Kenyan female boxing champ travels to U.S. to train for title bout

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-20 01:11:01|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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By Kimathi Kamau

NAIROBI, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan World Boxing Council (WBC) super-bantamweight champion Fatuma Zarika will be away for a two-month training camp in the United States to prepare for her title defence against Zambian Catherine Phiri in December.

Speaking in Nairobi before her scheduled Tuesday night departure from Nairobi to Las Vegas, Zarika exuded confidence she will return in better shape to face her opponent who is also a former WBC bantamweight champion on Dec. 2 in the Kenyan capital.

"I'm going to train well and when I come back, I will be in good shape and I will not let Kenyans down. I'm learning more by going to train in the U.S. and it will help me a lot in my bid to defend my title," Zarika said.

The Kenyan, 32, defeated Jamaican Alicia Ashley in a split decision at the Dort Federal Event Centre in Flint in Michigan, the US, last November for the super bantamweight title.

Zarika, whose professional record stands at 28 wins, two draws and 12 defeats, will return to the Berry's Boxing Gym in Las Vegas where she trained for two months earlier this year ahead of her aborted title re-match against Ashley in Dallas, Texas on June 30.

"I had trained well for the fight that never happened and I was ready to defend my title. In the time, I have been training in Nairobi, I have been watching her (Phiri) fights and taking note of her technique and movement and that is what I'm going to the U.S. to prepare for. I want to improve on my hand speed and good ring movement," Zarika said.

The mother of two is looking forward to training in America to recover the shape she was in before her fight against Ashley was cancelled when promoters failed to agree on the fight purse.

"Here, I had no one to push me. I was being forced to run and I was not used to it and it took me some time to adjust. There was also sparring from Monday to Friday which I found challenging," she added.