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Holm Dominates “Punchenella” in the 7th
 By Andy Rivera
 Photo's By Tom Hernandez
January 12, 2008

Holly Holm dominated Mariem "Punchenella" Brakache (5-6-1) in the 7th round at Isleta Casino Friday night. The fight was stopped when Brakache's cut on her right eye was determined by referee Rocky Burke too severe to continue. Brakache did protest after the fight, but she was had lost every round prior to the stoppage.

There wasn't mush suspense on who would win, as Holm looked determined and ready to do whatever it took to beat the brash talking Brakache, who most of the week prior to the fight tried to get under Holm's skin, but Holm would tell everyone the fight was Friday night, not before. Brakache had no answer for Holm at any juncture of the fight, The only thing Brakache had to offer was hitting behind the head when she got close to Holm.

Holm used lateral movement, and stood her ground and punched, which by no doubt had Brakache confused in the first three rounds. Holm looked more and more determined to punish her opponent as she lalnded hard left hand, over and over to Brakache's head; all Brakache could do is make a face each time she got hit.
In round four referee Rocky Bruke warned Brakache for the second time of the fight for hitting behind the head, if anything Brakache knows how to use dirty tactics to try to throw her opponents game plan, but Holm would have none of it.
More of the same in rounds five and six as Holm peppered Brackache with rights to the head every time Brakache tried to rush Holm. At the end of the sixth a cut on the side of Brakache's left eye opened up. The cut was a bad one and Brakache's corner was able to stop the blood momentarily in between rounds; Referee Burke would let the judges know it was from a punch, which led to drama after the fight.
 In the 7th, Holm who had blood all over her white top and forehead, but from Brakache cut; would continue where she left off, popping Brakache more and more frequently, Burke halted the action to have the ring doctor look at the cut, which she was allowed to continue, but Brakache looked like a beaten fighter. As the two went back to the center of the ring Brakache looked at Burke like she wanted to quit; Holm went in for the kill landing one more flurry and prompting Burke to halt the fight at 1:40.
 After the fight Brakache would protest the stoppage, saying that the cut was caused by a headbutt; she would go to Holm's corner and tried to goad Holm into fighting more, but Holm had taken her gloves off and tried to get Brakache to leave her corner, as did Holm's trainer Mike Winklejohn, who asked Burke to get Brakache out of their corner. Burke looked puzzled and after about two minutes Brakache finally left the corner.
In reference to Burke, who has been a good referee for a lot of big fights in New Mexico, he could have taken more control after the fight was stopped, on two occasions Burke was undecided on what to do after the fight was over, Brakache's corner kept telling Burke it was a headbutt, Burke then said to the corner, "If it was then it was accidental."  That should never be told to a corner---it only made things worse.

A ruling was made prior to the 7th round starting that it was a punch that caused the cut and Burke should have stood by his ruling rather then contradicting his call. Secondly, he should have controlled Brakache from going to Holm's corner repeatedly after the fight in trying to antagonizing Holm and her corner, twice Holm's trainer Mike Winkeljohn asked Burke to get Brakache away from the corner, as Winklejohn protect Holm from any possible cheap shots from Brakache.

 None the less the outcome was evident, but it could have caused less headache and wouldn't have dampened Holm's dominating win after the fight. I'm sure it was an off night for Burke.
 Holm (20-1-2) , who now has a fight February 7th in "The Best Damn Sports Show" against Brenda Laracuente, was ready to go the last three rounds with Brakache, meaning she didn't want any excuses from Brakache. "I'm ready to go the last three rounds, I don't want any excuses, but I'm pretty sure if we went to the cards I was way ahead at the time of the stoppage!"

Once again Holm showed that she is still the top draw at this time in New Mexico, as she once again sold out Isleta Casino with a crowd of 2,800 in attendance.  Now with her promoter Lenny Fresquez getting her a national television date out of New Mexico, it should silence some of the few critics that think Holm should fight away from Albuquerque, Holm should do just fine no matter where she fights!
Andy Rivera


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