Featherweight continues to be one of boxing’s most exciting divisions, featuring one of female boxing’s true legends and a host of upcoming talents that want to take her crown. BOX! Magazine has provided their rankings for this emerging division.
Champion – Hee Jung Park
Hee Jung Park remains undefeated at Featherweight after demolishing Virani MacVicar in 6 one-sided rounds. The experienced South Korean has hardly dropped a round since returning to active competition and has developed a keen killer instinct as well. ‘The Empress’ has no discernable weaknesses, and though one would suggest that she is reaching the end of her prime as a boxer, it seems difficult to see who can defeat her. The dangerous Dane, Wambui Njeri is likely up next.
1 – Wambui Njeri
A wonderful ambassador for the sport, Wambui has hovered in the top 5 of the rankings for years, but every time she gathers momentum, it grinds to a halt, either due to a loss, or injury. Her time seems to be now. At 32 years old it is her time to shine in her prime. A well rounded southpaw, Njeri is few people’s idea of an easy opponent. Njeri is too polite to ask for a title shot, but she seems to be the most deserving at the moment.
2 – Renee Heroux
The highly protected ‘Lightning Wolf’ Heroux remains among the top ranked Featherweights, even without a truly signature win. No one is quite sure if Heroux is anything more than a fighter with a flashy record or a legitimate fighter, but her knockout record is completely legitimate. Heroux and her promoter have been angling for a title fight, but Hee Jung Park seems uninterested, given Heroux’s lack of name outside of her native France. The fans still want it though.
3 – Sybil Graves
A promotional nightmare in and outside of the ring, Graves remains one of the best fighters in the division, even if no one wants to fight her. The scrappy, controversial, fighter from Newcastle is just about as likely to win by knockout or lose by disqualification. She has a loyal fanbase in the English north, and is hated pretty much everywhere else.
4 – Kayleigh Parsons
‘The Fluke’ has been anything but in the pro ranks. Her draw with Virani MacVicar was the low point so far, but a big win over former champion Yenifer Perez has seen her stock reach its highest point yet. Another well rounded fighter, the criticism of Parsons is that she is a boxer that loves to punch it out when she could outbox them. Both loved and hated by fans, Parsons is someone that people look to refresh the top of the division, and in particular many fans would love a match between her and Sybil Graves, not the least because it means one of them would lose.
5 – Virani MacVicar
It’s been a 2021 to forget for Virani MacVicar, who entered the year with hype and momentum behind her. Two knockout have set the Canadian back tremendously. On her day, she seems to be able to match the talent of the best fighters in the sport, but she seems to lack that next gear that could really bring her to the top. A few wins are clearly needed to build the confidence again, but will there be the patience for change?
6 – Yenifer Perez
The former champion has fallen from grace spectacularly in the last year. Rumours of partying and a lack of discipline are all but confirmed at this point. She had her moments against Kayleigh Parsons, but couldn’t take advantage of a one-eyed ‘Fluke.’ Is there anything left in the tank for Perez, or is she just another story of a fighter falling off?
8 – Michaela Sommer
The German champion is probably one of the most avoided fighters in the division. An emphatic knockout over Carla Flores proves her bonafides and moves her into the top 10. A huge puncher that can end fights with one well timed punch, Sommer is also quite durable, a nightmare of a matchup for most. With promotional backing behind her, Sommer will look for a big scalp to bring her into contention for a title fight.
9 – Tanille Taylor
A scrappy win over the American champion Sonia Fox showed that Taylor may not be as untouchable as she previously had been seen to be. Still, Taylor’s talent is unquestionable. The only question is when she gets a fight with a fighter in the top 10. It would not be a surprise to see Taylor fighting for the title by the end of 2022.
10 – Carla Flores
Flores holds her spot in the rankings more out of lack of other appealing options. Flores is a tough fighter, but has seemed out of her depth in losses to Virani MacVicar and Michaela Sommer. She does not seem to have the power or chin to punch it out with top fighters.
Just missing the cut
Leanne Storm, Mechelle Gauthier