Holly Holm: “The fight against Mary Jo Sanders is going to be very exciting!”
Interview by Benny Henderson Jr - AKA "Big Dog" (March 29, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
Albuquerque’s very own Holly Holm 21-1-2 (6) returns to the ring June 13th at the Isleta Casino & Resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to take on the undefeated Mary Jo Sanders 25-0 (8) for the vacant International Female Boxers Association (IFBA) junior middleweight title, in what has been billed as “The Battle for Pound-for-Pound Supremacy.”

Holm, who holds many welterweight world titles, has also earned Ring Magazine’s “Female Fighter of
the Year” in 2005 and 2006. Holm has defeated the likes of Christy Martin, Mia St John and Jane Couch in her quest to be the best, and is known today as one of boxing top lady fighters.

She steps in the ring against the undefeated Mary Jo Sanders, and although it is a fight that Holm stated would be her toughest bout to date, it is also a highly anticipated one.

In this exclusive interview conducted by Doghouse Boxing, Holly speaks out on her upcoming bout as well as touching on various subjects throughout the boxing world, enjoy.

Benny Henderson Jr.: It was announced that you will be taking on the undefeated Mary Jo Sanders in June, can you give the readers your thoughts on that match-up?

Holly Holm: I think it is really going to be exciting, I think it is something that
has been anticipated. The people have wanted this fight and have been asking for it so I think it is definitely bringing a lot of attention to the fight. I am going to train hard and fight hard and do it right.

BH: When you look at Sanders, what do you see as her strengths that could pose a threat to you, and what weaknesses do you see in her that you feel you can capitalize on?

I think that she is stronger than a lot of the girls I have fought, she is more skilled as far as footwork and as far as how sharp her punches are. I think those are things that I need to watch out for. I also think I am somebody that she has not faced in the ring before either. I have never fought anybody with her style and she has never fought anybody with my style and I think that is what’s going to make this fight so interesting.

BH: Coming from a home where your Dad is a pastor, I know from experience most beliefs are against hitting, fighting, etc. But what was the reaction of your family when you told them you were going to fight, and what are their thoughts on your fighting career today?

My Dad and my whole family have always supported me, they are really proud of me. The way that we believe and the way my parents have always taught me was to represent myself well in whatever you do. My Dad would say that it is the oldest sport in the book and it is a sport, and there is a respect you have for the people that you get in the ring with. As long as you carry yourself well and show people the respect that you have for them it is not a negative thing. It is a challenge and done in a sportsman like way.

BH: Your breakout fight was back in 2005 when you defeated the legendary Christy Martin, what was it like for you to get into the ring with her and even more so to have your hands raised high in victory?

Well, it was crazy. I was really nervous in that fight, I don’t think that I will ever experience that or go through what I went through with that fight. I was really nervous but I knew she was just another woman and that she could be beat. I had family, friends and my team that had faith in me and felt that I could beat her. I was told not to look at her as the legendary Christy Martin but just as another opponent, and I think that really helped a lot. They helped me with the confidence, which was the only thing that I needed.

BH: You have earned wins over Martin, Couch, and St. John, just to name a few. What has been your biggest win, and most memorable one?

It has to be the Christy Martin fight, I cannot say that she was the hardest fight that I had, but that was the most memorable. This fight with Mary Jo Sanders is bigger because I think that Mary Jo is more skilled, but I have experienced that pressure before.

BH: OK, I have to ask this, I was thumbing through the channels a few weeks back and came across a program on CMT (Country Music Television) called Country Fried Home Videos; you were being showcased on the show. How did that come about?

Yeah I missed it too, I don’t know how they got a hold of us but they were doing different things on extreme woman, they came down to the gym and filmed it, but they never let me know when it was going to be on.

BH: Besides Sanders, what other fights do you feel would make sense for you and the fight world?

There are a lot of women fighters out there, a couple from overseas, of course we would like to fight Ali, but she is not really a part of the picture right now. I really just take one fight at a time. I have Mary Jo Sanders in front of me.

BH: Do you feel that Mary Jo will be one of your toughest fights yet?

Definitely, she is skilled and has a lot of good experience and I don’t put anything past her.

BH: If you could send out a message to May Jo Sanders before the fight using Doghouse Boxing as a platform, what would you say?

I really don’t think I would say anything, I really don’t give out messages to my opponents, I focus more on the fight. I don’t want to give anything out either. (Laughs)

BH: Is there anything that you would like to add or say in closing of this interview?

It is great that people are following women’s boxing more, I encourage them to tune it, the fights are exciting, and I thank all the fans for watching.

I would like to thank Bob Trieger for setting up this interview, and thanks goes out to Holly for her time and thoughts. For more info on Holly, check out www.HollyHolm.com.

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