Holly Holm is intrigued by a potential boxing match with Katie Taylor.
This past week, Taylor faced Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden in a bout billed as the biggest female boxing bout of all-time, and the fight more than delivered, with the two women engaging in a back-and-forth battle for 10 rounds. In the end, Taylor won a split decision. And Holm has no qualms with the outcome.
“I’ll tell you what, they got out there and they knew that a lot of people were watching and they knew they had this big opportunity, being the main event at Madison Square Garden, and they showed up to fight,” Holm told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “It’s always inspiring to watch the hard work these women put in and they go in there and they fight with passion too. It was a fun fight to watch. Definitely a close fight, which is good.
“You don’t ever want it to be this big awaited fight and then just one person getting schooled. I figured it would be a split decision, if anything. I knew it was going to be a really close battle, a back-and-forth fight. They’re both really good boxers. A little bit towards the end, they just started swinging, just slugging. And I guess when you’re in those later rounds, it’s like, ‘Let’s just go.’ I knew I would see back-and-forth, like a fight, but it was kind of even a little bit of a brawl at the end, just throwing.
“I feel like it was how the judging went, a split,” Holm continued. “Serrano, especially in the later rounds pushing forward, but Taylor was landing more, moving and landing. The last round it’s kind of hard to tell because they both were just going. I wouldn’t have argued it either way. If it would have said split decision to Taylor or split decision to Serrano, I just feel like it was a close fight. A lot of times it depends on which eyes are watching it. Who is pushing forward, who is landing shots, how many compared to how many are power. There’s a lot of ways to look at a fight like that. There was a lot going on.”
Holm has her own long history with the sweet science. A multiple-time world champion across three weight classes, Holm was twice named Fighter of the Year by Ring Magazine and is considered one of the greatest female boxers of all-time. Holm is even set to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame later in 2022. She left boxing in 2013 to pursue MMA full-time and has had great success, winning the UFC bantamweight title in 2015. But after watching Taylor and Serrano battle it out on Saturday, Holm admits the historic fight got some of her old juices flowing again.
“We had talked, Taylor and myself, before I wound up going to MMA. We had talked about a possible fight there,” Holm said. “I always want to do something that hasn’t been done. I always get super intrigued by things, and I fought at three weight divisions, ‘40, ‘47, and ‘54, and I never got to fight at ‘35. But I’ve done most of my MMA career at ‘35, and that’s what their fight was at. So it makes me like, ‘I want to go back in and show what I can do at a whole different weight class.’ I never even fought at that weight class when I was in boxing and I think I’m bigger and stronger than a lot of the 135ers, and I still have conditioning and I still have a lot of that ring experience behind me.”
But before Holm gets ahead of herself, she still has things to attend to in the MMA world. The 40-year-old former UFC champion is set to face Ketlen Vieira in the main event of UFC Vegas 55 on May 21 in Las Vegas, and she says her first priority is still recapturing UFC gold. However, “The Preacher’s Daughter” did allow that if she returns to the squared circle, Katie Taylor is the fight she would want.
“It does intrigue me. A lot,” Holm said. “To the point where, before, I was like, ‘I’ll never box again,’ and I’m not saying that. There’s been a lot of people that have been able to transition back and forth, but nobody’s really been able to do it successfully, and that drives me. I want to show people I was able to come to MMA from boxing but I can also go back. It does get me excited.”
With Holm nearing the end of her current UFC contract, a fight with Taylor down the road is a legitimate possibility, especially as Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn has already mentioned Holm as a possible future opponent. But for Holm, she would prefer to be able to win back the UFC title first, then have a superfight with Taylor.
“What gets me excited is if I had one [belt] on each shoulder,” Holm said. “Do it all.”