IKF PHOTO GALLERY 5 - IKF AUSTRALIA
IKF World Champion
On October 1st, 2008, 3 Time IKF World Champion Holly Fernley made it official as she said "Good-bye" to a sport that she fought for in more ways than most Champions had to. For most of her career, holly wasn't just fighting for wins and titles in the ring. No, unlike the majority of the women in fight sports today, she was constantly fighting the politics in Australia that for so many years, would not allow Women to participate in ANY fight Sport, kickboxing as well as boxing.
During her fighting career she won 3 IKF World titles and was one of the most feared Women fighters in the world. "I'm having fun fighting Kyokushin Karate in Queensland." Said Holly, "Scaring the kids... lol.. Wish I could defend my titles but I'm not training enough these days so I will just retire gracefully.."
Always a Champion in the ring, Holly was also a champion as well as an ambassador outside the ring. What other women around the world take for granted, Holly had to constantly fight for. That was because women's fighting in ANY fight sport was banned in New South Wales. Holly stood her ground many times, and not just for herself but for the many woman fighter's in the country as well. In fact, one of Holly's titles came about by Forfeit which started from the fight being banned in New South Wales.
At the time, the view of the New South Wales Boxing Authority (NSWBA) was "a women's place is in the home cooking and having babies." This opinion came about because the 'ONLY' reason the NSWBA could tell the IKF when they questioned the rule as to why women shouldn't be allowed to fight was, and we will quote, "Well I guess they could injure their unborn fetus." That was the "ONLY" Reason anyone from the NSWBA gave the IKF at the time and those were the words of one of their chief members, Dave Morland. In fact, worse yet, other than the answer the IKF was given above, not "1" single member on the NSWBA could give the IKF any other JUSTIFIED REASON as to WHY women were not allowed to fight in Boxing or Kickboxing in NSW Australia. Their most common answer was, "It's just the law..." Keep in mind at the time (July of 2007) that the IKF was talking about a state that lies in the country that was ready to host the 2000 Olympic Games in September of that year. A state that has a law that "STILL" discriminates against women. To read more about that political mess holly and other women fighters had to deal with in New South Wales Australia, click HERE.
After winning her final IKF title in January of 2001, Holly still tried to keep busy. She had wanted to fight Ramona Gatto, but Gatto had turned down the offer to fight Holly in 2000 which lead to Gatto's retirement.
Holly was not always a big fan or even very good in just straight of Boxing, but she would accept bouts to simply keep busy between 1997 and 2004 she had 7 boxing bouts but won only 1, losing 5 and 1 ending in a draw. Strangely though, promoters knew her potential and she was matched for a Vacant OBA Female Light Welterweight Title in only her second pro boxing match where Holly lost a unanimous decision to Sharon Anyos (14-3) who went on to be the WBC, WBF and WIBA Women's Featherweight Champion.
However, fighting was just a part of holly's life. She grew up in a tough household where fighting was common. "By the time I got to be about 10, I learned how to punch in the face." Said Holly in an interview some time ago. "It was fun so I found fighting to be a good solution to social dilemmas when I was a kid."
Holly "Hellfire" Fernely's first IKF Title she won was the IKF Bantamweight International Rules World title. She won it at the Croatian Club in Bankstown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on September 24th, 1999 when she defeated Lynette Els of Three Rivers, Vereeniging, South Africa by kick KO in round 3.
Her next IKF title she won was a year later on March 4th, 2000 when she defeated Julie Wood of Newtown, New Zealand by KO at 2:36 of round one at the Bankstown Sports Hall in Bankstown, Sydney, Australia. in the bout holly won the IKF Featherweight Muay Thai World title.
Wanting to complete the sweep of a World Title in each of the 3 rule styles, Holly only had the Full Contact Rule style to conquer. She was scheduled to face Sarah Hall of England in July of 2000. However, the The POLITICAL Spoils In Australia! article as noted above explains what happened here. On January 1st, 2001, Holly won the title by forfeit when Hall and her promoter failed to re-schedule the bout by January 1st, 2001.
"Thank you for supporting me and all the other people who are walking the walk." said holly in her closing comments. We will surly miss you in the ring with the gloves on Holly, but time moves on, and we wish you luck in all you do in whatever your future brings.