikaela Mayer – United States – 14-0 (5KOs)

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