Bring it on Holm
Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm turns holy terror, puts the voodoo on Duda
report & photos by Chris Cozzone
It could’ve been the height, weight, reach, stance, speed, hometown crowd or footwork that had six-time world champion Holly Holm utterly demolishing a near-defenseless, formerly undefeated Duda Yankovich last night before a sold-out crowd at Isleta Resort & Casino, south of Albuquerque, N.M.
It might also have been as simple as a mismatch in skill levels.
The Serb from San Paulo, Brazil, might’ve weathered four wars growing up in her country of origin, but, last night in New Mexico, four rounds with Holm proved too much to handle.
In her most dominating performance to date, Holm made the 140-pound world champ look like a rank amateur. Breaking her foe’s nose in the second, Holm poured it on as Yankovich’s schnozz poured out the blood until, at a half-minute into the fourth, the ringside doc and referee had seen enough one-sided slaughter for one night.
The 10-round WIBA welterweight title fight headlined a six-bout card promoted by Fresquez Productions that had all but one fight ending in a knockout.
For Holm, it was her first kayo in a year-and-a-half.
That a knockout was in the works, was evident from the first couple of flurries by Holm. With but a few moments of circling one another, Holm opened up with a big one-two that sent Yankovich reeling backward. Repeated her success with one-two’s in succession, Holm had her foe in a completely defensive posture. Yankovich, five pounds lighter and the much smaller, physically, did little but weather Holm’s storm.
In the second, a huge lead left broke Yankovich’s nose. Within seconds, her face was dipped in red, but that didn’t stop Holm from coming at her. Holm continued to dominate.
With the crowd oohing and ahhing every big punch, Holm mixed up hooks and body shots to her forward pace. By now, Yankovich, trying desperately to fight back in rare moments, was a mess, and a kayo ending was evident.
Shortly into the fourth round, Referee Rocky Burke halted the action for the ringside doc to check out Yankovich’s shattered schnozz. Upon the physician’s advice, the bout was halted at :32.
“I couldn’t breathe,” said Yankovich, who falls to 11-1, 6 KOs. “I am not the kind of fighter who does not go the ten rounds, but I didn’t complain.”
Yankovich said she’d broken her nose two months before in training, but had thought it’d healed.
“She is a very good fighter and I’m lighter – I couldn’t catch her. She is very strong.”
With the win, Holm, 24-1-3, 7 KOs, keeps her WIBA welterweight strap.
“I saw the openings and capitalized on them,” said Holm. “I was ready for a high pace through ten rounds, but I’m not gonna complain. I pushed it when I saw what was happening.”
When she landed the beak-busting left hand, Holm says she “felt it sink in.”
“I thought I broke it, but I knew she was tough and wouldn’t quit. I kept to my plan.”
What’s next for Holm?
“I have no idea,” she said. “But I still feel like I have so much more to do.”
Promoter Lenny Fresquez says there are several names between 140 to 154 to fight, but wouldn’t mention anyone specifically.
“If I name them,” he says, “they will all want more money.”
Trainer Mike Winkeljohn said the fight was about cementing Holm’s legacy.
“She’s already a legend and getting better every day,” he said.
‘Mad’ Mike draws
In the only distance fight on the card, Albuquerque cruiserweight “Mad” Mike Alderete had to settle for a majority draw with game, crafty Theo Kruger, of Port Charlotte, Fla.
Kruger outhustled Alderete in the first, outpopping his foe from the outside, though both traded body shots in spots. Alderete went from a defensive turtle mode to a slightly-faster-than-turtle aggressive pace in the second, choosing to open up just as the round ended.
Alderete had his best moments in the third, fourth and fifth. Aggressive for longer periods, Alderete, fighting in spurts, took the fight to Kruger, landing big right hands, but oftentimes reaching, and missing. By the fifth, Kruger, bleeding from his nose, was showing wear and tear.
Alderete, however, slowed in the sixth, allowing Kruger to outbox him again. The seventh was a repeat, Alderete waiting too long to open up.
In the final round, Alderete was on his way to winning the round – and, most likely, the fight – by clobbering Kruger with big lefts. But, in the final moments, Kruger through the best punch of the night – right over the shoulder of Referee Nico Perez – that staggered Alderete down to his feet. Taking a half-step back in bewilderment, Alderete was saved by the bell.
Scorecards read 76-76 twice and 77-75, for Alderete, making it a majority draw.
“It was a fair decision,” admitted Alderete. “I wasn’t in as good a shape as I thought I was. Let’s do it again.”
Heartbreak loss in debut for Chavez
In a local heartbreaker, Albuquerque’s Angelica “Danger Girl” Chavez (0-1), from the Chavez Dojo, not only lost her pro debut, but was completely crushed by Gloria Salas (1-2, 1 KO), of Ontario, Calif.,
The local favorite came out swinging for a knockout in the first. But, unlike her two wins in the cage where she’d dominated her opponents, Chavez was up against a fighter who knew how to counter.
Weathering the early attack, Salas swiftly turned the fight around, in dramatic fashion, first, by establishing a jab, and then by landing a straight right hand.
Through the second half of the first, and the remainder of the fight, Salas couldn’t miss with her right. At the end of the first, Salas staggered Chavez.
The Ontario fighter didn’t need much of the second to finish what she’d started. Right hand after right hand crashed into Chavez’s unprotected face, until the local favorite slumped to the canvas.
Out on her feet, Chavez’s heart was the only thing that kept her going – but after several more rights, she was down again.
Still, she got up, trying to keep her legs beneath her while clearing out the cobwebs. Salas rushed in for the kill and, after a half dozen more right hands on the defenseless Chavez, Referee Rocky Burke had seen enough.
The fight was stopped at 1:27.
Brooks cooks Singleton
In his debut, Albuquerque cruiserweight Michael Brooks (1-0, 1 KO), from Danny Romero’s Hideout Gym, needed one round to figure out his first southpaw, before stopping Brandon Singleton (2-3, 1 KO), of Dallas.
Singleton breezed through round one, outboxing a confused Brooks from the outside. Plodding after his opponent, Brooks ate a couple lefts and several jabs trying to position himself for a big punch.
In the second, Brooks came alive. Closing the distance, Brooks trapped Singleton against the ropes where he pounded him down with a right and left.
Singleton was up, but, after Referee Nico Perez asked him if he wished to continue, Singleton responded by walking away, motioning an injury to his elbow. The fight was stopped, at 2:27, at which point, Singleton wasted no time protesting.
“This is bulls**, this is bulls***,” complained Singleton.
“I can’t control what they do,” said Ref Perez. “I asked him if he wanted to continue, and he didn’t answer. He said he hurt his elbow.”
Brooks said afterward that Singleton had been his first southpaw.
Zamora floors Perea
Making his debut in boxing, cruiserweight kickboxer Antonio Zamora (1-0, 1 KO), from the Chavez Dojo in the South Valley, needed just :52 to give cage fighter Dominic Perea (0-1) his second loss in six days.
Making a debut in boxing, Perea was game, going up against the bigger, taller, stronger Zamora, but was dropped twice before the stoppage.
In the opening bout, between boxing debuters, cage fighter David “Eye Opener” Quezada (1-0, 1 KO), of Albuquerque, coming off a loss on an MMA show six days prior, took out Israel “I-Rod” Rodriguez (0-1), of Las Cruces, at 2:16 of round two.
It could’ve been the big lefts from Quezada that took out Rodriguez, but was, more likely, the ridiculous 13 ½ pound weight advantage he had over the 157-pound Las Crucen.
Despite the difference in weight, Rodriguez pulled it off in the first, rocking Quezada in the last minute, but had nothing on the aggressive cage fighter in the second.
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