Ash­ley faces tough ti­tle de­fence

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT - Leroy Brown Gleaner Writer

JA­MAICA’S ALI­CIA ‘Slick’ Ash­ley, the World Box­ing Coun­cil (WBC) Fe­male Su­per Bantamweight cham­pion, faces a stiff chal­lenge from Kenyan Fa­tuma ‘African Queen’.

Zarika tonight, as she seeks to suc­cess­fully de­fend her ti­tle in Flint, Michi­gan.

This will be the main bout on a six­fight card pro­moted by Don El­baum, which has been dubbed, as a Fight for Flint box­ing card. All pro­ceeds will go to the city. Flint has been hav­ing se­ri­ous wa­ter prob­lems over the past four years, and this has at­tracted world­wide at­ten­tion. Box­ing has de­cided to play its part, and with the co-op­er­a­tion of the WBC, has de­cided to use this card to raise money for, and in­crease aware­ness of the prob­lems be­ing faced by the peo­ple of Flint. As its con­tri­bu­tion to the cause, the WBC has do­nated all its ser­vices and waived all its fees for tonight’s fight card. Ash­ley told The Gleaner yes­ter­day that she is fit and ready for the chal­lenge from an op­po­nent for whom she says she has the great­est re­spect. “She has been in box­ing a long time and has a good record. I know that I will have to bring my ‘A’ game to the ring tonight, and that is what I in­tend to do. It should be a very com­pet­i­tive fight, and I am ready for the chal­lenge” she stated. Ash­ley goes in with a 23-10-1 record, while Zarika’s is 27-122. Both women are classy box­ers, and the ex­pec­ta­tion is that it will be a 10-round box­ing fest. TIVOLI GAR­DENS FC coach, Omar Ed­wards, knows all too well that his West Kingston-based team is one of the tough­est to lead, but con­sid­ers him­self a dis­ci­plined tac­ti­cian, tak­ing on a job to lead the for­mer cham­pi­ons to a re­spectable Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) cam­paign.

Prior to Ed­wards, three coaches came and went for dif­fer­ent rea­sons in a short space of time at the club.

“When I talk to the play­ers, they don’t back an­swer or give strong op­po­si­tion, and that is re­ally a plus to coach at a team like Tivoli Gar­dens. So far, they are re­spond­ing pos­i­tively, and I must say ku­dos to my play­ers for do­ing that,” Ed­wards said at the Red Stripe Premier League Press Con­fer­ence, yes­ter­day.

Ed­wards, who is as­sis­tant coach of the na­tional Un­der-17 team, as well as head coach of Denham Town High school’s Man­ning Cup team, says de­spite los­ing two home games and win­ning two on the road, his charges’ per­for­mances have been en­cour­ag­ing.

“We are play­ing some good foot­ball; we cre­ated sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties, but we are fail­ing to cap­i­talise on our op­por­tu­ni­ties at home. Some per­sons might say it is pres­sure play­ing at home, but we are re­ally play­ing some good foot­ball,” he rea­soned.

“I was called to coach the team, and part of that is build­ing, and I am go­ing to do it to the best of my abil­ity. Many have gone be­fore me, and I know that Tivoli is a dif­fi­cult place to coach. I have also spent over a decade coach­ing at Boys’ Town at the high­est level,” he stressed.

Ahead of a visit to league lead­ers Ja­malco FC in Claren­don to­mor­row, Ed­wards is eye­ing a win. Tivoli Gar­dens are in eighth place on six points.

“Ja­malco has started the sea­son pretty well. They have play­ers on their team, [one] is the lead­ing goal scorer, so in my opin­ion, they are do­ing some­thing pretty good, but go­ing to Ja­malco, we are go­ing for max­i­mum points,” the coach noted

He also noted that play­ers at his high-school team, Denham Town, could find their way in the Tivoli Gar­dens team if they show enough abil­ity.

“If I be­lieve we have play­ers there (Denham Town High) who can ma­tric­u­late into the Tivoli Gar­dens team, and they want to go there then cer­tainly,” he out­lined.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.