Slow start costs Ash­ley WBC ti­tle

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA - Leroy Brown Gleaner Writer

KENYAN BOXER Fa­tuma Zarika be­came the new World Box­ing Coun­cil (WBC) fe­male su­per ban­tamweight cham­pion last Satur­day night when she de­throned Ja­maican Ali­cia ‘Slick’ Ash­ley by split de­ci­sion, in a hard­fought con­test in Flint, Michi­gan.

This was the main bout on a six- fight card that was put on as a ben­e­fit to raise funds to as­sist with that city’s on­go­ing se­vere wa­ter prob­lems.

The three judges scored the 10-round fight 94-96 for Ash­ley and 96-94, 97-93 for Zarika.

The fight was a close one and the Kenyan boxer was able to keep pace with the cham­pion by util­is­ing her box­ing skills to avoid punches and then suc­cess­fully coun­ter­punch­ing.

She had the edge in the early rounds, but Ash­ley got her act to­gether and fought back de­ci­sively in the sec­ond half of the fight to earn the ver­dict on one card and make it close on an­other. The 97-93 score­card for Zarika was seen as an aber­ra­tion.

Ash­ley was not her usu­ally dom­i­nant self in the early rounds and her ad­viser, Luigi Ol­cese, told The Gleaner yes­ter­day that he be­lieved she could have earned the de­ci­sion if she had been more de­ci­sive in the early rounds.

“She made her op­po­nent miss, but did not make her pay when she did and this made the dif­fer­ence. I nev­er­the­less thought that Ali­cia won the fight, but it did not go her way and we just have to move on,” said Ol­cese.

“We have a re­turn fight clause in the con­tract and we will see how soon we can make that fight hap­pen. I am con­fi­dent that Ali­cia will re­gain her ti­tle,” he added.

Zarika, who is 31, im­proved her record to 28-12-2, while Ash­ley, who is still fighting bril­liantly at age 49, falls to 23-11-1.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Ja­maica’s Ali­cia ‘Slick’ Ash­ley boxes dur­ing her World Box­ing Coun­cil (WBC) su­per ban­tamweight ti­tle fight against Ire­land’s Christina McMa­hon at the Avi­a­tor Sports Cen­tre in Brook­lyn, New York, on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 29, 2015. Ash­ley won by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.