Cecilia Braekhus on Holly Holm : “I am very, very disappointed”

The classy Cecilia Braekhus

The classy Cecilia Braekhus

WBA, WBC & WBO Female Welterweight Champion Cecilia Braekhus and promoter Nisse Sauerland share their views on Holly Holm´s retirement.

CECILIA BRAEKHUS:

“I am very, very disappointed. A fight against Holly would have been the biggest thing in women´s boxing, the one fight every fan wants to see. It´s a shame that it will not happen – but it´s not our fault. We´ve done all we could. I have always said that I was willing to fight her, I have always been ready for her. My team has worked very hard to organise the fight. We removed all the stumbling blocks. We were even willing to go to her backyard. And when she has the chance to give the fans what they want to see, she retires. Really, I don´t know what to say. It´s a pity and I´m disappointed. I will now shift my focus to other challenges, there are a lot of other interesting options for me. One thing I know for sure – true champions do not run away from mega-fights.”

NISSE SAUERLAND:

“We are disappointed to hear that Holly Holm has retired from boxing. She is one of the all-time greats. She deserves respect for what she has done for women´s boxing. It´s sad that a great career ends like this – now she will always be remembered for running away from Cecilia Braekhus, the best female fighter in the world.

“If Holly Holm still had the heart, pride and skills to compete at the highest level, there is no way she would have passed on the biggest payday of her career. We have offered her a six-figure sum. But with this offer on the table, she calls it a career and decides to fight in MMA – for a fraction of that money. That just tells you all about how scared she is to fight Cecilia. The horrible knock-out loss against Anne-Sophie Mathis – a fighter Cecilia outclassed last September – must have changed something inside Holly. She knows she can´t beat Cecilia.

“We wish Holly all the best for her retirement. Meanwhile, Cecilia has other options against fighters who are courageous enough to challenge the best female fighter in the world. That´s how you cement a legacy, by fighting the best of the best, not by retiring when you have the chance to be part of a fight every boxing fan wants to see.”

Holly Holm retiring from boxing…going into MMA full time

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (April 17, 2013, 2013) – Yesterday at a Fresquez Productions media luncheon, 14-time, three-division world boxing champion Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (32-2-3, 9 KOs) shocked the combat sports world by announcing her retirement from boxing, effective after her May 11 fight with “Merciless” Mary McGee (20-1, 11 KOs), in order to pursue her mixed-martial-arts career (3-0-0).

“Since I first started fighting, it became my passion,” Holly explained her decision. “I decided a long time ago, after quitting school to fight, that I would box as long as my heart was in it. One of my biggest and controversial fights was against Christy Martin. Then, it was Mary Jo Sanders. There’s always a champion. This is my own journey. Every one of my fights have helped me to believe in myself.

“When we were deciding which way to go with my future, my trainer, Mike Winkeljohn, said it best, ‘You want to climb a new mountain.’ This thing has created a new spark in me and I’m following my heart. I wish much success to Cecilia (Braekhus) but not fighting her does not, by any means, define my boxing career. I know there’s a lot of talk about that but what does that say about all the women I’ve already fought? I’ve never been a paper champion. I’ve grown so much every step of the way. I’m in this fight, on May 11,100 percent; I’m not distracted. This is obviously an emotional, spiritual and physical journey and I’m so grateful for the people who have supported me. I just want to fight where my passion is (MMA). I train in an MMA gym and always have.”

Holm defends her International Boxing Association and World Boxing Federation (WBF) junior welterweight titles in the 10-round main event on the “Mayhem” card, presented by Fresquez Productions, at Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albququerque, New Mexico.

“I love Holly’s team – the chemistry, the fans, the loyalty,” Holm’s promoter Lenny Fresquez said. “Regarding Cecilia – Holly doesn’t need anybody! She is headed toward the boxing (International) Hall of Fame and is already named for the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame. We will continue the Holly Holm saga. She’s at the top of her game and we support her history-making decision.”

Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey?

According to a Feb. 28 report from Alibi.com, 135-pound striker Holly Holm remained undefeated in her pro MMA career by defeating Katie Merrill at Bellator 91.

Holm won via knockout midway through the second frame, as the official decision was ref stoppage by TKO (punch to the body) at the 3:02 mark of round two.

Holm, one of the most decorated female boxers of all-time, is now 3-0, with three-straight knockout victories.

She also happens to compete in the same division as UFC champ Ronda Rousey, which led some to believe the UFC will be keeping a close eye on her in the months ahead.

“Twitter blew up with premature demands that Holm take on UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey,” Alibi.com writer Ari LeVaux reports. “Alas, Holm’s lack of confidence in her ground game and tentativeness in punishing her opponent early with strikes gives us little reason to believe she would be able to stop Ronda from taking her down and arm-barring her. But if Holm ever wanted to apply herself to developing a ground game, she would be a scary assignment for anyone.”

Holm may be a long-shot at this point to challenge Rousey in her next fight, but she may be a nice choice as the rest of the UFC’s bantamweight division settles in.

Miesha Tate is already slated to fight Cat Zingano in April, and Alexis Davis will likely fight Sara McMann before summer.

Rousey was expected to fight one of the four aforementioned women, but she suffered virtually no damage in her UFC 157 fight against Liz Carmouche, so she should be ready to go long before the dust clears from the Tate-Zingano and Davis-McMann matchups.

Logistically it makes perfect sense, as the timing is right for Holm to fight Rousey. Both women are on close to the same training schedules, so they could realistically fight each other as early as May.

Holly Holm into MMA, wants rousey

According to a Jan. 25 report from 1017theteam.com, three-division world champion Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (32-2-3, 9 KOs) is looking to make a transition to the MMA ranks in 2013, citing a lack of legitimate top-notch opponents in boxing.

Holmes’ promoter, Fresquez Productions, announced that Holm (2-0) would be in a Bellator MMA fight on Feb. 28th live from the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, NM. “We’re not waiting around to fight anybody,” Fresquez noted. “Holly can be a world champion in MMA, too, but boxing is her first love. We can’t make Braekhus fight Holly. Unfortunately, the dilemma for Holly is that there just aren’t any big names left for her to box, at least those ready and willing to fight her.”

Holm, 31, has a kickboxing background, so a transition to MMA isn’t all that ridiculous. She already has two MMA bouts under her belt, and she won both by way of knockout.

Her lack of MMA fights is due to her concentration on boxing, which has been more lucrative.

Holm’s head trainer in boxing, Mike Winkeljohn, is one of the head coaches at the famed Jackson’s/Winkeljohn Mixed Martial Arts Gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Team Jackson-Winkeljohn is recognized as one of the best in MMA, featuring UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones, a training and sparring partner for Holm.

She also happens to be the same weight as Ronda Rousey, so jumping ship to the UFC’s 135-pound women’s division seems inevitable. Now that the world’s top MMA promotion has invested in developing women’s MMA, sticking to boxing may not be the most lucrative option anymore for Holm.

As for Rousey, who is slated to fight Liz Carmouche on Feb. 23 at UFC 157, she has a line of legit MMA bantamweights waiting in the wings, as Cat Zingano, Sara McMann, Alexis Davis and Miesha Tate are just a few of the names being thrown around as potential challengers.

There’s also the real very chance that Cris Santos will eventually get down to 135 pounds to fight Rousey in the UFC, so Holm at this point in time seems like a distant wild-card threat to the star judoka’s reign.

Holly Holm defeats Victori Cisneros

Friday evening, Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (30-1-3), the current women’s pound for pound champion pitched a shutout against Victoria Cisneros (5-12-2, 1 KO) at the Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The bout was a rematch of an earlier meeting in which Holm beat Cisneros 100-90 and 99-91 twice. In that bout at Isleta Casino & Resort, shortly before the main event was scheduled to go, Holm’s opponent, Melissa Hernandez bailed out on their pound-for-pound showdown, fleeing the building with an excuse that her corner had not had an opportunity to see Holm’s hands get wrapped.
View slideshow: Ann Sophie Mathis

Despite not being available for Holm’s hand-wrapping, and disregarding an offer to re-wrap, Hernandez took her gear and fled. Replacing Hernandez, literally at the very last moment, Cisneros stepped in to fight Holm. Though losing virtually every round, Cisneros gave a game performance, to lose with scores of 100-90 and 99-91 twice.”

Holm’s only loss came seven years ago when facing Rita Turrisi. Her corner threw in the towel after Holm sustained an ugly cut under her eye.

Right after registering her thirtieth victory, promoter Lenny Fresquez announced Holm will be taking on Anne Sophie Mathis, another top pound-for-pound female boxer on December 2 for what he calls “World Dominance,” at the Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque.

Holm will try to regain her IBA Welterweight title and WBAN Championship Belt in the 10-round main event against Mathis (23-1, 20 KOs), the WBO European Welterweight Champion from France.

This Holm versus Mathis match is a modern day match-up between the consummate boxer, southpaw Holm, and knockout specialist, Mathis, who will be fighting outside of Europe for the first time.

“This has all the makings of an instant classic, potentially one of the greatest fights in women’s boxing history,” Fresquez said. “Holly has exhausted all of her competitive options in the U.S., fighting just about every legitimate title challenger – 11 world champions – and now she wants to test herself against the best European fighter, Ann Sophie Mathis. It promises to be a memorable night for boxing fans all over the world, not just women’s boxing fans.”

Holm, who is 29 years-old and stands 5’8” tall, is a multiple world champion in three weight divisions (light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight). She’s defeated all of the significant names in women’s boxing from the 140 through 154-pound classes to include Christy Martin, Mary Jo Sanders, Mia St. John, Jane Couch, Duda Yankovich and Chevelle Hallback (twice).

Mathis, who is 34 years-old and stands 5’11” tall, is from Dombasle-sur-Meurthe, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. She’s riding a 22-fight win streak dating back to 1995 when she lost in her second pro fight. She’s a two-time world light welterweight champion. In 2006, in her first world title match, she stopped previously unbeaten Myriam Lamare (13-0) for the WBA crown as well as the vacant EBU championship. Mathis’ victims also include Couch, Yankovich, Ana Pascal and Nathalie Toro.

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