Women's champion Holly Holm to retire from boxing to pursue MMA career full-time

Photo by Will Fox

Look out ladies because the women's mixed martial arts (MMA) Bantamweight division is about to get some championship boxing blood.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (April 16, 2013, 2013) -- Today at a Fresquez Productions media luncheon, 14-time, three-division world boxing champion Holly "The Preacher's Daughter" Holm (32-2-3, 9 KOs) shocked the combat sports world by announcing her retirement from boxing, effective after her May 11 fight with "Merciless" Mary McGee (20-1, 11 KOs), in order to pursue her mixed martial arts career (3-0-0).

"Since I first started fighting, it became my passion," Holly explained her decision. "I decided a long time ago, after quitting school to fight, that I would box as long as my heart was in it. One of my biggest and controversial fights was against Christy Martin. Then, it was Mary Jo Sanders. There's always a champion. This is my own journey. Every one of my fights have helped me to believe in myself.

"When we were deciding which way to go with my future, my trainer, Mike Winkeljohn, said it best, 'You want to climb a new mountain.' This thing has created a new spark in me and I'm following my heart. I wish much success to Cecilia (Braekhus) but not fighting her does not, by any means, define my boxing career. I know there's a lot of talk about that but what does that say about all the women I've already fought? I've never been a paper champion. I've grown so much every step of the way. I'm in this fight, on May 11,100 percent; I'm not distracted. This is obviously an emotional, spiritual and physical journey and I'm so grateful for the people who have supported me. I just want to fight where my passion is (MMA). I train in an MMA gym and always have."

Holm defends her International Boxing Association and World Boxing Federation (WBF) junior welterweight titles in the 10-round main event on the "Mayhem" card, presented by Fresquez Productions, at Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albququerque, New Mexico.

"I love Holly's team -- the chemistry, the fans, the loyalty," Holm's promoter Lenny Fresquez said. "Regarding Cecilia -- Holly doesn't need anybody! She is headed toward the boxing (International) Hall of Fame and is already named for the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame. We will continue the Holly Holm saga. She's at the top of her game and we support her history-making decision."

The 31-year-old Holm has defeated a Who's Who list of woman boxers from the 140 through 154-pound weight classes, including Christy Martin, Anne Sophie Mathis, Mary Jo Sanders, Mia St. John, Jane Couch, Duda Yankovich and Chevelle Hallback (twice).

Holm has an amazing 21-1-1 record in world championship fights, as well as a 14-1-1 mark against world champions.

"We are going forward with Holly's MMA career and there's nobody better than Lenny Fresquez to take us to that next level," Holm's manager/trainer Mike Winkeljohn added. "I found it hard to bounce back and forth between MMA and boxing. Holly is focused. Expect the best Holly ever. Her future is bright."

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