WBA World Champion Alicia Napoleon-Espinosa To Face IBF
Champ Elin Cederroos Jan. 10 In Super Middleweight
Unification Live On SHOWTIME
A second women’s superfight has been added to the
blockbuster Claressa Shields vs. Ivana Habazin event on
Friday, January 10, at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City,
N.J., as WBA Super Middleweight Champion Alicia “The
Empress” Napoleon-Espinosa will face undefeated IBF Champion
Elin Cederroos in a 10-round unification live on SHOWTIME.
Napoleon (12-1, 7 KOs), of Lindenhurst, N.Y. and Cederroos
(7-0, 4 KOs), of Vasteraas, Sweden, will meet in the opening
bout of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m.
PT) in support of the long-awaited showdown between
undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields and
former champion Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBC and WBO
154-pound world titles.
If Shields and Napoleon win their respective bouts on
January 10, they are expected to face off for the undisputed
middleweight world championship in 2020 with all four of
Shields’ 160-pound titles on the line.
The event is promoted by Salita Promotions in association
with T-REX BOXING PROMOTIONS. The Napoleon-Espinosa vs
Cederroos fight is promoted by Salita Promotions in
association with DiBella Entertainment.
Napoleon became IBF Super Middleweight Champion with a
10-round unanimous decision over former world champion Femke
Hermans in March 2018. The 33-year-old successfully defended
her belt with another 10-round decision, this time over
Scotland’s Hannah Rankin in August 2018. Napoleon was last
seen making the second successful defense of her title by
stopping Philadelphia’s Schemelle Baldwin in four impressive
rounds in August 2019.
“I’m really excited to be unifying with IBF World Champion
Elin Cederroos on SHOWTIME,” said Napoleon. “I’m extremely
grateful to my promoter Lou DiBella, manager Brian Cohen,
coaches Leon Taylor and Delen Parsley and my husband Roberto
Espinosa for being the key ingredients to making this dream
come true. I have an amazing team of men that stand strong
by my side believing in me, preparing me and working hard to
open doors for me to thrive. I’m blessed and prepared to win
and put on a memorable performance for all the world to see
that night. I’m in tremendous spirits and excited and ready
for the night to come. Thank you to everyone, my team,
family and fans, for making this opportunity materialize
into a dream come true.”
The 34-year-old Cederroos claimed her IBF championship in
just her sixth fight with a majority decision over Hermans
in March of 2019. Fighting as the underdog in her opponent’s
backyard, Cederroos was still able to impress the judges
enough to pull off the impressive feat. In her last bout,
Cederroos defeated Kenya’s Florence Muthoni in a non-title
fight in November 2019 by dominant third-round KO.
“Alicia Napoleon is a great champion and she will be my
toughest test, but I am ready,” said Cederroos. “It is an
honor for me to make my U.S. debut on such a prestigious
card and to do so in a world title unification battle.
Alicia and I will put on a great show."
“January 10 just got even more exciting with the addition of
the matchup between two champions in the super middleweight
division,” said Dmitriy Salita. “Those attending the fight
at Ocean Casino Resort and everyone watching it live on
SHOWTIME will see the best fighting the best in this very
competitive ‘pick-em’ fight. A great start to boxing in
"Alicia Napoleon-Espinosa is a world champion who has the
whole package. She's athletic, fierce, physically strong and
charismatic," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella
Entertainment. "On January 10, she gets her biggest
opportunity to shine against Elin Cederroos, another world
champion. This is the biggest stage to date for both Alicia
and Elin and I expect them to bring everything they have.
One of them will leave the ring as a unified world champion
and an elite rival for Claressa Shields. Alicia is confident
that her hand will be raised."
An industry leading production team and announce crew will
deliver all the sights, sounds and drama from Atlantic City.
Veteran broadcaster Brian Custer will host the telecast
while versatile combat sports voice Mauro Ranallo will call
the action alongside Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and
former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi at
ringside. Three Hall of Famers round out the SHOWTIME
announce team – Emmy® award winning reporter Jim Gray,
unofficial ringside scorer Steve Farhood and world-renowned
ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. The Executive Producer of
SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION is David Dinkins, Jr. with
Bob Dunphy directing. The telecast will be available in
Spanish via Secondary Audio Programing (SAP) with Alejandro
Luna and former world champion Raul Marquez calling the