ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Olympic Champion Also Wants a Bout
Lenny Fresquez’s in-box is overflowing this week with inquiries from members of the European news media, wanting to know when and where Albuquerque’s Holly Holm is going to fight Norway’s Cecilia Braekhus for world women’s boxing supremacy.
Good question, says Fresquez, Holm’s promoter. Obstacles and variables are plentiful, and Fresquez plans to keep the ball in the Albuquerquean’s court.
“Of course, we want to fight her,” Fresquez said on Monday of Braekhus (21-0, five KOs), who on Saturday in Denmark defeated France’s Anne Sophie Mathis by unanimous, 10-round decision for three versions of the women’s world welterweight title. “But first things first.”
Holm (31-2-3, nine knockouts) has a Dec. 7 rematch with France’s Myriam Lamare (20-3-1, 10 KOs), whom the Albuquerquean defeated by unanimous decision in January 2009. A news conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at Route 66 Casino Hotel to formally announce the December card.
Regarding Holm-Braekhus, Fresquez said he has tried to make that match before — but was unable to come to final terms with Sauerland Events, Braekhus’ German promotional firm.
He’s willing to take Holm to Europe for such a fight, he said, but not without approval of the judges and the referee, and not without assurances that Holm would be getting by far the biggest payday of her career.
Whether Braekhus would come to Albuquerque is another question, Fresquez said. Las Vegas, Nev., has been suggested as an alternative, he said, but neither Holm nor Braekhus has a big following there.
Meanwhile, provided she defeats Lamare in December Holm has other options for 2013.
Fresquez said Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor of Ireland is interested in making her pro debut against Holm. Australia’s Diana Prazak (11-1, seven KOs) is another possibility.
Braekhus or no Braekhus, Fresquez said, “I think 2013 could be the greatest year of Holly’s boxing career.”
ADD BRAEKHUS: In her victory over Mathis, Braekhus employed strategy similar to that used by Holm in defeating Mathis by unanimous decision in June: move laterally, score from outside, tie up the slower but hard-punching Mathis when necessary.
All three judges favored Braekhus, 97-93. In June, when Holm decisioned Mathis at Route 66, the scores were 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94.
Mathis, who defeated Holm by knockout last December before losing the June rematch, called Braekhus “better than Holm” in a postfight interview. “She is faster, has better movement and better boxing skills.”
FRESQUEZ SIGNS BACA: Albuquerque featherweight Matthew Baca (1-0, one KO) has signed a promotional contract with Fresquez.
What that means, Fresquez said, is that he intends to continue promoting after Holm, 30, retires. He believes Baca, a 2012 West Mesa High School graduate, has the talent and the support system necessary to eventually become a headliner.
Baca is scheduled to fight on the Holm-Lamare card in December.
IN THE BIG APPLE: Las Cruces boxer Austin Trout was in New York on Monday, appearing with Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto at a news conference held to publicize their Dec. 1 bout at Madison Square Garden.
Cotto (37-3, 30 knockouts), a former world champion in three weight classes, is challenging for the New Mexican’s World Boxing Association junior middleweight (154-pound) title.
“(Cotto) is a true champion and one of the best fighters of the last 10 years,” Trout (25-0, 14 KOs) said. “But I’m the present and future of the sport, and this is just the showcase I need to prove that I’m one of the best, pound for pound.”
SANTA FE CARD: Albuquerque bantamweight Raymond Montez and Española’s Antonio Valdez fought to an action-packed draw last Saturday in the main event of a professional boxing card in Santa Fe. Montez is (5-2-1 with four knockouts). Valdez, who hadn’t fought in some six years, is 6-2-1 with three KOs.
— This article appeared on page D2 of the Albuquerque Journal