Elin Cederroos Defeats Alicia Napoleon-Espinosa to Unify WBA/IBF Titles
Elin Cederroos (8-0, 4KOs) upset the apple cart in her United States debut in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She scored an exciting, crowd-pleasing unanimous decision (95-94 on all three judges scorecards) over Alicia Napoleon- Espinosa (12-2, 7 KOs) to become the unified WBA/IBF World Super Middleweight titles at the Ocean Resort Casino.
These ladies didn’t mess around and let the punches flow early and often. At 5’ 10 ½” Cederroos attempted to use her reach and five-inch height advantage to establish distance. Meanwhile, Espinosa marched forward behind the jab, throwing leather.
Fighting at a tremendous pace, the action continued in round two. Suddenly with 25 seconds to left in round two, Cederroos put Espinosa down with a peach of a check left-hook.
Through round six, the 34-year-old IBF champion from Vasteraas, Sweden continued to do an excellent job of keeping her opponent at bay. She kept moving at angles to avoid shots, then countering with jabs, hooks, and lead rights. A pit bull in the ring, Espinosa kept pressing the action. She would occasionally land hooks to the body, as well as right-hands to the head.
The eighth was arguably the best round of the fight. Late in the round, Espinosa was again stunned by a check left hook. However, she fought back hard wailing away with right-hands that had Cederroos on the back foot by round’s end.
Both ladies were pouring blood in the final round. Cederroos bled from the nose, while Espinosa bled heavily over her right eye. Nonetheless, they just straight went at it, landing big shots on one another. At the final bell, the Atlantic City crowd was on their feet cheering what turned out to be a corker of a contest.
In the end, the second-round knockdown proved to be the difference in the fight. Afterward, the new unified champion was asked about a fight against current undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields. The Swede was not ready to commit to such a fight, saying she needs to rest and wants more belts at super middleweight.
While she may not want any part of Shields right now, a fight against WBC/WBO Women’s World Super Middleweight champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the undisputed crown at super middleweight would be more than a viable option.
For her part, Espinosa felt she won the fight, but applauded her opponent on how she fought. In the end, we at 3KingsBoxing felt the right lady won and deserved the verdict in what turned out to be one of the best women’s boxing bouts in recent memory.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.