Sports

Boxer confident of winning Saturday’s bout after training in London, Odero scores points win over Zimbabwean Sibanda

Boxing sensation Fatuma Zarika is well prepared for her forthcoming title bout against Mexican Yamileth Mercado this coming weekend.

Speaking during an Osaga Promotions boxing event at Kilimani, Nairobi on Saturday, the Kenyan orthodox boxer nicknamed “Iron Fist” was upbeat about her state of mind promising her fans a huge thrill.

“I have had proper practice sessions with my team in United Kingdom and I feel very much in shape. I want to give my loyal fans and country a good treat on Saturday. I have gotten the chance to study my opponent and we know what to expect in regards to her strength and weaknesses,” said Zarika, 33 years old.

The super bantamweight fighter whose current residence is in Florida Texas has an amiable record of 30 wins, which include 17 technical knockouts and only two losses.  Her younger opponent Mercado, 20, who began her professional career in 2014, has a record of 12 wins and one loss. However,  it would seem the old hand Zarika has the experience to take it away. “It should be an interesting fight and obviously we have a strategy and plan in place which we will utilize effectively,” added Zarika.

Meanwhile, Everlyne Odero won the vacant World International Boxing Association lightweight title following her win on points over veteran Zimbabwean Monalisa Sibanda. The 10-round bout was full of action as both fighters wowed the crowd with ring artistry.

The opening three rounds saw Sibanda put in a good show with pretty good movement in the ring. Odero seemed to expose herself as Sibanda took advantage of her height and speed.

The fans at the Terrace Gardens arena charged hard with every jab the home girl inflicted and went into frenzy when a deadly combination of blows saw the Southern African boxer sprawl to the canvas.

Eventually after the final bell, the judges awarded Odero 100-90, 99-97, 100-90 points prompting much ululation from the ecstatic crowd as she was announced winner and awarded the belt.

“This belt means a lot to me and I am very proud of my performance. I was fighting an experienced boxer and I had to work smart,” said an elated Odero afterwards.

In other contests, Aziz Ali beat Abbas Kyobe by points in the heavyweight bout as the Ugandan questioned the fairness. Kenya Prisons boxer Aziz picked 60-54, 59-55, 60-57 points off his brute opponent.

In the welterweight category, George Owano won by technical knockout against Ugandan Kidega Dragon who had to retire with an eye cut in the third round.

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