Claressa Shields reigns supreme during women’s boxing upswing

Women’s boxing has enjoyed absolute highs in recent years, with high-profile bouts, high-risk matches and the emergence of some of the finest talent to don a pair of boxing gloves within the square circle.

We’re only halfway through 2023 and already experienced a shake in the pound-for-pound rankings when Chantelle Cameron defeated Katie Taylor in her backyard in Ireland and subsequently overtook her in the pound-for-pound rankings , while Alycia Baumgardner became an undisputed champion with a dominant decision victory over Elhem Menhaled.

As the GWOAT Claressa Shields prepares to fight in her hometown of Detroit to defend her undisputed middleweight status against late substitute Maricela Cornejo, what can we expect in the second half of 2023?

WATCH: Claressa Shields vs. Maricela Cornejo, live on DAZN

Amanda Serrano will be back in action against Heather Hardy in August. She was originally scheduled to face Taylor, but an injury forced her out and Cameron got the opportunity of a lifetime. Should Serrano emerge victorious, will Taylor be waiting for her at the end of the year or will the Irishwoman try to avenge her loss to Cameron? Cameron has suggested the rematch should be at 135lbs – a weight she hasn’t reached in four years – to challenge Taylor for her undisputed lightweight titles. Any fight would be a big fight and would put Taylor in a position where she absolutely must win if she is to maintain her place as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Alycia Baumgardner will face Christina Linardatou again on July 15. We know Mikaela Mayer is salivating over a rematch, but will Baumgardner get her wish before the end of the year? The always thrilling Seniesa Estrada will take on an opponent to be determined on July 28th, the night before Errol Spence takes on Terence Crawford.

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Perhaps one of the biggest fights in women’s boxing comes on July 1 when two of Shield’s victims square off while Franchon Crews-Dezurn defends their undisputed super middleweight titles against Savannah Marshall. Could the winner be preparing for a rematch with the Shields?

MORE: No Place Like Home: Claressa Shields ready for homecoming

There could be major upheaval in the pound-for-pound rankings by the end of 2023. One thing seems almost certain, though: Claressa Shields will hold the top spot as long as she doesn’t slip on a banana peel en route to the ring against Cornejo.

And if you’re reading this and aren’t up to speed on women’s boxing, do yourself a favor and fix it quick.

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