Kenya’s Fatuma Zarika takes on Mexico’s Yamileth Mercado

By DENNIS OKEYO: Saturday, September 8th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Boxing
Kenya’s champion Fatuma ‘Iron Fist’ Zarika takes on Yamileth Mercado [Photo: Jonah Onyango]

Kenya’s champion Fatuma ‘Iron Fist’ Zarika takes on Yamileth Mercado of Mexico in the World Boxing Council (WBC) World Super Bantamweight battle at KICC, Nairobi, this evening.

Zarika seeks to defend the title she won by unanimous decision against Zambian Catherine Phiri last year in Nairobi. So far, Zarika has lined up in 42 fights, winning 30, losing 12 and drawing two.  

In 2016, Zarika made history when she became the first Kenyan to win the WBC world title after trouncing Jamaican Alicia Ashley in Flint, USA.

The 20-year-old Mercado, who weighs 55.5kg and made her debut in professional boxing with a victory against compatriot Yoatzin Meraz in 2014 looks determined to upstage Zarika, who came back two weeks ago from Liverpool, United Kingdom, where she attended a two-month training. 

Mercado edged out her compatriot Beatriz Arangure on unanimous points in their super featherweight bout in Hermosillo, Mexico, in June this year, which stands out as her last fight.

“I am ready to defend my title in front of my home fans and I promise not to let them down,” Zarika said after weighing session in Nairobi yesterday. 

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Mercado, who was inspired into boxing by her brother Eduardo Mercado Duarte and is being accompanied by her father, said she is excited with the Kenyan hospitality and now ready to size up with Zarika.  

“I appreciate the hospitality I received from Kenyans since arrived in Nairobi. I am ready for the fight at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre and I will take the title home,” said Mercado.

Three other fights are lined up for the main event, with George Onyango (61.23kg) facing Fred Nekesa (61.20kg) in the lightweight category in the first match of the night, scheduled to start at 6pm.

Florence Muthoni, who weighs in at 72.1kg, faces Charity Mukami (72kg) in a middle weight bout while hard-hitting boxer Rayton Okwiri will battle Ugandan Patrick Amote.