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The Guessing Game Is Over

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Holm Vows Not To Be Caught Off Guard

Holly Holm has stepped into the ring 36 times as a professional boxer. Only once has she felt caught off guard by an opponent.

In that Jan. 23, 2009, fight with Myriam Lamare of France, Holm still managed a unanimous decision victory, but the Albuquerque fighter has wanted a redo ever since.

On Dec. 7, The Preacher’s Daughter gets her rematch.

Dec. 7
Holly Holm vs. Myriam Lamare, five other fights at Route 66 Casino. Tickets: $25-$200 and on sale at www.rt66casino.com

“She’s the only one who really had us guessing from round to round,” said Holm of fighting Lamare. “After that fight I knew I’d probably end up back in the ring with her sometime.”

Holm (31-2-3, 9 KO) will drop from her normal 147-pound welterweight class to take on Lamare (20-3-1, 10 KO) at 140 pounds for the IFBA and IBA junior welterweight titles. The fight headlines the Dec. 7 “Fire and Ice” fight card put on by Fresquez Productions at Route 66 Casino.

Holm and trainer Mike Winkeljohn said Lamare was such a difficult matchup nearly four years ago because she completely changed her style when she got in the ring with Holm. Where Lamare showed an aggressive, attacking style in flim Holm studied for the 2009 fight, she mostly backed up from Holm and only offered counterpunches to Holm all night.

This time, neither Holm nor Winkeljohn know exactly what to expect. Well, almost.

“I know she’ll be a really tough fight again,” Holm said. “She’s one of the toughest fights I’ve ever had.”

The rematch was something the Lamare camp, and trainer Lucia Rijker in particular, had been clamoring for recently according to fight promoter Lenny Fresquez.

“She’s trained by Lucia Rijker, and these people have been just hounding us and hounding us for a rematch,” Fresquez said. “We told her she needed to get back in the ratings and get (back) to the top level.”

At least according to the International Female Boxing Association, Lamare has worked her way back up to the No. 1 world ranking in the junior welterweight classification. The IFBA’s title is vacant.

Fresquez said Rijker, the former boxing standout who also trained Lamare in the 2009 fight, is “obsessed with beating Holly” and is trying to “play head games” as she decided at the last minute not to allow Lamare to take part in Tuesday’s news conference promoting the fight.

As for what may be on the horizon for Holm after the Lamare rematch, she’ll leave those details to others to think about.

“My focus is to not look past this fight at all,” Holm said. “After my December loss (to Anne Sophie Mathis, also of France), I think I probably overanalyzed everything. I never looked past her for that fight, but maybe I just got (caught up going through the motions). I don’t want to look past this.”

The Holm-Lamare fight is one of five on the “Fire and Ice” fight card. The other fights all include Albuquerque fighters promoted by Fresquez Productions.

Matthew “Champ” Baca, a light welterweight from Albuquerque who won his pro debut in December with a first-round knockout of El Paso’s Daniel Gonzales, will fight an opponent to be determined. Bantamweight Raymond “Hollywood” Montez (5-2, 3 KOs) will fight Jazzma Hogue (2-2-1).

Albuquerque’s Jason Sanchez will make his pro debut in a featherweight fight against Belen’s Gene Perez (1-0), undefeated welterweights Cristian Cabral (4-0, 3 KOs) and Grant John (2-0) meet, and Albuquerque’s Victoria “La Reina de la Guerra” Cisneros (6-13-2, 2 KOs) will fight light welterweight Diana Prazak (11-1, 7 KO) of Australia.

BOXING
— This article appeared on page D2 of the Albuquerque Journal

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