New Mexico Boxing

HolmSandersSmack attack at Isleta
"Huracan" Hernandez blows into town to challenge Holm Dec. 4

Story & photos by Chris Cozzone

If Melissa “Huracan” Hernandez’s gift of gab is as good as her gift of jab, Holly Holm may be in trouble.

But if the “Huracan” proves to be a bag of wind – like the last one who flew into Albuquerque, N.M. blowing smoke – Holm, the bigger, taller, heavier opponent by a couple of divisions, should breeze through another ten rounds when she defends her WIBA welterweight belt.

That’s right – welterweight belt – for that’s what will be at stake Dec. 4, when Holm, 25-1-3 (7 KOs), owner of six top-level world title belts in three different divisions, at one time or another, meets the Bronx babbler, Hernandez, 11-1-2 (4 KOs), at a catchweight of 140 lbs.

Never mind the belt, though, says Hernandez (and never mind the weight) – this fight is to disprove the theory that Holm is woman’s boxing pound-for-pound champ.

“Holly Holm is not the pound-for-pound best,” Hernandez said at a press conference held yesterday at Isleta Resort & Casino where the Fresquez-promoted fight will be held.

“I have one loss that’s not a loss because I was hometowned. I am No. 1. I am women’s boxing. I am the pound-for-pound best in the world. This is my game.

“Holly may be one tough rabbit, but I am declaring rabbit season. On Dec. 4, the tall will fall.”

Unfazed by Hernandez’s chatter and smiling at Belinda Laracuente (Hernandez’s manager), who pronounced that she had “exposed” Holm when the two fought in 2008, Holm was anything but confrontational when she had her turn at the podium.

“I always figured I’d be fighting Melissa Hernandez, sooner or later,” said Holm. “And I expect a tough fight from her.

“As for smack talk, I’ve never been able to talk like that for a fight. What happens if you lose? It only makes you look . . well, y’know. Do I let it get in my head? No. It makes the fight more exciting. Beneath all the talk, though, I know she has a fighter’s heart. I’d be more worried about the quiet ones. But I just take what she says and I’ll use it for motivation.”

Holm called Hernandez a tough, aggressive fighter who “hits hard and hits straight.”

“Beneath all the talk, though, I know she has a fighter’s heart,” said Holm. “And I respect that. I know she’s coming to win and that is what matters.”

The criticism of Hernandez and Laracuente, on the other hand, far outweighed the praise.

“Her ‘style?’ Call that a style?” Hernandez vented. “It’s about running in fists first. She gets away with a lot, wrestling and hitting and holding, excessive pushing. But I have a check hook for all that.

We’re the true warriors of the sport. Not someone like Holly - a big girl fighting small girls. She will have the hometown and the judges and the referee, but I have a game plan. On the other hand, I’ll probably get DQ’d for showboating.”

Hernandez criticized Holm for always fighting smaller opponents who had to give up weight.

“If she wants to be a true representative of women’s boxing,” said Hernandez,” tell her to leave her cradle and go to France to fight Anne Sophie Mathis. Go fight Myriam Lamare again, or Ann Marie Saccurato, now that I have her.

“But she’ll find out on Dec. 4 to look out for the little girls.”