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Who is the righteous 'GWOAT'; Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor or Amanda Serrano?

Our resident boxing insider Rob Tebbutt takes a look at three of the greatest female fighters to have donned the gloves and assesses who can stake a claim as being the best of the lot.

Amanda Serrano (43-2-1, 30 KOs) returns to action this weekend as she seeks to add another accolade to her extensive list of achievements by becoming Puerto Rico’s first ever undisputed world champion.

Serrano, who boasts an incredible record nine world titles in seven weight classes, narrowly lost out to Irish star Katie Taylor in April 2022 in a fight considered by many to be the greatest fight in women’s boxing history.

Ahead of her return this weekend against WBA featherweight champion Erika Cruz Hernandez (15-1, 3 KOs), the conversation over who is the greatest female to lace up the gloves has been reignited. 

Despite falling short in a razor-thin decision loss against the naturally-bigger Taylor, Serrano’s claim to the throne remains a strong one - and it will strengthen further if she’s able to unify the 126-lbs division this weekend.

However, the general consensus remains that the title of the ‘GWOAT’ (Greatest Woman Of All Time) is a two-horse race and, until Saturday night at least, Serrano is not one of them.

For me, it remains a straight shootout between the aforementioned Serrano-conqueror Katie Taylor (22-0, 6 KOs) and the brilliant, brash undisputed middleweight Queen Claressa Shields (13-0, 2 KOs).

The success of Taylor, who blazed a trail as an amateur with five consecutive World Amateur gold medals between 2006 and 2014, was instrumental in bringing boxing to the Olympics for the first time where she won gold at London in 2012.

After turning professional in 2016, Taylor has enjoyed immense success, becoming world champion in just seven fights with a decision win over Anahi Sanchez. 

Since, then Taylor has fought exclusively in world title fights, going 15-0 (2 KOs) in them and is 12-0 (1 KO) against former or current world champions.

The win over Serrano at Madison Square Garden last year saw her not only defend her undisputed lightweight titles, but also secure a win over another legend of the female code. 

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At 36-years-old, Taylor is approaching the end of her career, with a homecoming fight in her beloved Ireland the last box for the Bray woman to tick. 

Could it be in a blockbuster rematch against Serrano? The latter will have to emerge victorious this weekend against Hernandez first…

Then comes the incomparable Claressa Shields.

The braggadocios American is seen as a polarising figure in boxing, but as the great Muhammad Ali once said: “It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.”

Like Taylor, Shields entered the professional code on the back of a tremendously successful amateur career.

At just 17-years-old, the Flint, Michigan native picked up gold at London 2012 before retaining her title at Rio in 2016 - becoming the first American boxer in history to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals.

Since turning professional in November 2016, Shields has been simply flawless. 

In just her fourth fight, Shields defeated Nikki Adler by stoppage to become world champion and in her nine fights since, has become undisputed champion in an unprecedented three weight classes.

Unlike Taylor, who had close - and in some eyes controversial - wins over Delfine Persoon and Natasha Jonas, Shields has never been close to losing as a professional. 

Even Shields’ heavily-hyped bout with Britain’s Savannah Marshall in October was won in comprehensive fashion by the American, and the question remains whether there are any other challenges that await her.

So who is the GWOAT? The Greatest Woman of All Time?

In truth, there isn’t one obvious candidate and, as always, it comes down to personal preference.

For me, the crown sits on the head of Shields.

A combined amateur and professional record of 77-1 (7 KOs), undisputed titles in three weight classes and two Olympic gold medals takes some beating and the manner of her success - in such dominance - tip the scale to the American in my opinion.

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