Holm picked for International Boxing Hall of Fame - Albuquerque Journal

Holm picked for International Boxing Hall of Fame

Holly Holm, shown during her weigh-in for UFC 246 in January 2020, is entering the International Boxing Hall of Fame. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Just call her Hall-y Holm.

Or, well, maybe not. But, in any case, Albuquerque’s Holly Holm on Tuesday was accorded what ranks among the sport of boxing’s highest honors: induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Holm thus joins fellow 2022 inductee Regina Halmich as the fifth and sixth female boxers of the modern era to be included in the ranks of the IBHOF.

This honor comes on the heels of her induction into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame. Though she’s a member of the NMSHOF’s class of 2019, recognized for her accomplishments in both boxing and MMA, the banquet honoring her and her fellow 2019 inductees was delayed until August 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns.

“I feel very humbled and honored to be acknowledged amongst the greatest,” Holm said of her latest accolade in a statement released by the IBHOF. “I’m kind of speechless, actually. I’m really excited.”

Holm, 40, began her combat-sports career as a kick-boxer circa 2000 under the tutelage of Albuquerque’s Mike Winkeljohn. She made her pro boxing debut, never having had an amateur bout, in January 2002. She went on to post a career record of 33-2-3 with nine knockouts and too many titles to count.

It wouldn’t have happened without Winkeljohn, but the longtime Albuquerque combat-sports trainer said in a phone interview he was just fortunate she walked into his gym as a 16-year-old.

“That’s the way I look at it,” he said. “She is, I think, the most accomplished boxer of all time. I think (current champion and Jackson-Wink teammate) Claressa Shields is there now, but Holly, (a world champion in) three different weight divisions … I don’t even know how many (title) belts she had, but she won them all.”

Two fights in particular, Winkeljohn said, define Holm as a boxer: Her September 2005 victory over women’s boxing legend Christy Martin and her June 2012 win over France’s Anne Sophie Mathis, who’d knocked Holm out in their first bout.

In the Martin fight, she said, Holm displayed the understanding of footwork and punching angles that made her a champion.

“She schooled her,” Winkeljohn said. “… That’s what it was all about; understanding those angles and staying calm under fire. Much more than the physical, it’s the mental (edge) that she has. The drive and the dedication to understand the game and the strategies involved.”

In December 2011, Holm was brutally KO’d by Mathis – arguably the most powerful puncher in women’s boxing history. Six months later, Holm thoroughly outboxed Mathis to reclaim the IBF women’s welterweight belt she’d lost.

“Incredible,” Winkeljohn said. “The majority of her family and friends wanted her to retire (after the first Mathis fight). Wow, look what she did since.

“That tells you that anybody can turn things around if they have the want and the perseverance to do so.”

In 2004, Holm entered into a promotional agreement with Albuquerque’s Lenny Fresquez. Irony of ironies, she lost her first fight – by TKO due to an eye injury – under Fresquez’s guidance.

She then proceeded to go 24-0-1 before the first Mathis fight as Fresquez, staging dozens of events with Holm in the main event, helped make her one of Albuquerque’s most popular athletes and most recognizable celebrities.

“Long overdue,” Fresquez said of Tuesday’s announcement. “It’s just been a terrific ride, and this is caps it off. … She’s the most decorated female boxer ever.”

Holm, who’d trained in an MMA gym throughout her boxing career, made her MMA debut in March 2011. After defeating Mary McGee in May 2013 for two versions of the 140-pound world boxing title, she opted to focus exclusively on MMA.

In November 2015, in one of the UFC’s most spectacular upsets, she defeated Ronda Rousey for that organization’s bantamweight title. Though she lost the belt to Miesha Tate in her first defense, she remains a top contender – the No. 2 challenger – in the UFC’s 135-pound weight class.

Holm (14-5) had meniscus surgery Monday, Fresquez said, and should be able to return to the Octagon in late March-early April. The UFC, incidentally, also sponsors a Hall of Fame.

Holm joins fellow Albuquerqueans Bob Foster and Johnny Tapia in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Foster, a longtime light heavyweight world champion, was inducted in 1990. Tapia, a five-time world champion, entered the hall in 2017.

Both men are deceased.

Home » From the newspaper » Holm picked for International Boxing Hall of Fame


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Pro boxing: Friends Lovato, Lindenmuth become foes on Saturday
Boxing/MMA
Fists will fly, promise both parties ... Fists will fly, promise both parties involved, when Amanda Lovato and Katherine Lindenmuth square of ...
2
MMA: Mayes loses by split decision
Boxing/MMA
In Dallas, Albuquerque-based MMA heavyweight Don’Tale ... In Dallas, Albuquerque-based MMA heavyweight Don’Tale Mayes lost by split decision to New York’s Hamdy Abdelwahab on Saturday in a prelim fight on UFC ...
3
MMA: Mayes weighs in; Brown withdraws
Boxing/MMA
In Dallas, Albuquerque-based (Jackson-Wink) heavyweight Don’Tale ... In Dallas, Albuquerque-based (Jackson-Wink) heavyweight Don’Tale Mayes (9-4) weighed in at 255 pounds on Friday for his fight Saturday on UFC 277 against New ...
4
Peña seeks to back up shocker in UFC title ...
Boxing/MMA
Julianna Peña stunned pretty much everyone ... Julianna Peña stunned pretty much everyone but herself when she took the bantamweight title from two-division champion Amanda Nunes in one of the biggest ...
5
Rick Wright: We get more reminders that experience counts
Boxing/MMA
Confidence is great, talent even better. ... Confidence is great, talent even better. But, more often than not, experience wins.Las ...
6
Golden Gloves: Coach says Garrobo can be as good ...
Boxing/MMA
At age 20, Peralta's Alexa Garrobo ... At age 20, Peralta's Alexa Garrobo is older than most amateur boxers with just 10 fights to her cred ...
7
MMA: No shortage of confidence in heavyweight Franklin
Boxing/MMA
The late Norman Vincent Peale, author ... The late Norman Vincent Peale, author of the 1952 best seller "The Power of Positive Thinking," had ...
8
Combat sports: Waterson-Gomez loses in N.Y.; Las Cruces boxer ...
Boxing/MMA
The experts predicted that Brazilian MMA ... The experts predicted that Brazilian MMA fighter Amanda Lemos would defeat Michelle Waterson-Gomez on Saturday, believing Lemos' punching power would be the difference. It ...
9
Combat sports: Trout wins decision, Waterson makes weight
Boxing/MMA
He was born in Texas and ... He was born in Texas and lives in Texas, but Austin Trout will always be Las Cruces' own. ...