Alycia Baumgardner insisted to anyone who would listen that she was the hardest punching female fighter in the world.
All that she needed was the opportunity to back up that claim. It came in the form of her first career title fight, with Baumgardner rising to the occasion and punching her way into stardom in one fell swoop.
The 27-year-old from Detroit lived up to her ‘The Bomb’ ring moniker, earning an explosive fourth-round knockout of unbeaten Terri Harper to win the WBC/IBO junior lightweight titles. The road trip to Sheffield, England saw Baumgardner transform into a boxing star, her personality shining all throughout fight week where she repeatedly uttered the phrase ‘And the new!’ and then put something behind those words when it mattered most.
The November 13 title fight ended in an instant, with Baumgardner—well in control through three rounds—landed a bomb of a right hand. Harper was frozen in place and literally out on her feet, as recognized by referee Mark Lyson who immediately moved in to end the fight, his actions reducing the impact of an ensuing left hook that served as window dressing by that point.
“2021 taught me patience and that timing is everything,” Baumgardner told BoxingScene.com of the year that was. The timing of the right hand not only produced a title win but also led to Baumgardner’s career soaring to new heights. From the knockout win came a recurring role as an expert analyst for DAZN’s ‘Before The Bell’ series, which airs preliminary bouts preceding the main telecast. Baumgardner also parlayed the performance into a lucrative co-promotional pact with Matchroom Boxing, among the industry’s most fervent supporters of women’s boxing.
Big things undoubtedly are ahead for Baumgardner, whose perfect blend of power, charisma and beauty has superstar potential for years to come. On that November night in Sheffield, it was enough to rack up top honors as BoxingScene.com’s 2021 Female Knockout of the Year.
The runners-up for BoxingScene.com’s 2021 “Female Knockout of the Year” award are listed below.
Seniesa Estrada KO4 Maria Santizo: Estrada went the distance in each of her two wins to become a two-division titlist preceding her third and final fight of 2021. The unbeaten East Los Angeles native showed power from both sides of the plate in her first strawweight title defense, flooring the previously undefeated Santizo from her traditional stance in round three before switching to southpaw where she landed an overhand left to end the fight in the fourth round of their December 18 clash in San Antonio.
Dina Thorslund KO7 Zulina Munoz: On paper, Mexico City’s Munoz (53-4-2, 30KOs) carried the far greater power as her 30 career knockouts are tied with Amanda Serrano for second-most in women’s boxing history. The script was flipped in the November 13 WBO bantamweight title fight in Thorslund’s native Denmark. Thorslund (17-0, 7KOs)—who carried a 37.5% knockout-to-win percentage heading in—won every round before ending the fight with a perfectly placed left hook to the body midway through round seven.
Amanda Serrano KO9 Daniela Bermudez: Prior to going the distance in back-to-back fights, Serrano inched closer to yet another record in her storied career. A pair of wicked body shots—a left hand and right hook—forced a delayed reaction knockdown, with Argentina’s Bermudez—a three-division champion and reigning IBF junior featherweight champ—going down for the full ten count in their March 25 WBC/WBO/IBO featherweight title fight in Old San Juan.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox