French knockout artist Anne Sophie Mathis is the likely opponent when Holly Holm returns to the boxing ring in June, the Albuquerquean’s promoter said Wednesday.
“We’ve verbally agreed to the terms and conditions,” Lenny Fresquez said, but added that he’s still trying to find a television home for the June 3 event.
Holm is looking at a busy 2011.
On March 4, she made her mixed-martial-arts debut with a second-round stoppage of Wisconsin’s Christina Domke. Fresquez said Holm will return to the cage Sept. 2, followed by another boxing match Dec. 2.
All the events are scheduled for Route 66 Casino.
Mathis, tall (5-foot-11) and thin, is that rarity in women’s boxing: a true knockout puncher. She has 19 KOs among her 22 victories, with one defeat.
Holm is 29-1-3 with nine KOs.
Mathis, Fresquez said, likely would qualify as Holm’s toughest opponent because of the Frenchwoman’s punching power and height. Holm, listed at 5-8, has been taller than most of her previous opponents.
“It’s a very big women’s fight,” Fresquez said. “I’m trying to sell it in Europe, just trying to build some publicity for it.”
Fresquez said he has talked to Fox Sports and ESPN about televising the fight, but with no agreement.
Holm and Mathis have three opponents in common.
Mathis is a combined 4-0 with two knockouts against Myriam Lamare, Jane Couch and Belinda Laracuente, having beaten Lamare twice. Holm is 3-0 with no knockouts against the same three fighters.
NEW FOE FOR MARQUEZ: Albuquerque junior lightweight Archie Ray Marquez (10-0, seven KOs) is looking for a tune-up Saturday night at Santa Ana Star Casino.
Look for replacement opponent Johnny Frazier to get his tires rotated.
Frazier (2-5-3, two KOs) steps in for Rodrigo Aranda (8-14-2, (two KOs). Jacob Maes, Marquez’s manager said Aranda was involved in a car accident and had to pull out. The fight is scheduled for eight rounds.
Marquez was training for a Feb. 4 bout in California against Marvin Quintero (21-3, 17 KOs) when the Albuquerquean suffered a sports hernia.
The Quintero fight first was rescheduled for May and since has been pushed back to June. But, Maes, noting that Quintero has been busy since the postponement — he won a bout on Feb. 26 and has another scheduled for April 15 — wanted to get his fighter back in the ring.
“A lot of people told us we should wait,” said Maes, interviewed before the switch from Aranda to Frazier. “… (But) we want to get Archie some work.”
Marquez should make short work of Frazier, no relation to Smokin’ Joe by blood or by talent. The 33-year-old Las Vegas, Nev., resident won his first two fights by knockout and is 0-5-3 since.
The saving grace, perhaps, is that Frazier has never been knocked out. In February, he was dropped in the first round but lasted the six-round distance against unbeaten prospect Jose Roman.
Marquez, interviewed before the change in opponents, said he trains with the same energy and focus regardless.
“We call it a tune-up fight, but I’ve trained for this fight like I did every other fight, like it’s for a world title,” he said. “I don’t take anybody lightly.”
Eight bouts are scheduled for Saturday’s card.
Amanda Crespin (4-3-1, one KO), of Las Vegas, N.M., is scheduled to face Cleveland’s Carla Torres (1-1) in a semi-main event.
Albuquerque’s Donald Sanchez, a King of the Cage champion as an MMA fighter, is scheduled to make his boxing debut against Michael Coca Gallegos (0-8).