Tuesday, October 03, 2023  |


Women’s Ratings Update: Baumgardner and Thorslund jump to the top

Alycia Baumgardner - Photo By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
Fighters Network

As the end of the year approaches, women’s boxing seems to be gaining a lot of ground in terms of quality of matchups, with several pound-for-pound entrants risking their titles in a handful of high-profile bouts. This past week was no exception.

In a flyweight title bout, Arely Muciño scored a win over Jacky Calvo, but that win appears to be limited to the official scorecards. Muciño failed to win the favor of most of our panelists, in a performance that barely helped her to maintain her already lofty status as the No. 2 in one of women’s boxing’s elite divisions.

“From what I saw, Calvo dominated, and that has also been the feeling of all those who saw this fight,” said panelist Irene Deserti, editor of Rincon Rojo magazine and a close follower of the Mexican scene. Japan’s Yuriko Miyata agreed by saying “I also saw Calvo win the fight against Muciño, after competitive rounds (Calvo) won the last three rounds clearly.”

“I thought Calvo defeated Muciño, especially after she scored a knockdown in round nine,” said IBRO researcher Mark Jones, while boxing historian Malissa Smith concurred by saying that “the knockdown was a huge fact as was cleaner punching.”

Moving up to the bantamweight division, Denmark’s Dina Thorslund soundly defeated our former No. 1 Zulina Muñoz by stoppage in seven rounds, and was unanimously raised to that position, while Muñoz slipped all the way to No. 4 after such a devastating loss in spite of being one of the winningest female fighters of all time.

“The KO was terrible, and given Zulina’s credentials, Dina deserves to climb with this victory,” said Deserti, while Smith said that “(Thorslund) also broke down Muñoz in a way that few fighters have been able to engineer” and Jones going a step further by saying that “with another victory over a top-level fighter, Thorslund should be considered for inclusion into the pound-for-pound rankings.”

Denmark’s Dina Thorslund (right) demolished Mexico’s Zulina Muñoz on her way to become a 118-pound titlist and earning the No. 1 position in The Ring’s ratings in that division – to add to her current No. 2 at 122 pounds as well – Photo by TK Promotions

The real debate, however, was left for last.

In one of the most seismic shocks in recent memory, Alycia Baumgardner (previously unranked by The Ring due to her constant chances in weight classes) traveled to England to defeat our No. 1 junior lightweight in Terri Harper, a fighter that was even mentioned as one of the world’s top pound-for-pound fighters by other publications.

The stoppage was devastating enough for most panelists to demote Harper to the bottom of the Top 5, bumping out Poland’s Ewa Brodnicka in the process.

Assessing Baumgardner’s new place was an entirely different debate.

“(It’s) nice to see the Ring’s 2017 Prospect of the Year deliver when she got her chance,” said recently inducted Women’s Boxing Hall of Famer Thomas Gerbasi, who has been following Baumgardner’s career for a long time.

Gerbasi agreed with a proposal to place Baumgardner at No. 2, behind a more proven Delfine Persoon and right above recently defeated Maiva Hamadouche, but an entirely different proposal earned a lot of votes too.

“I’m afraid I have to disagree with placing Baumgardner ahead of Choi. Choi is undefeated and is the longest-reigning champion in women’s boxing,” said Jones, while Smith went even further by suggesting that while “Baumgardner came, saw, and conquered Harper (and) her win was impressive” she should enter the very competitive 130-ranking at No. 4, an idea that had a few more supporters as well.

“Baumgardner probably won’t last (at this weight), but I’m all for moving her to No. 2 and Harper to No. 5. That’ll light some fires under a few boxers. Love it,” said Lupi Gutierrez-Beagle of Beautiful Brawlers, while Argentina’s Yesica Palmetta said that “Baumgardner is a warrior who shone against Harper, but the resume of the other ranked fighters for me is still superior.”

In the end, the suggestion to move Baumgardner further up earned more votes, and she ended up securing the No. 2 spot in a division that seems more and more exciting with every fight that passes.

“Alycia Baumgardner was definitely on my radar, she’s improved a lot since her lone defeat,” said Michael Montero. “During my show last week, I told everybody that she would be an extremely tough challenge for Terri Harper and was a very live dog in their fight,” he said, in justifying his vote to raise “The Bomb” all the way to No. 1.

“I agree with welcoming Baumgardner No. 2. It does not make sense to me to put her lower than that with that impressive victory over Harper,” countered Miyata, summarizing the vote of the very narrow majority that chose to elevate Baumgardner to her new position.

Terri Harper v Alycia Baumgardner, Sheffield, 13 November 2021 – Photo by Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing