Holly Holm emerges as favorite to fight Katie Taylor at Croke Park homecoming

Holly Holm has emerged as the new favorite to face Katie Taylor in her homecoming fight at Croke Park in the fall.

His name is in the mix because negotiations for a rematch in Dublin between Taylor and Amanda Serrano have stalled.

Holm, 40, a legendary crossover boxer and mixed martial arts fighter from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is seen by Taylor’s camp as a credible alternative to Serrano.

Holm is the only fighter to win world titles in both boxing and mixed martial arts.

He rose to worldwide fame in 2015 when he scored a sensational knockout victory over Ronda Rousey, then the superstar of the Ultimate Fight Championship franchise.

The contest gathered 56,214 spectators at the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, and raised 6.3 million euros.

“She wants to fight the best before finishing her career; she wants to fight Katie,” her former manager, Lenny Fresquez, said in a phone interview.

He confirmed that watching the clash between Taylor and Serrano at Madison Square Garden had rekindled Holm’s passion for boxing.

Also, becoming the sixth woman to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (the ceremony will take place next month) has sparked her interest in the sport that she walked away from nine years ago.

In an interview before his final UFC fight over the weekend (he lost a controversial split decision), Holm said there was a 50 percent chance he would face Taylor. “That’s a pretty good percentage. I may or may not, but it’s right there.”

Known as the ‘preacher’s daughter’, Holm has traced her ancestry back to Ireland. “My grandmother’s parents were born and raised there. I want to go and see where all my ancestors are from. Andy, who doesn’t want to go to Ireland anyway? she said.

A clash between Taylor and Holm was first raised nine years ago. In 2013, Taylor’s future manager, Brian Peters, had dinner with Lenny Fresquez in Las Vegas on the eve of a professional mega fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez.

Two other legendary boxing figures, Don Chargin, a Hall of Fame promoter and matchmaker and 1956 Olympic heavyweight champion, Pete Rademacher, who in his professional debut was defeated by then world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson They also attended the dinner.

“I remember having the conversation about Katie, who had just won the Olympic gold medal,” Frachecz recalled. “Katie was making a lot of money outside the ring at the time. Holly was the best female fighter at the time. But the top payout for fighters facing Holly was $10,000.

“Most fighters made between $400 and $1,000 a fight, but we paid them $10,000. It was the only way to get them to fight her.”

Holm worked as a cocktail waitress at one of Fresquez’s bars in Albuquerque. She initially signed him to a four-fight contract for $4,000.

But when she comfortably beat Christy Martin, then one of the biggest names in women’s boxing, in 2005, Fresquez sponsored her to quit her job and become a full-time boxer. She never signed another contract, but he has guided her throughout her career.

By 2013, he had lost his appetite for boxing and when a proposed world title fight against Cecily Braekhus fell through, he quit the sport and switched to MMA.

Although he won all of his boxing titles at weights above lightweight, he has fought at 135 pounds in MMA and Fresquez is confident he could now compete in this weight division of boxing.

“This is what intrigues her. Last week she fought at 136 pounds, but she could have easily made 135 pounds.”

He still has one fight to go on his current MMA contract, so he would need the blessings of UFC boss Dana White to face Taylor at Croke Park in September/October.

But the importance of a sold-out stadium show for one of his fighters could tempt White, a canny businessman, to become involved as a joint promoter with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom organization on a Taylor-Holm headlining show at Croke. Park.

Details of the Croke Park Taylor fight are anticipated to be announced in four weeks.

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