“This isn't the first time that it has happened in the boxing world,” Nicole ‘Hoopz’ Alexander tells BET exclusively of former ‘Teen Mom OG’ Farrah Abrahams dropping from their upcoming celebrity boxing match just days before the fight. “Listen, she wasn't a challenge. At the end of the day, I got to see how she was moving and grooving and then you work on a fighting strategy and I had that.” Now Hoopz, who fans first fell in love with on Flavor of Love, will be fighting Natalie DiDonato of Mob Wives fame who stepped in last minute to replace Farrah.
Hoopz has been training vigorously the past three or so months to prepare for the fight regardless of its non-professional status because not only is boxing something that she may to take seriously (yes, as in going pro!), but the cause—anti-bullying—which the match is raising awareness for is something that she’s passionate about, always being the protector of her friends and family since a young age.
“[Farrah]’s the one pretending to bullied, and it's like nah, you're the bully. Everybody was excited to see the bully get beat, and that’s just the real. And when she dropped out I was just frustrated because you kind of just played everyone, including me. So yeah, that’s personal because you knew what you were doing. And now your using this platform to promote a show, whether we believe that true or not. So you know her tactics, they are shady.” Farrah is putting the blame of departure on the match’s promoters, Boom Cups Celebrity Boxing Showdown, who filed a cease and desist letter after she backed out for her slanderous comments.
“Was she scared? Absolutely. What is crazy is that some of the ‘Teen Moms’ and dads from MTV are coming. They wanted to see me really lay hands on this girl, but they are going to be there to support.” All the Teen Mom drama aside, Hoopz is ready to put on a good fight and show. “I’m excited to step in the ring, I can't believe [Natalie] stepped up last minute for this.” The last minute change has impacted Hoopz’s training though. While she was more than confident about going up against Farrah, she’s walking into unknown territory with Natalie, who not only is she unfamiliar with but has never even met. The two will have their first face to face encounter on Friday’s (Nov. 9) press conference leading up to the match. But the 35-year-old athlete seems delighted by the challenge.
“The strategy completed has to change. I mean, Farrah’s no athlete or boxer. I love the fact I have real competition now. I don't know her background. I know she's into fitness and she likes to stay in shape. So to not see anything she's done or know who she is or have a pattern to follow or something to go off of, but it just makes me have to train harder now. You have to expect anything. In my mind I'm going into it like a street fight.” Hoopz says she watches boxing legend Mike Tyson for style tips in the ring, which means a we’re definitely in for a good show!
So what exactly does training look like for Hoopz? A LOT of discipline and hours in the gym. “Workouts are crazy!” She broke it all down to us:
“So you wake up, I have a fitness trainer here in Michigan. He kicks my butt for 2 1/2 hours. And that is strength conditioning, cardio, and circuit training. So that starts the day off and then you have your couple meals. Then you get ready to go to the boxing gym. And then you got your boxing working routine which is more cardio and endurance, and then you got your speed bag and everything that has to do with shoulders up. Then after that which takes about an hour, you have to get into the ring and do ring movements. That takes about 25 minutes, and then you hit the pads and then you hit the bits, and then you spar. Never ending, that’s how it feels like. It’s so much. I love sports and I respect the sports so I want to follow what a real professional fighter would do, and it's no joke.”
And as if that didn’t already sound grueling, she follows a strict, clean diet. “I do all chicken, fish, vegetables. The only starches that I can eat that work for me, and everybody is different on how they cut weight, is potatoes. And portion sizes are very controlled.”
But that like the natural born fighter she is, Hoopz thrives off every part of the process. “I think I'm going to be addicted after this,” she says. So about that pro card…
When asked if she’d do another match after this regardless of the results she was prepared with an answer that she had already put some thought into. “I don't think it would be a celebrity boxing match, I think this would be a little different. It would have to be more serious. I have already been asked to go professional and there is a belt available and it’s something I'm considering. We'll see how I feel but I got like a little knack for it [laughs].”
Watch Hoopz vs. Natalie DiDonato in Boom Cups Celebrity Boxing Showdown in the Showboat in Atlantic City, NJ live on Saturday November 10 here.