The ultimate confrontation - "World Dominance" - on December 2 between the top two women boxers in the world, American favorite Holly "The Preacher's Daughter" Holm (30-1-3, 9 KOs) and French knockout specialist Anne Sophie Mathis (25-1, 21 KOs), promises to give women's boxing a much needed boost in worldwide popularity.
"World Dominance," presented by Fresquez Productions, will be held Friday night, Dec. 2 at Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Holm-Mathis 10-round bout will be for the IBA Welterweight title and WBAN Championship Belt, as well as to determine the mythical No. 1 pound-for-pound world championship in women's boxing.
"I agree that Holly and Sophie Ann are the two best women boxers in the world," Holm's head trainer Mike Winkeljohn said. "Holly's beaten everybody here. She's at the top of her game with nowhere to go (in the U.S.) Holly has a tremendous fan-base in Albuquerque.
"She makes so much more fighting there due to her fan-base, so there's no reason for her to fight anywhere else. She's always been willing to fight anybody. . Now, two continents are coming together. We're both excited about this new challenge (Mathis) and she will be up for that challenge. "
Holm is a nine-time world champion in three different divisions (light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight) and the 29-year-old boxer has an amazing 20-0-1 (6 KOs) record in world title fights, in addition to sporting a 14-0-1 mark versus world champions.
"She has fought and beaten virtually all of the notable names of the past decade in women's boxing, from 135 through 154-pound classes, including Christy Martin, Mary Jo Sanders, Mia St. John, Jane Couch, Duda Yankovich and Chevelle Hallback (twice). Holly is riding a 24-fight unbeaten streak, dating back to her only pro loss in 2004, when a serious cut under her eye prevented her from continuing to fight.
"Holly can box or do MMA equally well," noted Winkeljohn, who trains Holm in both combat sports. "Women's boxing isn't on television in the U.S and, for sponsorships, she's turned to MMA. Holly is the best boxer in the world and, MMA-wise, in a year she will be the best in women's MMA, too.
"What separates her from others are her intelligence and drive. She works very hard and is a student of the game. Holly can change game plans on the spot. She always wants to do more in training than she did in the last camp. Sometimes, I have to make her stop."
Six-time world titlist Mathis is the reigning the WIBA, WIBF and WBF World Welterweight Champion. She has won 24 consecutive bouts, dating back 16 years to her only pro loss in her second pro fight.
Her Dec. 2nd showdown against Holm will mark the fifth anniversary of Ann Sophie's first world title win, in which she stopped previously unbeaten Myriam Lamare (13-0) for the WBA crown and vacant EBU championship. Mathis' victims also include world champions Couch, Yankovich, Ana Pascal and Nathalie Toro.
"Mathis is an anomaly because of her length and size," Winkeljohn concluded. "She's caused fits for opponents trying to close the gap because of her long arms. She hits hard, too. We don't want to be on the end of her punches."