Here’s the online verdict on Zarika vs Phiri bout
Kenyan pugilist, Fatuma “Iron Fist” Zarika on Saturday night retained her World Boxing Council (WBC) world super bantamweight title for the third consecutive time with a unanimous points decision over Zambian challenger Catherine Phiri.
Zarika won the bout which was staged at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi after the three judges – Michael Neequaye, Fillemon Mweya and Irene Semakula – ruled the contest 98-92 99-91 97-93 in her favour
The contest, was a repeat of the December 2, 2017 title contest at the Carnivore Grounds.
But did she really win the fight?
Just like in her last fight against Mexican boxer Yamileth Mercado last September at the same venue, the outcome of Saturday night’s bout has sharply divided opinion on social media.
Deputy President William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris are among the political leaders who were quick to congratulate Zarika after the fight.
Congratulations to World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Bantamweight Champion Fatuma Zarika for flooring challenger Catherine Phiri to retain the title. We savour your exploits following a dogged, tactical and assured display. #NairobiFightNight
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) March 23, 2019
Congratulations @FatumaZarika on beating Catherine Phiri from Zambia to retain the WBC Super Bantamweight World title in an exciting bout at the #NairobiFightNight. You have done ?? proud. Keep inspiring all our youth and aspiring sportspeople with your exploits. ??????
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 23, 2019
Proud of @FatumaZarika for retaining her WBC Super Bantamweight World title in a hotly contested fight against Zambia’s Catherine Phiri. Kudos to @SportPesa for another riveting #NairobiFightNight and for putting Kenya women boxing on the global map. #TwendeKazi pic.twitter.com/w3YXu8wPAF
— Hon. Esther M Passaris (@EstherPassaris) March 24, 2019
But there are those who thought otherwise, including Kenyans.
Fatuma Zarika almost unrecognizable from the punches thrown by Catherine Phiri, who looks fresh-faced.
— Saddique Shaban (@SaddiqueShaban) March 23, 2019
— Sally Chiwama (@chiwama) March 24, 2019
— Alexander Mubanga (@chanda_Alexande) March 24, 2019
— Ogola Omondi Sirikal?? (@OgolaSirikalKE) March 24, 2019
#Stollen…Let’s be totally honest with ourselves. Phiri was robbed this match. She was clearly the better boxer. Anyway welcome to Kenya Miss Phiri where the winner loses, be it in boxing or politics. #NairobiFightNight
— DANIEL MUTUKU (@DanSkynett) March 24, 2019