Holly Holm hints at boxing return – mentions Katie Taylor


Boxing and MMA world champion Holly Holm has hinted that she may return to squared circle in the new year and revealed that she has her eye on Ireland’s own Katie Taylor.

In a post to social media last night, 37-year-old Holm revealed that she had been watching Taylor’s win over Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden and that this, among other fights in both boxing and MMA, has her “excited”.

Indeed, the Albuquerque fighter admits that “I can’t wait to do it again. Any of it,” suggesting she may be in line for a return to boxing after over five years away.

The post didn’t go unnoticed either, with Taylor’s manager, Brian Peters, acknowledging Holm on Twitter

Holm, who has extensive Irish heritage on her father’s side, is a hugely accomplished boxer, but only saw her profile and earnings rise when she switched to mixed martial arts.

Holm 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 12-4 record and became a global name with a shock knockout win over the allegedly unbeatable Ronda Rousey in 2015 to claim the UFC bantamweight (135lbs) title.

Holm lost this belt in her first defence against Miesha Tate and was subsequently defeated by Valentina Shevchenko and, controversially, by Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural UFC featherweight (145lbs) title, before moving down in weight to score a stunning win over Beth Correia.

Challenging again for the UFC featherweight title, the American lost a war with Cris Cyborg last December and has since rebounded with a win over Megan Anderson.

A fight between Wicklow lightweight (135lbs) and Holm was mooted by ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ herself back when Taylor won Olympic gold in London back in 2012.

A confident Holm told Irish-Boxing.com that she was open to 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.”

READ: Irish-Boxing.com talk to Holly Holm

Taylor turned pro in 2016 and the now-32-year-old is currently WBA and IBF unified lightweight (135lbs) champion.

On Saturday Taylor was one of the stand-outs on the Canelo Alvarez v Rocky Fielding undercard in New York where she dominated Finn Wahlstrom over ten rounds in an exciting fight.

Another unification with WBO titlist Rose Volante in Philadelphia next March is currently in the works with further fights versus WBC champ Delfine Persoon, soon-to-be seven-weight champ Amanda Serrano, and pound-for-pound queen Cecilia Braekhus also in the pipeline.

However, a fight with Holm would trump all of these in terms of profile and finances and Taylor’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has described the match-up as the only ‘boxing v MMA’ fight he is interested in.

READ: Eddie Hearn hopes for Katie Taylor to face Holly Holm

The possibility of a boxing return would mark a change for Holm who last year seemed to rule out the possibility.

“I am done boxing,” she told MMAJunkie. “I don’t have the passion for it any more and it hasn’t come back to me. Maybe that’s because I’m still fighting, so I don’t feel like I’ve really retired.”

However, since then, Hearn has signed his $1 billion deal with streaming service DAZN and has successfully managed to lure back another boxing-to-MMA convert in Serrano.

As the financial worth of the female fight game increases, and Katie Taylor continues to make big waves Stateside, a return for Holm may not be too far away.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie