By Jake Donovan
It was sweet revenge for Holly Holm, who scored a unanimous decision over Anne Sophie Mathis in their 10-round main event Friday evening at Route 66 Casino in Albuquerquem New Mexico.
Scores were 96-94, 97-93 and a bit jaded 99-91 in favor of Holm (31-2-3, 9KO), who avenged a vicious 7th round knockout loss at the hands of Mathis (26-2, 22KO) last December.
Failing to land anything with enough conviction to keep her opponent at bay last time around, Holm wisely boxed for much of the sequel. Mathis struggled at times to keep or effectively cut off the ring, allowing Holm to pile up rounds whenever the action didn't take place in a phone booth.
Mathis managed to impose her will in the middle rounds. The difference, however, was that Holm was ready for the incoming. The initial shock of getting with Mathis' heavy hands last year was long gone, as Holm had a backup plan every step of the way.
The late rounds momentarily threatened to repeat history, as Mathis slowly began to close the gap. Holm refused to once again fall prey in her own backyard, this time standing her ground and making her presence felt.
Such was the biggest difference between the two fights, as Holm proudly crossed the finish line looking more like the pound-for-pound queen many had hailed her as far back as her win over Mary Jo Sanders several years ago.
The loss is a bitter pill to swallow for Mathis, who hoped to head back to Europe in pursuit of a showdown with unbeaten Cecilia Braekhas. Instead, she endures her first loss since early in her career, while Holm once again resumes her winning ways.
In the final preliminary bout of the evening, Ray Montes (5-2, 4KO) came out swinging and produced an early end to his bout with Jamie Gutierrez (4-6, 0KO). A right hand floored Gutierrez, separating him from his senses as the referee wisely waved it off midway through the opening round.
Christian Cabral (3-0, 2KO), a local 18-year old welterweight, turned pro on the undercard of the first fight between Mathis and Holm. He continues to cruise along, scoring a 4th round knockout of Victor Silva (0-1, 0KO). Cabral scored a knockdown in the opening round and applied pressure throughout before forcing Silva to wilt in the final round of their scheduled four-round preliminary bout.
Gene Perez (1-0, 0KO) managed to do just enough in each round to take a unanimous decision over Eric Gonzalez (1-2-1, 1KO) in their four-round featherweight bout. Scores were 40-36 across the board, though hardly indicative of the back and forth nature of the bout, which most ringside observers believed could have gone either way.
John Herrera (2-3-1, 0KO) found his way to the win column for the first time since Nov. ’10, pitching a four-round shutout over fellow New Mexico clubfighter Brian Garcia (7-19, 2KO). Scores were 40-35 (twice) and 40-36.
In the opening bout of the evening, local welterweight Jose Luis Sanchez (1-0, 1KO) enjoyed a successful pro debut with a 4th round knockout over Guy Youell (0-1, 0KO), also making his debut. Official time was 1:13 of round four.
(Disclosure: All results as told by Boxingscene sources (non-credentialed) in attendance at the venue)
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox