Holland returns home with three belts

August 20, 2001 - By Paul Upham: Australia's new premier welterweight Julian Holland, 26-2-1 (16), returned home to Melbourne on Sunday afternoon with three belts after his stunning seventh round defeat of WBC No.6 Shannan "Blaster" Taylor at the Octagon, Randwick Racecourse in Sydney on Friday night.

"I'm feeling great. I just got back to Melbourne this afternoon," said Holland, who came back from a third round knockdown and cut eye to add the Commonwealth and WBO Asia Pacific belts to his Australian welterweight title.

The "Blaster" 29-2-1 (19) was shaken early in the seventh round by a booming Holland right hand, connecting directly on Taylor's chin. The referee stopped the contest shortly after with Holland recording a TKO win.

"The cut to my eye is bad and I've done something to my right hand, probably when I hit him with the bomb in the seventh round," said Holland. "I was just watching it on TV and it was a huge wicked punch. I was just cruising up until that point. That's what our game plan was, just to box early and not get hit with his big shots. The when he started to get loose, start stepping it up and that's what happened."

Holland suffered a cut over his right eye after an accidental head clash in the sixth round, which nearly caused the fight to be stopped prematurely.

"Dr Lou Lewis put five butterfly clamps on it. He didn't stitch it. It's going to take a couple of weeks before I can get back in the gym with it," said Holland, who says he was not hurt when knocked down just before the bell in the third round. I got hit in the back of the head with a lopping right hand and it sort of knocks you off balance more than anything, I was not hurt."

Reviewing his performance, Holland was happy with the way he boxed early, trying to soak up Taylor's best shots, as was his plan.

"Maybe I was showing him a little too much respect. I could have upped it a little bit. Other than that I thought I was going along nicely," said Holland who is rated No.11 by the WBA. It feels awesome. Everything is just starting to come to plan. All the hard work is paying off. I'm not going to stand on my laurels either. I'm going to keep going. I feel I can get a lot better and just keep working hard and take it as far as I can."

With wife Narelle, Holland has two young sons Kade and Jayden. At 28 years of age, he can now secure his families financial future with wins on the world scene in return for the tremendous support he has received from them. "With boxers, the wives and the girlfriends go through a lot coming up to the fight. Narelle is a chef by trade and she looks after me by cooking all my meals for me," said Holland, who would like, "A big house down here in Melbourne would be nice."

After he returns to the gym, Holland is unsure what direction he will take for his next fight. Sydney promoter Kieran O'Connor had lined up WBU champion Jan Bergman for a September defence for the winner of Holland and Taylor, but that will have to wait a little longer as Holland will probably not be ready to fight again until late October or November.

"I'm looking forward to defending the Commonwealth title. But I really don't know which way I am going to head yet. Everything is all up in the air and we have to sit down and work it all out," said Holland, who paid tribute to the people who had helped him throughout his career. "Especially my sponsors and the people who have stuck with me right through like Glenn Boss and Simon Marshall."

A personal fitness trainer in Melbourne and horse farrier at Flemington racetrack, Holland would like the opportunity to defend his Commonwealth title in his hometown of Melbourne one day. "If we can get TV down here that will be good.

“The reason I was unknown throughout Australia was because I wasn't getting enough exposure on Fox Sports," said Holland. "Having a TV fight is very important for me. If we can get it down here I would love that because we always get good crowds here in Melbourne."
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