ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Anne Sophie Mathis stunned the boxing world by knocking out Albuquerque’s Holly Holm in the seventh round of a 10-round IBA and WBAN welterweight championship bout at Route 66 Casino on Friday night.
“The biggest thing that hurts is my pride and my ego,” Holm said. “She was great; she was the better fighter tonight. I felt fine for the first four rounds. I felt her in the fifth. I was not fighting smart. I should have been fighting better.”
Mathis (26-1, 22 KOs) took control in the sixth round, staggering Holm (30-2-3) and leaving her bloodied and dazed. Holm tried to stand against the ropes, but Mathis floored her with a furious barrage.
Holm got back to her feet but was barely able to finish the round, pinned against the ropes for the final seconds.
“After round five, I told my coaches that she got me. So I knew I needed to be careful,” Holm said. “In round six I tried to be careful. I thought, ‘You know what Holly, you don’t just not go down, you need to fight back.’ I thought I still landed a couple good shots. I can’t say it was a good round. I still felt like I was trying to push through round six.”
The seventh round started out promising for Holm, but she ultimately could not trade punch for punch against the stronger Frenchwoman.
Mathis drove Holm back into the ropes, leaving her barely standing. Referee Rocky Burke surprisingly let the fight continue, but it only lasted seconds before Mathis opened a deep gash under Holm’s left eye and sent her crashing back down into the ropes, almost unconscious.
Mathis said she was not surprised Holm was up for another round.
“Holly, she’s a world champion, she’s a great champion, she’s not here by chance,” Mathis said through her translator.
In the fifth round, Mathis kept trying to grab Holm by the head, but Holm waylaid her more than once with combinations to regain momentum. Still, Mathis managed to get in a blow that staggered Holm.
Mathis also gave Holm a good shot in the fourth round, but Holm rallied with a furious onslaught to drive the Frenchwoman back to the center of the ring. The two fighters held their own the rest of the way.
“I did not feel she was as quick in the fourth round,” Mathis said.
In the third round, Mathis got her first few solid hits in against Holm. It was a round best described by a ringside fan as “sloppy,” with neither fighter able to gain much of an upper hand. Holm landed more combinations again, but they did not do as much damage. Holm staggered Mathis against the ropes late in the second round, but the bell sounded before she could land another combination.
The two fighters are contractually obligated for a rematch that will be determined for a later date and location.
In other bouts:
♦ Yoel Gonzales, 134 pounds, of Albuquerque scored a unanimous, four-round decision over Antonio Garcia, 133 pounds, of Santa Fe;
♦ Leonardo Sanchez, 119 pounds, of Albuquerque scored a unanimous, four-round decision over Devon Sermons, 120 pounds, of Albuquerque;
♦ Brandi Montoya, 112 pounds, of Albuquerque scored a unanimous, four-round decision over Tonia Cravens, 111 pounds, of Albuquerque;
♦ Cristian Cabral, 148 pounds, of Albuquerque scored a four-round majority decision over Shaun Henson, 148 pounds, of Albuquerque;
♦ Matthew Baca, 137 pounds, of Albuquerque knocked out Daniel Gonzalez, 145 pounds, of El Paso at the 2:59 mark of the first round;
♦ Edgar Zubia, 135 pounds, of Hobbs won by TKO over Antonio Martinez, 133 pounds, of Espanola;
♦ Josh Torres, 146 pounds, of Albuquerque, scored a unanimous, six-round decision over Joel Vargas, 149 pounds, of Kansas City, Kan.