Alicia Napoleon, Professional Boxer
How did you get into boxing?
I’ve always had this crazy strength. One time in high school, I was asleep in science class and my best friend gave me a wet willie to wake me up. As a reflex, I got up and punched her in the nose. There was blood everywhere. I felt terrible! To this day, don’t do anything weird to my ears — like, if we’re in a relationship, don’t lick them. Anyway, I was the only girl on our high-school wrestling team — there was a petition from the other schools to have me taken off because I would beat the boys and make them cry. From there, I got into boxing — I’d bike 14 miles every day to the gym in order to train. By the time I was 20, I was competing in the amateurs, and I’ve won 11 titles. Now I’m a pro. I’m star material.
What is the appeal of knocking people out?
It’s like a supernatural power enters my body from head to toe. It’s the most beautiful, electrifying feeling: Imagine being in love, and so happy, and then times that by a million.
New Year’s resolutions?
It’s silly, but to wear silk pajamas to bed every night instead of my sloppy, stained sweatpants and sports bra. I’m an all-together, put-together, got-it-all type of girl, so I need to go to bed with some class.
Hometown: Manorville, Long Island.
Currently lives: Lindenhurst, Long Island.
Favorite restaurant: Caffe Napoli in Little Italy. “Whenever I have a weigh-in for a fight, I’ll go there afterward for dinner. The last time I was there, they were playing the Rocky theme song!”
Fighting alias: The Empress.
Favorite TV shows: Empire and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Fight-prep music: “I listen to Bible sermons on YouTube. I’m reading the Word, not putting any smut or garbage in my mind.”
*This article appears in the January 11, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.