Alicia Napoleon vs Hannah Rankin: The Best Fight You Never Saw

Alicia Napoleon vs Hannah Rankin: The Best Fight You Never Saw

In case you missed it, and you definitely did because it wasn’t televised, Alicia Napoleon successfully defended her WBA Super Middleweight Title against Hannah Rankin inside Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum. She became the first woman to box there, something that is kind of a big deal. Although they were put on dead last, both women made the most out of their opportunity, and then some.

 

As the Andre Berto v. Devon Alexander post-fight press conference started, there were some leftover fans that stayed for the fight. Although small, the crowd was passionate, hoping for a dominant women's fight. They definitely got their money’s worth. Let's review what took place, shall we?

Napoleon (10-1) came out to a remix of "You Don't Own Me", fitting for the controversies surrounding women and the boxing world. 

Rankin (5-2) was controlling round one until Alicia ended it with a solid jab to the face of the former. Round two was a fairly even one, with both women laying into one another. It wasn’t until round three where things got really exciting. Alicia and Hannah were throwing lefts and rights at one another. While a tough round, Alicia had the advantage heading into round four. 

Alicia was pouring on calculating strikes in round four, and in round five she threw a very solid hook to the face of Hannah. For her part, Hannah did not let up. She took it to the champ, hitting plenty of brutal body shots to Napoleon. After coming up short the last few rounds, Rankin woke up in round six. She nailed a plethora of hooks to the body of Alicia and kept her moving to the ropes. It was a much-needed round for the 28-year-old. 

Round seven through nine was everything you wanted in a fight. Headshots were the name of the game in round seven, several thrown by Alicia. Both women's counter game was extremely valuable during these rounds, as they were very smooth on the canvas. Round eight was pretty even. Rankin had Alicia against the ropes and laid into her. Napoleon answered back with a flurry of combo punches. 

Round nine was where it truly got interesting. In one of the most impressive rounds of the entire night, Napoleon and Rankin hit nonstop strikes at one another. Around the ring they went and with each step came one powerful punch after another. Forget Suplex City, this round was considered Violence City (working on the name), and it was a great setup to the tenth and final round. 

Hannah hit some solid blows to the face, and Alicia returned the favor with several of her own. Alicia hit one big shot to the face before the round came to a close. The remaining fans at the Nassau Coliseum gave them a standing ovation as the final bell rang. 

Although scorecards were not announced, Alicia Napoleon got the unanimous decision victory. 

First I want to thank God for my victory last night. With the Lords help I successfully defended my WBA Title at NYCBLIVE. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thank you to @team_rankin for a hell of a fight and traveling all this way to fight for the title, your a great athlete with great sportsmanship and will be one of the many women to help the sport rise. Now for my fans words can't describe how grateful I am for all of my supporters who came out to see me last night. I had to hold back my tears when entering into the ring because I was so touched and blown away by the magnitude of people that specifically came out last night just for me. Seeing all of you sporting my T-Shirts wearing big smiles on your faces and full of electric energy cheering me on as I entered the ring literally almost brought me to tears. You have no idea how much I love my fans and how special you are to me and the difference you make in my life let alone the fight. You all prove to the world that woman do draw a crowd and put on an entertaining fight. All of you that continue to come and loyally stand behind me fight after fight helps prove my case against the sexism in the sport. Last night was an epic night for myself and my opponent because we literally made history by being the first women to fight in the coliseum aka NYCB Live. The sad thing is our fight was not broadcasted and pushed back to the very last fight of the night. Pushed so far back that we weren't even the swing bout after the main event but treated with such disrespect from the selfish and sexist people that are in control. But it's ok because it's in the Lords hands and he's helping me rise up an army of people that stand behind me in my movement of #ShowSexism so I want all my fans to know how important you are to me and the crucial part you play in life, on my journey and in this movement. Together lets beak down the walls of sexism and stop those doing a disservice to the sport of boxing by mistreating female athletes. I'm grateful to be partnered up with @dibellaent out of our team is a genuine concern about the resistance towards women in the sport. Our voice will be heard #TeamEmpress

 

It was a shame the outside world didn’t get a chance to see it because it was a special kind of fight. Going into round six, you could hear many people, whether it be fans or the surrounding media, stating this fight was much better than a majority of the fights that took place that night. Lou DiBella, founder and CEO of DiBella Entertainment, even stated that fact.  

So what’s the deal?

As Alicia stated before in a Female Fight Fans exclusive, women don’t get the same treatment as men. She almost expected that this would happen. She may be right and it could just be a certain amount of bias on the part of the male-centered boxing world. It is something that needs to change for the better of the sport.

 

With the performance both fighters displayed, the hope is that changes will be made. It is important for women like Alicia and Hannah to be handled differently in the boxing world. For a sport that is growing on all fronts, it must evolve into the 21st century when it comes to marketing female fighters. It is hard for detractors to say female fighters are not exciting or can’t sell after two amazons like Napoleon and Rankin easily proved them wrong.

 

 

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