World Boxing Council (WBC) World Super Bantamweight champion Fatuma Zarika of Kenya got her preparations for her title defence off to a winning start, knocking out Tanzanian Flora Machela in the first round of their lightweight bout on Saturday at Carnivore Gardens, Nairobi.
Zarika went straight to business, teasing Machela with some lovely combinations and it didn’t take long before the Tanzania’s guard fell.
Zarika, 31, then cashed in on Machela’s laxity with her guard to unleash a ferocious straight punch that caught the Tanzania’s right jaw, sending her to the canvass.
Zarika just finished off the eight-round contest inside one minute of the first round for her 17th knockout in her 29 career victories.
“You don’t waste time when you have that opportunity. I had to test her stomach to see if she was firm but she wasn’t,” Zarika, who is headed for training in USA ahead of her mandatory title defence against Jamaican Alicia Ashley on April 23 in Nairobi, said Zarika.
It was a fruitful Saturday evening for Kenyan boxers who won all their six bouts on cards in the extravaganza that was promoted by America-based Bigger Than Life Entertainment of Ejay Mathews.
“Mathews will communicate on when I should leave forUSA but I am glad the title defence will happen here at home,” said Zarika, who now has 29 wins, 12 losses and two draws.
In other bouts, two times Kenya World Boxing Association (WBA) World title contender Judy Waguthii beat compatriot Joyce Awino in the six rounds lightweight bout. Kenya’s welterweight James Onyango and heavyweight Maurice Okolla knocked their opponents Patrick Atuhairwe (Uganda) and Alick Gogodo (Malawi) respectively to line up for the Africa Boxing Union (ABU) title fights under Zarika’s title defence.
Onyango finished off Gogodo in the second round while Okolla needed a minute of the first round to knock out the big-talking Ugandan. Both bouts were scheduled for 10 rounds.