Did Zarika ‘throw away’ her world title bout in Mexico in protest?
Kenyan boxer Fatuma Zarika’s camp has hit out at Kenyans expecting results from her despite little or no investment in her preps.
The 34-year-old on Sunday lost the World Boxing Council’s Bantamweight title to 21-year-old Mexican Yamileth Mercado in a rematch staged in Mexico City.
The Mexican won with a unanimous points decision of 99-91, 98-92 and 99-91.
But neither Zarika, her daughter nor the Kenya Professional Boxing Council appeared remorseful following the loss.
“I want my fans to know that I have nothing to apologize,” explained Zarika, moments after this bout.
“I go through pain. I have been with this title for four years. Nobody has assisted me apart from SportPesa. Since SportPesa left, nobody helps me. The government has abandoned me. I’d rather the Mexican wins this fight because the Mexican government supports sports and athletes,” she said.
Separately, Zarika’s daughter Sophia took to social media and suggested that her mother may have been only thinking about the Sh6 million appearance fee in this bout, as opposed to winning.
“Most of you on social media are blaming her (Zarika’s) management but I don’t really care. Zarika has been a world Champions for f***ing years. Z and I made the decision for her to loss (lose) the fight and leave the belt in Mexico. We came for the money so am (I’m) good y’all,” wrote Sophia.
These reactions were seemingly echoed by Kenya Professional Boxing Council (KPBC) Secretary General Frankline Imbenzi.
“I am with Zarika and she has told me straight to my face that she wanted the belt to remain in Mexico. She felt not appreciated after her main sponsor withdrew support and also the government lied to her until last minute,” Imbenzi said
Zarika is the latest in a list of athletes to blame the government for a lack of support.