From a boxing perspective, Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn was not overly keen on Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor.
While he could appreciate it as an event, from a sporting contest stance he felt it was lacking.
Indeed the Essex promoter doesn’t believe he will follow down the same route of making boxing v mixed martial arts bouts, despite his fighter Tony Bellew currently being involved in a good-natured back-and-forth with UFC champion Michael Bisping.
There is however one exception – Ireland’s Katie Taylor [6(4)-0].
Hearn is keen to match Taylor with former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm, believing it to be perhaps the only ‘boxing v MMA’ fight that would be a top-quality match-up in a boxing ring.
Holm, who has strong Irish heritage, is a hugely accomplished boxer, but saw her profile skyrocket since moving into mixed martial arts.
The Albuquerque fighter racked up a 33(9)-2(2) record in boxing between 2002 and 2013. Among numerous minor belts, she won the WBA and WBC welterweight (147lbs) titles in 2006 and 2007 respectively and never lost them in the ring.
Moving into mixed martial arts in 2011, she has compiled a 11-3 record and shockingly defeated Ronda Rousey in 2015 to claim the UFC bantamweight (135lbs) title.
Holm lost this belt in her first defence against Miesha Tate and subsequently lost to Valentina Shevchenko and controversially to Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural UFC featherweight (145lbs) title, before moving down in weight to score a stunning win over Beth Correia
Indeed a fight between Wicklow lightweight (135lbs) and Holm was mooted by ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ back when Taylor won Olympic gold in 2012.
A confident Holm told Irish-Boxing.com that she was up for making such a fight, saying of Taylor that “she is young and needs to get some experience then we can make a big fight!”
“It would be a mismatch and we fight ten two minute rounds not eight rounds or head gear. But I am very happy for Katie, she has brought much attention to women’s boxing.”
Taylor would remain amateur for the Rio Olympics, eventually signing with Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions last year. The Bray boxer now looks set to challenge for a World title in her next bout.
The English promoter was out in Las Vegas at the weekend for Mayweather v McGregor and, while he was not entertained by that spectacle, he believes Taylor v Holm would be a worthy match-up.
First giving his thoughts on ‘MayMac,’ Hearn outlined to Irish boxing media how “it was a one off, it was a freak show.”
“I’ve a lot of admiration for the way they did business, they made an absolute fortune.”
“The best way I could describe it is – They got away with it. It broke all records, unreal pay-per-view.”
“I was watching and, after three or four rounds, I started to get a little bit bored. But, the general consensus and the feedback I’ve got was that it was okay.”
“I don’t think either sport was affected in the long run. Actually, I think it helped the sports. It made a lot of money. It was never going to be a great fight, I don’t think it was ever sold as a great fight, it was just what is was. The only way I can describe it was that they got away with it.”
Ruling out a move into cross-codes clashes – but leaving the door open for Taylor v Holm – Hearn noted that “if the money’s there you can’t turn down things like that.”
“People talk about Bellew v Bisping, but that’s not on the agenda for us. Boxers boxing against boxers.”
“We’ll never rule it out for the future but there’s not one fighter that I have that I’m looking for that – other than Katie Taylor against Holly Holm.”
“Holly Holm is a good boxer and I actually think she’s a lot better than a lot of the female boxers out there. I think that’s a big fight.”