World’s No. 1-rated female boxer sets goal to fight MMA star Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey, top, grapples with Liz Carmouche during their UFC 157 women's bantamweight championship mixed martial arts match in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. Rousey won the first womens bout in UFC history, forcing Carmouche to tap out in the first round. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Ronda Rousey, top, grapples with Liz Carmouche during their UFC 157 women's bantamweight championship mixed martial arts match in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. Rousey won the first womens bout in UFC history, forcing Carmouche to tap out in the first round. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The world’s No. 1-rated female boxer is set to step into the boxing ring for the last time.

Holly Holm is scheduled Saturday to face Mary McGee at Route 66 Casino Hotel outside of Albuquerque, capping a decade-long boxing career.

Her last bout comes after the 31-year-old Albuquerque boxer announced last month that she was retiring from boxing to dedicate herself to mixed martial arts.

Holm said at a news conference Thursday that since she announced her decision to move solely to MMA, she’s received a lot of negative reaction from boxing fans. “In the women’s boxing world, there’s a lot of hatred toward it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” Holm told the Albuquerque Journal. “Really what I think is women’s boxing wouldn’t be here without the die-hard fans, so as negative as some of them want to be, that’s fine by me. I’m not going to lose sleep over it.”

Some boxing fans had hoped to see a fight between Holm and unbeaten Norwegian fighter Cecilia Braekhus.

Holm is a multiple, three-division world champion in boxing and has a 32-2-3 boxing record.

Her longtime manager and trainer, Mike Winkeljohn, said Holm “kept boxing alive in Albuquerque” after Johnny Tapia and Danny Romero retired. “Without Holly, there wouldn’t have been as much opportunity for the young boxers in New Mexico,” he said.

Holm is 3-0 in MMA bouts. She trains at Albuquerque’s Jackson Mixed Martial Arts, a gym that has sent a number of fighters to the UFC.

In February, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche made history by fighting in UFC’s first women’s bout. Rousey, a two-time Olympian in judo with a bronze medal, is now one of the most popular female athletes in the world.

Holm said fighting Rousey is her goal. “I wouldn’t want to fight her tomorrow. I like my arms,” Holm said Thursday. “There’s a lot of training to do and things I can do to get better.”