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Alicia Napoleon Improves to 7-0, Seeks Step up in Competition

Napoleon vs. Burton (8)
Photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing

Alicia “The Empress” Napoleon was dominant in her main event billing at “Rumble, Young Man, Rumble”; a seven-fight card held by Uprising Promotions in Queens, New York on Friday.

An undefeated Middleweight from Lyndenhurst, NY, Napoleon earned a unanimous decision victory (60-54, 59-55 and 59-55) over Kita Watkins, a veteran of over 20 professional fights.

Napoleon, who had earned five of her six career wins via knockout, put on a surgical performance at the Five Star Banquet Hall, targeting the body of her well-traveled opponent. Following the showcase performance, Napoleon showed respect to Watkins before calling out top opposition.

“As I move up in my career, the opponents are going to get tougher and tougher. Kita is, by far, one of the toughest opponents I’ve ever stepped in the ring with,” said Napoleon to Round By Round Boxing after the fight.

“I have a list of names: Aleksandra Lopes, I would like to fight her at Welterweight. I would like to fight Kali Reis for her Middleweight WBC Gold title. I’m sure Mari Cornejo and I will get in the ring at some point in our careers, because there’s few and far between in our weight classes. Right now I have my eyes set on them,” said Napoleon.

With seven professional victories, two New York Golden Gloves titles, and a WBC Silver belt on her resume, Napoleon has enjoyed an accomplished career both in and outside of the ring.

Head trainer and general manager of the Overthrow NYC boxing gym, Napoleon chalked up her success to hard work and support from her New York fan base (six of Napoleon’s seven fights have taken place in the Empire State).

“I will fight anywhere, but I’m pretty popular in New York. It’s my home, I’m a big draw here,” said Napoleon. “But, I definitely would love the opportunity to compete abroad–I’d love to go to China, Japan, Germany, the more the better.”

Hailing from Tyler, Texas, Watkins’ moments of offense were sparse, putting forth a durable effort to survive over six rounds. Having turned professional in 2006, Watkins was Napoleon’s most experienced opponent–previously going the distance with the aforementioned Aleksandra Lopes and undefeated middleweight, Tori Nelson.

Following a fight that was ugly at times–Napoleon and Watkins had to be separated after the end of the fourth round- the 37-year-old was candid about her performance, citing Napoleon’s “holding, elbowing, and throwing,” as problematic.

“I don’t have any ill will against her, I appreciate her giving me a good fight,” said Watkins. “I’m from Texas, but I might come back up here [New York]. I liked the atmosphere.”

Featherweights Weusi Johnson and Ariel Lopez were featured in the co-main event of the evening. The lanky Johnson hung in the pocket for several crowd-pleasing exchanges, but Lopez got the best of his adversary with brutal punches to the body.

After the second round, the ringside physician called a stop to the contest over concerns of Johnson’s safety.

Lopez improved to 2-0 in his young career, while Johnson was irate with his corner after what he perceived to be a premature stoppage.

Anthony Jones of Newark, NJ scored a 60-54, 58-56 and 58-56 unanimous decision victory over Villi Bello in the middleweight division.

A long, lean southpaw, Jones utilized his reach advantage early and often, tagging the 4-2-1 Bello with clean left jabs to the head.

Bello emerged as the aggressor in later rounds, but the precision striking of Jones helped “Sweet Tooth” improve to an undefeated 5-0-1 mark.

Maxito Sainvil provided fireworks in the evening’s fourth bout, a six-round scrap with Ray Velez (3-9-1) of Brooklyn, NY.

Despite entering the fight with a height disadvantage, Sainvil landed serious leather on Velez from the opening bell, earning a second round knockdown.

After suffering a point deduction for hitting a downed opponent, Sainvil closed the show at :26 into the fifth round; uncorking a mammoth left hook to turn Velez’s lights out.

Now boasting a 4-0-1 record (with a highlight-reel KO on his resume), Sainvil is worth keeping an eye on in the welterweight division.

In a battle of Brooklyn vs. Staten Island, the debuting Romain Thomas set a furious pace against Grashino “Black Scorpion” Yancy.

The two lightweights exchanged wild, winging punches throughout the first two rounds, before Yancy poured it on and outscored Thomas in rounds three and four.

Yancy (2-1) would emerge victorious from this evenly matched contest, taking a 40-36, 39-37, 39-37 unanimous decision victory back to the Shaolin.

Shawn Simpson cruised to a clean sweep of Juan Muniz, as the World Series of Boxing veteran earned a 40-36 unanimous decision over his plodding opponent.

Simpson, represented by Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, landed quick combinations with little resistance from the 0-4 Muniz, improving to 2-0 in the Junior lightweight division.

Frederic Julan and Damien Lewis opened the show in the Cruiserweight division.

A native of Brooklyn, NY making his professional debut, Julan outscored Lewis in early frames, but frequently let his opponent bulldog his way into dirty boxing exchanges.

Lewis was no pushover, but fell to 0-2 after Julan earned 40-36 scorecards for his first professional win.

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