In the opening bout of the first Showtime Boxing telecast of 2020, IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Elin Cederroos edged WBA champion Alicia Napoleon Espinosa to unify the super middleweight division in an all-action slugfest scored 95-94 three times.
Cederroos (7-0, 4 KOs) was more active from the opening bell, throwing 747 total punches over 10 rounds compared to 432 for the slightly more effective Napoleon Espinosa (12-2, 7 KOs). But the difference in the close scorecards was a second round knockdown that Cederroos registered with a perfectly timed check left hook in the closing moments of the second. It was the first knockdown of Napoleon Espinosa’s career and ultimately the deciding factor in the scorecards.
“I’m so happy. I showed that I can box and take a war,” Cederroos said. “But when I relaxed the punches just came. It feels so wonderful. Alicia was a great opponent.”
Napoleon Espinosa was game and hurt the Swedish Cederroos multiple times but she was largely unable to get inside against her taller opponent who consistently landed the bigger punches from a distance.
“I didn’t think I lost. I thought that it was fairly close but I thought I was ahead,” Napoleon Espinosa said. “It is what it is, but I don’t think that I lost this fight.
“I know she was strong, but I wanted a tough fight. I know that Elin is an athlete. I don’t feel that I lost. I feel like it was close.”
“Congrats on the fight with Shields because that was what I was looking forward to,” Napoleon Espinosa said.