Ashley faces tough title defence
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.