It is all systems go for the eagerly awaited World Boxing Commission bout between Super bantamweight women champion Fatuma Zarika and Jamaican Alicia Ashley, on June 30 at a yet to be confirmed venue in Dallas, Texas, USA.
This will be a repeat of last year’s clash between the pair. Zarika went into the history books when she became the first Kenyan pugilist to claim the prestigious title after dethroning the Jamaican via a split decision at the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint in Michigan, the US.
The victory saw the 31 year old mother of two, who is currently in US on a month long training at Berry’s Boxing Gym in Las Vegas, extend her record to 28 wins, 12 defeats and two draws.
Zarika’s upcoming fight has attracted a lot of interest and has caught the eye of leading gaming firm, Sportpesa, which is sponsoring her logistics as she prepares for the big fight.
As part of her preparations before the much anticipated WBC bantamweight title defense, Fatuma Zarika had an opportunity of a lifetime when she got a rare surprise visit from legendary Mike Tyson at her training gym a few days ago.
The stylish orthodox stance boxer started as an amateur in 2000 after leaving high school and immediately enrolled at Mathare Boxing Club.
However, during that year, she fought four times and lost only once. The following year, Zarika turned professional and was signed up by Caleb Kuya, a former Kenyan international.
On October 12, 2003 in Nairobi she won a four-round decision over Rukken Koronoso of South Africa. A week later, on October 19, 2003, again in Nairobi she won a four-round decision over Ester Herkole.
She went on to clinch her first major belt on November 12, 2006 when she defeated Pavia Stankeova of Czech Republic for Women International Boxing Federation (WIBF) bantamweight title in Nairobi’s Leico Regency Hotel.
Zarika moved to the USA in February in 2016 after signing a deal with her new manager Nelson Lopez of Nelson Promotions.