Katie Taylor was today named as the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Female Fighter of the Year.
The undisputed lightweight world champion beat former foe and now undisputed welterweight world champion Jessica McCaskil to the accollade.
It the honour comes on the back of a turbulent year for boxing, but a successful one for the 34-year-old nonetheless.
Despite seeing a genuine mega fight with Amanda Serrano fall through, Taylor managed to defeat Delfine Persoon in a highly entertaining and greatly anticipated rematch.
The Irish sensation followed that victory up a masterclass against WBA mandatory challenger Miriam Gutierrez as recent as November.
The impressive wins look certain to set up another big year for the Bray native and were enough to win her the prestigious award voted on by America’s boxing writing fraternity.
Taylor becomes the first back to back winner of the BWAA Christy Martin Female Fighter of the Year award, although the award has only be existence for four years.
“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 is also in the running for BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year ‘World Star’ award and should be a contender for the Irish-boxing.com Fighter of the Year award.
Taylor also goes into the New Year as the BWAA’s pound for pound #1.
The Brian Peters managed lightweight unseated Claressa Shields, the BWAA 2018 Female Fighter of the Year, as the BWAA’s pound-for-pound best last December. Taylor and Shields are followed in the BWAA pound-for-pound top-10 by Braekhus and then McCaskill, who leaped from No. 10 to No. 4 after her historic victory.
Because of McCaskill’s move from No. 10 to No. 4, while Amanda Serrano, Persoon, Yesica Yolanda Bopp and Daniela Romina Bermudez each drop down one spot, respectively, from No. 5 to No. 8.
Argentina’s Marcela Acuna debuts and No. 9, and the United States’ Mikaela Mayer enters at No. 10, with each replacing Mariana Juarez and Canada’s Jelena Mrdjenovich.
BWAA Womens’ Top-10 Pound-for-Pound
1. Katie Taylor – Ireland – 17-0
2. Claressa Shields – United States – 10-0
3. Cecilia Braekhus – Norway – 36-1
4. Jessica McCaskill – United States – 9-2
5. Amanda Serrano – United States – 38-1-1
6. Delfine Persoon – Belgium 44-3
7. Yesica Yolanda Bopp – Argentina – 36-1
8. Daniela Romina Bermudez – Argentina – 29-3-3
9. Marcela Acuna – Argentina – 49-7-2
10. Mikaela Mayer – United States – 14-0
VOTERS – David Avila, Jake Donovan, Sue Fox, Thomas Gerbasi, Mark Jones, Malissa Smith, Ryan Songalia