Cederroos Edges Napoleon-Espinosa In A War

Having an opportunity to face Claressa Shields, Alicia Napoleon-Espinosa wanted to prove herself against some of the best female fighters across the world. Facing a relatively unknown fighter in Elin Cederroos, Napoleon looked to put on the same performance she did against Hannah Rankin back in 2018.

Once again, Napoleon (12-2) was involved in another classic female fight, but on the losing end this time. Cederroos (8-0) beat Napoleon via unanimous decision (95-94, 95-94, 95-94). In a close bout inside the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, Cederroos became the WBA and IBF Super Middleweight Championships as a result of her win.

Alicia started the fight off with quick hands, but the reach of Cederroos played a major factor throughout the bout. Napoleon tried to move around, but early on Cederroos would hit precise shots. It wasn’t until he second round in which Napoleon was dropped by Cederroos for just the first time in her career. The judges ended up giving Elin a 10-8 score in the second as a result.

From there, however, it became a back and forth affair. Both fighters entertained the masses, trading shots to the body and face. Cederroos’ hands were too lethal for Napoleon to avoid following the knockdown, as she found herself in the wrong spots each and every time.

To Napoleon’s credit, however, she fought back and glided past Elin’s later shots. She hit key headshots that drilled the face of Cederroos. At one point she won at least three rounds in a row, giving her the indication she won the fight.

“I didn’t think I lost,” Napoleon stated after the fight. “I thought that it was fairly close but I thought I was ahead.  It is what it is, but I don’t think that I lost this fight.”

With Elin bleeding from the nose, Alicia tried once again to fight, but Elin’s reach and height gave her the true advantage. The grit of Elin gave her the final rounds and the fight.

“I’m so happy,” Elin stated after the fight. “I showed that I can box and take a war.  But when I relaxed the punches just came.  It feels so wonderful. Alicia was a great opponent.  She’s so professional.  We had a fight in the ring and I hope now we are friendly.”

When it came to challenging Shields next, who was set to face Ivana Habazin in the main event, Elin wasn’t convinced that fight was next for her.

“I’m focused on this fight,” Elin continued. “I’ll go home to Sweden to get back to training. I want more belts. I need to build up my name.”

Showtime Main Card (9 p.m. ET, Showtime) 

Claressa Shields v. Ivana Habazin – WBO and WBC Junior Middleweight Championships

Jaron Ennis def. Bakhtiyar Eyubov via TKO (0:34 into round four)

Elin Cederroos def. Alicia Napoleon-Espinosa via unanimous decision (95-94, 95-94, 95-94) – WBA and IBF Super Middleweight Championships

Showtime Preliminary Bouts (6 p.m. ET) 

Apti Davtaev def. Keith Barr via KO (0:38 into round three)

Joseph Bonas def. Glenn Mitchell via unanimous decision (39-27, 39-27, 39-27)

Jacob Bonas def. Christian Rivera via TKO (1:55 into round two)

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