ALBUQUERQUE – Once again, Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (31-2-3, 9 KOs) is back on her throne as the Queen of Boxing, after avenging her loss last December to French knockout artist Anne Sophie Mathis (26-2, 22 KOs) with a unanimous 10-round decision on June 15 at Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Fan-favorite Holm captured the IBA, WBF and WBAN title belts, as well as the mythical women’s pound-for-pound crown, with her victory over Mathis in their much anticipated rematch. Unlike her first fight with Mathis, the stylish blond southpaw from New Mexico stayed within her game plan to out-box Mathis, not engage in a brawl like she did last December.
Mathis, who had snapped Holm’s seven-year, 24-fight unbeaten streak, lost for the first time in 26 bouts, when she dropped her second professional fight in 1995.
“The game plan was what it was all about,” now 12-time world champion Holm said after the fight. “I wasn’t going to stand there and brawl with her all night. She’s a knockout artist (who stopped Holm in the seventh round last Dec.). I had to play it smart. This was the most important fight of my career, in terms of what I had to overcome. I had a lot of fears and doubts coming into this, but this was the fight I wanted.”
During the course of her 10 ½ year professional career, Holm has defeated many of the biggest names in women’s boxing from the 140 through 154-pound weight classes, including Mathis, Christy Martin, Mary Jo Sanders, Mia St. John, Jane Couch, Duda Yankovich and Chevelle Hallback (twice).
The newly wedded Holm, 30, has met and conquered all challenges and challengers. It’s unlikely that Holm and Mathis, however, complete their trilogy, at least in the immediate future, based on Mathis’ post-fight comments about wanting to fight Holly in France. More than 3,000 fans sold-out Route 66 Casino Hotel to watch Mathis-Holm II and the reason the rematch was held in Albuquerque is simply financial.
“Anyone who fights Holly always receives their highest payday,” Holm’s promoter Lenny Fresquez explained. “This is testament to Holly being one of the few female boxers ever who has the ability to sell tickets like a top male fighter. Why should she go on the road to defend her titles for less money? That doesn’t made good business sense.”
If Holm and Fresquez get their way, Holly’s next opponent will be the only other female boxer mentioned in the same circle today as Holm and Mathis, WBA/WBC/WBO Welterweight World Champion Cecelia “First Lady” Braekus (20-0- 5 KOs). Born in Colombia and living in Finland, Braekus has never fought outside of Europe or shown any inclination to fight away from her home-base.
In addition to Braekus and Mathis, Holm’s hit list includes five-time world champion Layla “Amazing” McCarter (34-13-5, 7 KOs); another French boxer, IBF/WBF Light Welterweight World Champion Mariam Lamare (20-3, 10 KOs), who lost a 10-round decision to Holly in 2009; WBC/WBA Light Welterweight World Champion Monica “La Gata” Acosta (17-0-2, 3 KOs), who has never fought outside of her native Argentine.
Long live The Queen, Holly Holm!