"World Dominance" features the top two women's 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), in arguably the No. female fight of all-time.
"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 contested for the IBA Welterweight title and WBAN Championship Belt, as well as to determine the mythical No. 1 pound-for-pound world championship today in women's boxing.
Veteran Lenny Fresquez has promoted Holm throughout her pro boxing and MMA career and he is also promoting "World Dominance." Fresquez sat on the hot seat to answer questions about Holm, Mathis, female boxing and, of course, "World Dominance"
How significant is "World Dominance" for Holly as well as women's boxing?
"This fight will confirm that Holly is unquestionably the No. 1 female fighter in the world. It is important for women's boxing because they are the top two women in boxing today with 15 world titles between them. Holly has nine and she set a world record when she held all of the 147-pound belts except for the WBO.
"There are only three players today in women's boxing - Holly, Sophie Ann and Cecilia Braekhus (18-0, 4 KOs - WBC, WBO & WBA welterweight champion). Mathis is the bigger puncher of the three and she has the best knockout ratio. But she has no fan-base in France or a promoter. She's hard to promote because she isn't very charismatic and unable to speak English. Sauerland has done a great job promoting Braekhus, making people believe she's a real world champion. She's not in the same league as Holly, which is why we chose to fight Mathis first. "It's a harder fight and we wanted to get that one out of the way first."
What's next for Holly after this fight?
"As Holly's promoter, I'm always looking ahead to the next deal, but Holly's not looking past Mathis. That's my job and I think we have three possible options for Holly's next fight. 1. Braekhus won't come here but we'd love to fight her in March. 2. If this is a good fight, we can always have a rematch with Mathis. 3. Holly can have a big MMA fight.
"The only way I'd even think about Holly fighting Braekhus in Europe - she likes to fight in Denmark - would be under fair terms and conditions that would include a good purse and neutral judging. We've submitted a contract to Team Braekhus and we're waiting for a response. We may go in another direction of we don't receive a signed contract by the day of the Holm-Mathis weigh-in. We've never waited on, or will wait on anybody. Holly's career has always been well planned every year. We will make plans after this fight for her in 2012."
How does Holly rate all-time in women's boxing?
"To me, she's the best ever. The only other female fighters in her league, all-time, are Ann Wolfe, Regina Halmich and, maybe, Sumya Anani. Laila Ali fought on her father's last name and she wasn't nearly as good as these fighters. There's nobody else."
How frustrating is it not to be able to watch Holly fight on HBO or Showtime?
"She's fought on ESPN and Telefutura, but HBO and Showtime have no interest in Holly or women's boxing. Hopefully, the new head of HBO boxing will. Spanish boxing fans are interested in watching Holly fight because they've watched her grow-up here (New Mexico). People don't understand the economics of promoting an ESPN show. First, it affects the gate, and ESPN doesn't pay like it used to. Between rooms, meals and other costs for ESPN, it doesn't pay for half of the main event purse.
"At the beginning of her career, Holly fought on ESPN for the exposure. Now, everybody knows Holly Holm, so we try and make the most money. It's upsetting to see the top pound-for-pound men's fighters like (Manny) Pacquiao and (Floyd) Mayweather make millions and millions of dollars, while the top pound-for-pound female fighters don't even make a fraction of one-percent compared to men."
Are you tired of criticism leveled at Holly for only fighting in Albuquerque?
"Yes. They paid us well to go to Detroit to fight Mary Jo Sanders in a rematch. It ended in a draw and Sanders retired after that fight. Holly's also fought in Colorado and California. We'll fight anybody, anywhere, anytime....as long as the money is right. That's always been the problem, so why fight for less money?
"People here love watching her fight and she has a great fan-base. We'd love to kill that stigma by fighting elsewhere, but it all comes down to economics. There are probably only 25 male fighters in the United States who put as many people in seats as Holly does in Albuquerque."
Holly 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.
A six-time world titlist, Ann-Sophie 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.