Kenya’s pugilist Fatuma Zarika will defend her World Boxing Council (WBC) super-bantamweight title against Jamaican Alicia Ashley in a mandatory rematch set for July 15, this year in Texas, United States.
Zarika said she has agreed for the rematch to be staged in the USA after the match promoter Don Elbaum and WBC agreed to compensate her for the none payment of the initial fight.
Speaking from Las Vegas, USA, Zarika said the new deal was sealed by her new manager Ejay Mathews of Bigger Than Life Entertainment where she is set to earn a prize money amounting to seven figure digit.
Zarika dethroned Ashley through split points decision on October 1, last year at the Dort Federal Event Center, Flint, Michigan, USA, making history as the first Kenyan to win a WBC World title.
Zarika’s mandatory rematch was due for April 29, this year in Nairobi but never happened after Elbaum failed to pay Zarika her purse of Sh 350,000 for the title victory.
“It will be immature to state the figure now but I am happy with what Mathews has done to help me get paid for the initial bout and defence bout,” said Zarika, adding that Mathews has been categorical with Elbaum and WBC that she will not take to the ring until the purse has been wired to her account.
Zarika, who has so far fight once since her victory, relocated to Las Vegas where she has been training for last six weeks ahead of her title defence.
” I am glad Mathews has been able to organize for a good gymnasium, coach and sparring partner,” said Zarika, who knocked out Tanzanian Flora Machela in the first round of their lightweight bout on February 18 at Carnivore Gardens in a bout promoted by Bigger Than Life Entertainment.
It was the 31-year-old Zarika’s 17th knockout in her 29 victories, 12 losses and two draws.