Kenya’s prolific female boxer and World Boxing Council (WBC) Super bantamweight champion, Fatuma ‘Iron Fist’ Zarika is full of confidence ahead of her fight scheduled for September 8. She’s been in the UK preparation for her title-defending bout against Mexican Yamileth Mercado. The overseas training program is intense and was courtesy of her partners and leading bookmakers SportPesa.
This was Zarika’s maiden trip to the UK and she was excited. In addition to her excitement, she was focused on making the most of the opportunity to improve her boxing skills and gain knowledge to be able to overcome her worthy opponent in a week’s time.
Zarika has not been in the ring competitively since December when she beat Zambian Catherine Phiri by unanimous points decision to defend her WBC Super bantamweight title at the Carnivore Grounds in Nairobi. Zarika won the brutal bout on unanimous points decision after she scored 97-92, 98-91 and 99-92 from the three international judges who presided over the fight.
Zarika has never met her opponent Mercado but has gained a substantial amount of knowledge on her strengths and weaknesses as she cooks up the perfect recipe to overcome the challenge she poses.
“I don’t know her personally but I have watched her YouTube videos and I can tell she is a really good boxer.” said Zarika
“I have seen which areas of my boxing needs to improve in order to stand a chance in the fight and that will be my main focus as I go into the next two months of training,” Zarika, the mother of two continued.
“We will welcome Mercado to Kenya, this country is full of good and loving people but I would urge her to be very prepared for the fight because I will ready.” she added
The exemplary victory over Phiri in December saw her bestowed Head of State Commendation (HSC) honour by President Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenya celebrated her 54th Jamhuri Day on December 12. ‘Iron Fist’ as she is commonly known due to her weighty right hook, is confident of a good fight in September and is relishing the fact that it will be held at home.
She urges all Kenyan boxing fans to come and show their support as one of their own battles it out to defend the title.