Zarika bout set

Newly crowned WBC su­per ban­tam champ is to fight a Malaw­ian

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports Local - BY SAM­SON ATEKA AND MUIGAI KIGURU /

Kenya’s Fa­tuma Zarika, who re­cently stunned the box­ing world af­ter win­ning the World Box­ing Coun­cil Su­per ban­tam belt is ex­pected to thrill box­ing lovers in Nairobi on Jamhuri Day in a home­com­ing con­test or­gan­ised by Osaga Pro­mo­tions of Caleb Kuya.

The event will be a pre­cur­sor to her ti­tle de­fence of the WBC belt in Kenya in Fe­bru­ary next year. Den­mark-based Pro­moter Kuya said the Jamhuri card will also fea­ture some of Kenya’s best fe­male pugilists. Kuya added that Zarika will fight a yet to be iden­ti­fied Malaw­ian boxer.

Jane Kavu­lani also known as “Kakamega Ex­press” will fight for the va­cant na­tional box­ing ti­tle also with her op­po­nent to be named soon. Zarika made his­tory by dis­miss­ing Ja­maican Ali­cia Ash­ley to be­come the first ever Kenyan fe­male pro­fes­sional boxer to hold a WBC ti­tle.

Zarika, who is based in Mi­ami, won the WBC su­per ban­tamweight ti­tle on split points. The Kenyan chal­lenger out­classed her Ja­maican ad­ver­sary in a ti­tle con­test held in Flint, Michi­gan, USA.

The fight saw Zarika, 31, im­prove her record to 28 wins, two draws and 12 losses while Ash­ley, 49, the old­est all-time world champ, dipped to 23 wins, a draw and 11 losses.

In an­other devel­op­ment, Com­mon­wealth Box­ing Coun­cil-Africa wel­ter­weight cham­pion James Onyango will be de­fend­ing his against Ugan­dan ri­val Pa­trick Atuhairwe dur­ing the in­au­gu­ral ‘Fri­day Fight Night’ box­ing set for De­cem­ber 9 at the Keny­atta In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence Cen­tre.

Onyango knocked out the Ugan­dan in the 10th round of their 12-round bout to claim the belt on July 31, 2015. In an in­ter­view, Onyango said he is go­ing for noth­ing short of ti­tle de­fence. “Pa­trick had asked for a re- match and luck­ily he got a pro­moter to make his dream come true,” said Onyango. “It seems I did not pun­ish him enough last year and he will be in for a rude shock this time round.” Onyango has a pro-ca­reer record of 22 wins ( 18KOs), 11 losses (three KOs) and one draw while Atuhairwe has six wins ( 3KOs) and three losses (two KOs).

In the women’s cat­e­gory Kenya’s light­weight boxer Judy Waguthii will face off against Tan­za­nia’s Asha Ngedere in a 6-round light­weight non-ti­tle fight.

Kenya’s light­weight Fred Nyake­sha will also bat­tle Uganda’s Mubarak Seguya. ‘Fri­day Fight Night’ is set on a series for­mat, spon­sored by The Main Event Com­pany (TMEC). The series will pro­file Kenya’s am­a­teur and pro­fes­sional box­ers fus­ing the el­e­ments of box­ing and en­ter­tain­ment.

“Our ob­jec­tive is to pro­vide a plat­form for de­vel­op­ing and nur­tur­ing the sport in Kenya by pro­vid­ing a plat­form for box­ers to show­case their skills,” said Diana Gichaga, TMEC manag­ing part­ner.

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