Any women’s boxing match has all of the heart-pounding action and glory of the men’s boxing matches. These best female boxers prove that skill, grit, and talent crosses all genders with unique moves that are sure to inspire. These are some of the best black female boxers who have recently boxed worked are currently boxing today.
Claressa Shields is one of the top black female boxers of the century. This youthful legend was born in 1995 and combined boxing with martial arts. Her talents also transcend several weight classes, including undisputed light middleweight and middleweight titles. She also held the IBF super middle middleweight title between 2017 and 2018.
Shields is also recognized by legacy places like ESPN and BoxRec as being one of the top active female boxers in the country and was the youngest female boxer to qualify for the Olympics. This decorated veteran is only getting started, and we’re sure that we’re going to see awesome stuff from her moving forward.
Michele Aboro was active between 1995 and 2001, winning the WIBF Super Bantamweight Title in 2000. Although her career was short, it sure was impressive. In 1995, during her first boxing bout, Aboro knocked out Marleen Lambert and went on to dominate at many of the following competitions.
She worked her way through Europe, beating greats like Daisy Lang and Brigitte Pastor before taking home the ultimate honor, the WIBF’s Super Bantamweight Title. Although retired, Michele Aboro remains a massive inspiration to today’s boxers for her signature moves, skill, and sheer talent.
Pearl Morake is a Botswana-born boxing champion and the first woman to compete in her country. She’s won several competitions, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and is a jill-of-all-trades. In addition to being an exceptional boxer, Pearl Morake also plays netball.
Her native country of Botswana recognized her as the Female Boxer of the Year in 2015, and she’s won accolades from both the Botswana Boxing Association and Botswana National Sports Commission Awards.
Kenyan-born Conjestina Achieng is part of an enormous family of ten people, and plenty of them have boxing chops too. Her brother Joseph used to box in Nairobi. Although Joseph reached incredible heights with his amateur boxing, he was never able to hold a candle to his little sister, who got the nickname “hands of stone” for her devastating style.
Conjestina Achieng beat out several other African women, including Fiona Tugume from Uganda, and subsequently won the WIBF Middleweight category.
Emily Nakalema is from Uganda and one of the youngest black female boxers on our list. Born in 1994, Nakalema quickly made a name for herself as one of the pivotal members of the She Bombers. The She Bombers are Uganda’s official national boxing team, and Nakalema stood at their helm.
She also boxed for the Katwe Boxing Club, a prestigious club situated in Kampala representing the best of the best in Uganda. Nakalema represents her country both regionally and throughout the continent, consistently winning bouts in her middleweight category.
Nicola Virginia Adams
British Nicola Virginia Adams had a short but impressive boxing career between 2017 and 2019. She won the WBO Female Flyweight competition in the last year of her career and ended her stint at boxing undefeated. However, one of the most exciting aspects of Nicola Virginia Adams is her Olympic career. She was the first female boxer to take home the gold in two competitions.
In addition to her glorious boxing career, Nicola Virginia Adams is an LGBTQIA+ activist and was named by The Independent as the most influential person from the gay community in 2012.
Christina Ongare is another Kenyan legend famous for her local, regional, continent-wide, and global competitions. She was a bruiser in the featherweight division and helped Kenya get the bronze in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Doing so made her the first Kenyan woman to win a medal for boxing in the Commonwealth Games.
As with a lot of the heavy-hitters on our list, Christina Ongare participated in a myriad of different sports, like acrobatics and football. She also beat Catherine Nanziri of Uganda in the 2020 African Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament, putting her right on the path to participating in the upcoming Olympic games. There’s no doubt that we will continue to see great things from her.
Guyanese Shondell Alfred had an 11-year career that netted her tons of respect, accolades, and titles. Her most famous achievement was scoring the WIBA Bantamweight honor between 2009 – 2010, but that’s far from all she’s known and respected for. Shondell Alfred has boxed all over the world, including defeating strong female boxers in Canada before moving on to Barbados.
She rarely suffered any losses during her world tour, even when boxing with legends like Alicia Ashley. She officially retired after getting pregnant, leaving behind a glorious record of wins.
Ria Ramnarine, from Trinidad and Tobago, competed for 13 years between 1999 and 2012. Over the course of her decade-plus in the sport, she took home several world titles in multiple weight classes and even had the WIBA Minimumweight honor between 2005 and 2006. She also held the WIBF Minimumweight and WIBA Light Flyweight honors in 2001.
One of the things that makes Ramnarine super unique is that she’s Trinidad and Tobago’s only female boxer. With her incredible record and skill, she’s truly an honor for her country.
The daughter of famous boxing great Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali, is not only a prominent black female boxer but also a celebrity and personality. She was active from 1999 to 2007 and held several different titles for different weight classes, including the IBA, IWBF, WBC, and WIBA. Although most of her work was with Super Middleweight honors, she held a few Light Heavyweight ones as well.
Although Ali had a famous father, she certainly didn’t ride on his coattails. She began boxing at 18 and started competing at 21, ending her first match with a knockout almost straight away. After that, she continued to have a successful career, making a name for herself independently and surely making her father proud.
Leatitia Robinson was born in the United States and worked as a professional boxer specializing in Middleweight bouts and securing several titles like IWBF and WIBA. She started her career in 2001 with a bang by knocking out Aicheria Bell in the first round. This early success put Robinson on a path to even greater fame and fortune.
In 2002 she boxed against Dakota Stone, delivering another signature knockout and going on to secure the IWBF title. In 2004, Leatitia Robinson won her top prize, the IBA Continental Light Heavyweight honor over Valerie Mahfood. Robinson’s signature style of fast moves and unexpected jabs gave her the advantage over Mahfood and sent her home with the title.
Alicia Ashely is one of the most famous Jamaican-American black female boxers of all time. Although she definitely stands on her own two feet, Ashley does have famous relatives. Her older brother Maurice Ashley is a chess grandmaster, and her brother Devon Ashley is a world champion kickboxer.
Still, Alicia Ashley showed right out of the gate that she deserved recognition on her own. Her first three bouts were a bit of a mixed bag, but she soon found her stride during a bout with Downtown Leona Brown and Kelsey Jeffries, beating both of them soundly. She went on to win the Featherweight honor and was classified as a world champion.
Ugandan Hellen Baleke broke several barriers by being the first female from her country to place at 2019 All Africa Games. Hellen Baleke won a bronze medal, skyrocketing her to fame and making her a household name in Uganda and neighboring countries. As with some of the other Ugandan greats on our list, Baleke was active with the She Bombers, working closely with Mercy Mukankusi on her moves.
In addition to winning the bronze in the 2019 All Africa Games, Baleke also brought home accolades in the 2014 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship, although she eventually lost to Claressa Shields.
Michigan-born Kaliesha West is one of the best black female boxers in the United States, bringing home the WBO Female Bantamweight title three times. She’s also a Super Bantamweight Boxing World Champion. In addition to her numerous awards and accolades, Kaliesha West also works for women’s rights and advocacy as a motivational speaker.
She also champions women’s boxing as a way to boost confidence and increase interest in sports for women. She’s traveled all over the world, competing, including Mexico, Argentina, and many parts of Europe.
Leona Brown, also known as “downtown” Leona Brown, is one of the United States’ top legacy boxers and a WIBC World Bantamweight winner. She’s been compared to George Forman for her tenacity in the ring and ability to intuit her opponents’ every move. From Buffalo, New York, Leona Brown started off in regional and local state competitions and quickly started moving along the east coast.
Although her record was mostly undefeated, she did suffer a few losses in Louisiana to Eva Jones and Margaret Sidoroff. Nevertheless, Brown scored the title of world champion in 1999 after beating Dee Dufoe.
Nigerian-born Ijeoma Egbunine was active between 2004 and 2011 and had the honor of being 2006’s WIBF Light-Heavyweight winner. She started her professional career with two consecutive wins against Janaya Davis and continued a streak of domination. She only lost to a few boxing greats, notably Laila Ali and Nikki Eplion, and bested quite a few top boxers like Carlette Ewell and Valerie Mahfood.
Egbunine routinely donates her proceeds to humanitarian causes and women’s empowerment foundations. Like several of the other black female boxers on our list, Egbunine thinks that boxing can, and does, empower women and girls.
Khadija El-Mardi is Moroccan and an Olympic black female boxer. Although she didn’t take home gold, silver, or bronze in the 2016 Summer Olympics, she still had a great showing in her Middleweight category and made her home country proud.
Unfortunately, El-Mardi was unable to compete in subsequent Olympic events because of personal reasons, although she qualified for them. The legacy that she did leave behind is still pretty tremendous, though.
Jacqueline “Jacqui” Frazier-Lyde
Jacqueline Frazier-Lyde, also known as Jacqui, had two calling in life; boxing and law. She excelled at both. Although Jacqui is related to famous boxing legend Joe Frazier, she made a name for herself all on her own. Plus, she started pretty late. Jacqui discovered boxing when she was well into her 30s and made some great waves despite competing against women half her age.
Jacqui credits Laila Ali for inspiring her to start boxing, and she had a massive string of successes early on. She even fought Ali at one point, although Ali dominated in the first. Jacqui went on to win several titles, including the WIBA Light Heavyweight honors and the WIBF Intercontinental Super Middleweight honor. Her career was dominated by many wins, most of them with her knocking out her opponent.
Chevelle Hallback, from Florida, had a very interesting nickname throughout her career. Known as the “fist of steel,” Hallback was famous for her knockout punches and solid moves. Right from the beginning, Hallback excelled at taking on massive stars like Connie Plosser and Lucia Rijker.
She had a long string of wins, going on to score the WIBF World Featherweight title. She also beat Alicia Ashley in 2002 for another world title.
Best Black Female Boxers, Final Thoughts
There is no shortage of amazing black female boxers both from the United States and abroad. So if you’re looking for some inspiration to hit the gym, look no further than this list of amazing boxers and athletes.