Women's boxing pound-for-pound rankings: Changes in top 3 after busy month, including a new No. 1

Claressa Shields, above, defeated Marie-Eve Dicaire by decision to win the undisputed junior middleweight championship. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Claressa Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and now two-division undisputed champion, is ESPN's new No. 1 women's pound-for-pound fighter.

Shields dominated Marie-Eve Dicaire in a 10-round unanimous decision victory to unify all four major junior middleweight belts on March 6. Shields had already collected all four middleweight world titles with a decision victory over Christina Hammer in 2019. She's the first fighter, female or male, to be undisputed champion in two different divisions in the modern era.

Former two division champion and current ESPN boxing analyst Timothy Bradley Jr. moved Shields to the No. 1 spot after her victory over Dicaire saying that what Shields is doing is unprecedented.

"She's now a unified champion in two different divisions. It's all about being great and taking risks and Claressa Shields is always willing to prove how great she is inside the ring, and winning another undisputed championship is unreal, it really is -- it's unreal what she's doing," Bradley said. "It's not an easy thing to do, and to do it in the short amount of fights that Claressa has under her belt -- it's remarkable."

Bradley is already looking at Shield's future and could see her making more history if she continues to chase greatness.

"I don't know if Claressa can go down to 147 pounds, and challenge welterweight undisputed champion Jessica McCaskill for all her belts, but if she does, and she beats McCaskill, she will definitely be the GWOT, without any questions," said Bradley. "I actually think she is already the GWOT. She has tremendous skills, heart, ability, technique, she has everything. I would love to see her fight against Laila Ali, I really like the talk around that fight -- that would be amazing."

McCaskill, who defended her championship in the rematch against Cecilia Braekhus on Saturday, also climbed a spot, going from No. 4 to No. 3. The judges' scorecards were a little wider than the fight represented, but regardless, she came out on top.

ESPN boxing writer Nick Parkinson moved McCaskill up one spot to No. 3 over Amanda Serrano, but said that she needs some more victories to leapfrog Shields or No. 2 Katie Taylor.

"After retaining her undisputed welterweight championship, only Katie Taylor and Shields stand above Jessica McCaskill in terms of achievement and current form," Parkinson said. "The 35-year-old from Chicago beat Braekhus in a far more convincing manner than their first fight six months ago. With that victory, McCaskill showed that she is improving, but she still trails Taylor, the undisputed lightweight champion (who outpointed McCaskill in December 2017) and Shield, on my list."

ESPN's Kel Dansby ranks has McCaskill at No. 3 and couldn't find a way to move her ahead of Shields and Taylor.

"Despite an impressive title defense over Braekhus in the rematch, McCaskill fails to move up on my pound-for-pound list. This is more so because of the accomplishments of the two women ahead of her and in no way a knock against the undisputed welterweight champion," Dansby said. "The weekend prior, Shields became the first boxer in the four-belt era to be crowned undisputed champion in two different divisions. Taylor is currently the undisputed champion at lightweight, and holds a decisive win over McCaskill in 2017. It'll be hard for McCaskill to jump either Shields or Taylor without fighting them and literally knocking them out of their spot. "

So, who else is in the ESPN.com women's pound-for-pound rankings? Here's the list.

Note: Results are through March 15.

1. CLARESSA SHIELDS     Previous ranking: No. 2

RECORD: 11-0, 2 KOs
DIVISION: junior middleweight and middleweight undisputed champion
LAST FIGHT: W (UD10) Marie Eve Dicaire, March 5
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


2. KATIE TAYLOR     Previous ranking: No. 1

RECORD: 17-0, 6 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight (undisputed champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD10) Miriam Gutierrez, Nov. 14
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


3. JESSICA MCCASKILL     Previous ranking: No. 4

RECORD: 10-2, 3 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight undisputed champion
LAST FIGHT: W (UD10) Cecilia Braekhus, March 13
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


4. AMANDA SERRANO     Previous ranking: No. 3

RECORD: 39-1-1, 29 KOs
DIVISION: Featherweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO1) Dahiana Santana, Dec. 15
NEXT FIGHT: March 25 vs. Daniel Bermudez


5. DELFINE PERSOON     Previous ranking: No. 6

RECORD: 44-3, 18 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight
LAST FIGHT: L (UD10) Katie Taylor, Aug. 22
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


6. CHRISTINA HAMMER     Previous ranking: No. 7

RECORD: 26-1, 12 KOs
DIVISION: Middleweight
LAST FIGHT: W (Ko7) Sanna Turunen, Dec. 20
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


7. MIKAELA MAYER     Previous ranking: No. 8

RECORD: 14-0, 5 KOs
DIVISION: Junior lightweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD10) Ewa Brodnicka, Oct. 31
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


T-8. CECILIA BRAEKHUS     Previous ranking: No. 5

RECORD: 36-2, 9 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight
LAST FIGHT: L (UD10) Jessica McCaskill, March 13
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


T-8. DANIELA BERMUDEZ     Previous ranking: No. 10

RECORD: 29-3-3, 10 KOs
DIVISION: Bantamweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO4) Cintia Gisela Castillo, Dec. 4
NEXT FIGHT: March 25 vs. Amanda Serrano


10. TERRI HARPER     Previous ranking: 9

RECORD: 11-0-1, 6 KOs
DIVISION: Junior lightweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO9) Katharina Thanderz, Nov. 14
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


The formula

The rankings are based on a descending points system, with a first-place vote receiving 10 points, a second-place vote receiving nine points and so on.

Others receiving votes: Yesica Bopp (6), Seniesa Estrada (5), Layla McCarter (5) Hyun Choi (4), Yulihan Luna (1), Yanileth Mercado (1), Savannah Marshall (1), Chantelle Cameron (1).


How our experts voted

Timothy Bradley Jr.: 1. Shields, 2. Taylor, 3. Serrano, 4. McCaskil, 5. Hammer, 6. Mayer, 7. Harper, 8. Estrada, 9. Braekhus, 10. Persoon

Nick Parkinson: 1. Taylor, 2. Shields, 3. McCaskill, 4. Serrano, 5. Braekhus, 6. Persoon, 7. Hammer, 8. Mayer, 9. Bopp, 10. Cameron

Michelle Joy Phelps: 1. Shields, 2. Taylor, 3. McCaskill, 4. Serrano, 5. Braekhus, 6. Persoon, 7. Mayer, 8. Harper, 9. Bermudez, 10. Marshall

Salvador Rodriguez: 1. Taylor, 2. Shields, 3. McCaskill, 4. Persoon, 5. Serrano, 6. Harper, 7. Bermudez, 8. Mayer, 9. Braekhus, 10. Luna

Bernardo Pilatti: 1. Taylor, 2. Shields, 3. McCaskill, 4. Serrano, 5. Hammer, 6. McCarter, 7. Persoon, 8. Bermudez, 9. Mayer, 10. Mercado

Charlie Moynihan: 1. Shields, 2. Taylor, 3. Serrano, 4. Bermudez, 5. McCaskill, 6. Hammer, 7. Choi, 8. Persoon, 9. Mayer, 10. Braekhus

Kel Dansby: 1. Shields, 2. Taylor, 3. McCaskill, 4. Serrano, 5. Hammer, 6. Persoon, 7. Bopp, 8. Mayer, 9. Estrada, 10. Bermudez


ESPN experts' poll

First place: Shields (4), Taylor (3)

Second place: Taylor (4), Shields (3)

Third place: McCaskill (5), Serrano (2)

Fourth place: Serrano (4), McCaskill (1), Persoon (1), Bermudez (1)

Fifth place: Hammer (3), Braekhus (2), McCaskill (1), Serrano (1)

Sixth place: Persoon (3) Hammer (1), Mayer (1), Harper (1), McCarter (1)

Seventh place: Harper (2), Persoon (1), Mayer (1), Bermudez (1), Choi (1), Bopp (1)

Eighth place: Mayer (3), Persoon (1), Bermudez (1), Harper (1), Estrada (1)

Ninth place: Mayer (2), Braekhus (2), Bermudez (1), Bopp (1), Estrada (1)

10th place: Persoon (1), Braekhus (1), Bermudez (1), Luna (1), Mercado (1), Cameron (1), Marshall (1)