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I owe no one apology, Zarika fumes

Fatuma Zarika with Mexican Yamileth Mercado pose with WBE Rating and Youth Commissioner Marina Milanova and WBC Super Bantamweight Belt when the two first met in 2018. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 – Kenya’s Fatuma Zarika said she owes no one apology after surrendering the World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Bantamweight title to Mexican Mexican Yamileth Mercado in Chihuahua, Mexico on Sunday.

A fuming Zarika, who was dethroned the title she has held for the last four years, lost convincingly 99-91, 98-92, 99-91 to the Mexican, and the Kenyan who is fondly referred as the ‘Iron First’ blamed the government for not supporting her.

“I want to tell my fans I owe no one an apology, I know what I have done and I will not apologise to anyone. When I was getting the belt I was alone, I have been with the belt for four years and there’s nothing good that has come my way except SportPesa,” an angered Zarika lamented after the bout.

“When SportPesa went away no one took care of me, the government don’t want to take care it’s rather the belt be in Mexico where it will be taken care of at-least their (Mexico) government take care of their sports people and support them. I am only the one who feels the pain and know the problems I go through,” Zarika added.

Fatuma Zarika jab bleeding Mercado Yamileth. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

The win was a sweet revenge for Mercado who lost the fight to Zarika in 2018 September in Nairobi in a split-point decision, which was her second title defence after having beaten Zambian Catherine Phiri in 2017.

However, the 34-year-old Zarika, who pocketed Sh 6 million from the fight, has a rematch against Mercado in 90 days as stipulated by the contract they signed before the bout.

Zarika now has 32 wins, 13 losses and two draws while Mercado, 21, now has 13 wins and two losses.

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