NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Kenyan World Boxing Council (WBC) Super bantamweight champion, Fatuma Zarika declared on Thursday it was time for her ‘Iron Fist’ to do the talking after sizing up her Zambian challenger, Catherine Phiri in Nairobi.
The pair will step onto the ring on Saturday in Nairobi to vie for the global title and during the pre-fight press conference, Zarika exuded confidence home fans would leave the Carnivore Grounds in celebration.
“This will be my first fight since I adopted the name late last year. I was inspired by the movie by the same name. I loved the way the star kept knocking everyone down with his right-hand he branded Iron Fist,” Zarika said.
“If you have chosen a name, make sure you live up to its billing. So, to make my fists strong I engaged two United States boxers who helped me with great sparring lessons,” the champion charged.
Her 10-round fight will be the main event in a nine-bout fight card that will have three title showdowns.
Malawian Anisha Basheel will take on Kenyan Consolata Musanga in another scheduled 10-rounder for the Africa Boxing Union women Super lightweight title while local boxer, James Onyango will trade punches with Saidi Mundi from Tanzania in a 12-round contest for the World Boxing Federation men Welterweight belt.
Zarika, who returned from a two-month training stint in the U.S., said she was better equipped to defend her global title.
“They increased the speed work of my shadow boxing, I can now spar for ten minutes non-stop unlike before when I could only last for three minutes,” she added.
“It is only important that I win this belt, I want to tell Zarika it will be fireworks. I will have no mercy on her,” the soft-spoken Phiri responded as she bids for another WBC crown after losing the bantamweight title earlier this year in Mexico.
The Kenyan titleholder will be putting her belt on the line for the first time since her scheduled rematch against Jamaican Alicia Ashley whom she dethroned last year failed to take place in July.