NAIROBI, Kenya- Reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Bantamweight champion; Fatuma Zarika is putting final touches to her training in Las Vegas, USA, as she prepares to return home to defend her title against Catherine Phiri of Zambia at the Carnivore Grounds in Nairobi on December 2.
The high-profile fight, promoted by Bigger Than Life Entertainment, has given Zarika the chance to expand her honours list having previously won the East and Central African Professional Boxing Federation Featherweight (2010) and the International Boxing Federation World Super Bantamweight crowns in 2007 and 2008.
Leading bookmakers, SportPesa, supported Zarika’s training camp in Las Vegas under coach James Hurley as she seeks to give her home fans an early Christmas present by flooring, Phiri, the respected former champion who is preparing for the showdown in Lusaka.
“Zarika has established a routine training for the last two months ahead of her title defence. She is training thrice a day. Her training involves morning runs and weight lifting in the evening. She does a lot of sparring too,” her manager Ejay Mathews, explained.
Mathews, the proprietor of Bigger Than Life, stated that the endurance training has helped Zarika to improve on her speed and defense which are key factors for any successful title defense in boxing.
“The training has made her better, stronger and more accurate than when she won the title against Alicia Ashley of Jamaica in October last year,” Mathews insisted.
It will be the first time Zarika will be slugging it off against Phiri who failed to successfully defend her WBC World Bantamweight title against home girl Mariana Juarez of Mexico on unanimous decision in April.
Phiri is a force to be reckoned with having won the African Boxing Union Bantamweight and World Boxing Council Silver Bantamweight titles in the past and is guaranteed to stretch Zarika to the limit of her prowess.
It will be the second time Zarika will be fighting under Bigger Than Life that will be staging the third edition of its Making of A Champion series at the Carnivore.
Zarika gave good account of herself in the second leg held at the venue in February where she dispatched Flora Machela to the canvas via a Technical Knock Out.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Fatuma Zarika’s records
Catherine Phiri’s records