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.
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.