Based on recent comments from Holly Holm, a mooted clash between she and Ireland’s Katie Taylor seems highly unlikely.
Murmurings about a potential boxing match between the pair emerged in late summer/early autumn, with both Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn and her manager Brian Peters suggesting that the fight could come together at a later date.
“There’s huge interest from American TV companies and even the Holly Holm fight down the road is a strong possibility,” Peters told the42.ie in September.
Taylor herself also seemed interested when asked about the showdown during an interview with Kugan Cassius of iFL TV.
“Sounds good! Yeah, bring it on for sure,” said Taylor, who did admit that she didn’t have much prior knowledge of the talk.
The prospect was a mouth-watering one.
Holm shot to super-stardom when she caused one of the biggest upsets in the history of MMA by starching Ronda Rousey with a vicious head-kick to claim the UFC women’s bantamweight title in November of 2015, but before she ever stepped into the octagon ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ was the pound for pound queen of women’s professional boxing.
Taylor, a five-time world amateur boxing champion and a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, only made the leap to the paid ranks in late 2016, but she has already claimed the WBA lightweight title and established herself as one of boxing’s biggest female stars.
A fight between the pair would be huge for women’s boxing and combat sports in general, the female equivalent of Mayweather vs. McGregor except with added sporting legitimacy and the promise of a more competitive fight.
During a recent media scrum, however, Holm, claimed that she is no longer a carrier of the boxing bug.
“I am done boxing,” the now former UFC champ confidently told members of the MMA media when she was asked if a return to the prize ring under the new Zuffa Boxing umbrella might be in her future. “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(via MMAJunkie).”
“I started doing MMA [in 2011], and I would have an MMA fight, a boxing fight, MMA fight, boxing fight, MMA fight. And I had a really big fight with pretty much the only champion that I hadn’t fought in boxing. We had been trying to put the fight together and it finally got scheduled, and I thought, ‘This is it.’ And then she cancelled the fight and took a fight with Mia St. John instead. I was already training for the fight, so we thought let’s see what else is going on. And Bellator[MMA] was coming into town [in February of 2013], so I just did a one-fight contract with Bellator because I was already training and it was like 4 weeks away.”
“Training for that fight[her third pro MMA bout], I just really loved it,” added Holm, who went on to say that she felt deflated and “uninterested” when she was told afterwards that her next fight would be in the boxing ring six weeks later.
“I went to the gym and I was boxing, and after my first day back sparring – I took three days off [after the Bellator fight] and I was back in the gym getting ready for the next boxing fight – I went into my coach’s office and I just said, ‘This is my last boxing fight.’
“‘I come into the gym and I want to kickbox, I want to grapple, I want to wrestle and that’s what I want to do, but I’m not going to come in and just box – my passion’s just not there anymore. We’ve said yes to this fight, so my motivation for this fight is I don’t want to end on a loss, but this is my last boxing fight.'”
“I didn’t know how I’d feel when that fight was over,” continued Holm, who won a unanimous decision over the once-beaten Mary McGee in her final outing on May 11th of 2013. “Honestly, when the fight was over… you know what? It was beautiful. The hometown knew that it was my last fight and they brought in a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and I’m sitting there holding them in the ring – it’s a beautiful moment – and I’m sitting there thinking, ‘I can’t wait to take my boxing shoes off.’ And that’s it. And I keep thinking, ‘Am I going to ache for it again?’ And I don’t, and it’s not because I don’t love boxing. I did obviously – I did it for ten years professionally. It’s just my new motivation is this new career I’ve been on, so I have no desire to go back to boxing.”
Holm’s next MMA fight is one of the biggest in the history of the women’s game, as she challenges UFC featherweight champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino in the main event of UFC 219 on December 30th in Las Vegas.
Before that, Taylor will enter the professional boxing ring for the eighth time, as she is scheduled to make the first defence of her WBA lightweight title against Jessica McCaskill at the York Hall in London on the 13th.