Top Rated Women's Boxer Holly Holm Retires to Focus on MMA

Damon MartinContributor IApril 16, 2013

Holly Holm (photo by Will Fox/
Holly Holm (photo by Will Fox/

The top women's boxer in the world will retire after one more fight, and turn her focus to a career in mixed martial arts.

14-time women's champion and top-ranked fighter Holly Holm announced during a press conference on Tuesday that she would retire from boxing following her next fight on May 11 to pursue a full time career in MMA.

Holm has held titles in three different divisions during her boxing career, and holds wins over several notable names such as Christy Martin and Mia St. John.  With a career record of 32-2-3, Holm is recognized by most rankings as the top female boxer in the world, but now she's leaving that behind for a new career.

Holm has already dipped her big toe in the MMA waters with a 3-0 record in the sport including a recent win on a Bellator card in her home state of New Mexico. 

Training under legendary coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn, Holm has already been a part of some major fight camps in the past and even competed in sparring sessions with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in the past.

"Since I first started fighting, it became my passion," Holm said on Tuesday during the press conference. "I decided a long time ago, after quitting school to fight, that I would box as long as my heart was in it. One of my biggest and controversial fights was against Christy Martin. Then, it was Mary Jo Sanders. There's always a champion. This is my own journey. Every one of my fights have helped me to believe in myself.   

"When we were deciding which way to go with my future, my trainer, Mike Winkeljohn, said it best, 'You want to climb a new mountain.' This thing has created a new spark in me and I'm following my heart."

Holm will have one more boxing match against Mary McGee on May 11 in New Mexico before her focus shifts entirely to MMA.

It's likely Holm will be a top prospect the moment she closes the book on her boxing career considering she's already had a few MMA fights and works with one of the top teams in the world.  While her focus remains on boxing until after her final fight, Holm ending up with a promotion like Invicta FC in the near future would seem like a lock.

With the UFC also now promoting a 135-pound women's division, Holm could also easily find a home in the Octagon at some point down the road as well.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.