WBC World female super bantamweight champion Fatuma Zarika is embarking on an intensive training program in Las Vegas, Nevada, ahead of her title defense on December 2nd.
Zarika left her native Kenya for the USA on Tuesday to prepare for her showdown in Nairobi versus former WBC champion Catherine Phiri of Zambia. Zarika is expected to start training at Berry’s Boxing Gym in Los Angeles for a period of up to two months ahead of the highly anticipated bout.
“I’m optimistic with the preparation and when I come back for the encounter I will retain my title,” Fatuma told Citizen Digital. “I have never fought Phiri nor attended any live fight she’s involved in. I watched her fights on YouTube and that helps me identify her weakness.”
The 32-year-old old made history last year in October when she became the first Kenyan pugilist to win the prestigious WBC world title after defeating veteran Alicia Ashley from Jamaica on points.
Phiri, her November opponent, made history of her own after becoming the first female Zambian and African to win the coveted WBC title when she dethroned Mexico’s Yazmin “Rusita” Rivas last year via majority technical decision at the end of the sixth round.
Zarika, the Kenyan heavy hitter, hopes to tap into the US’s sophisticated training facilities, methods and knowledge of the sport.
Welterweight African Boxing Union (ABU) Champion James Onyango, who faced an experienced Filipino professional hitter Jason Pagaran in Philippines and settled for a draw, will also be featured on the Nairobi card.
Olympian and Kenya prison boxer Rayton Okwiri, who won his professional boxing debut over Salehe Mkalekwa from Tanzania, has however not confirmed whether he will be participating in the event scheduled to feature ten bouts.
Moreover, Okwiri is scheduled for his second professional boxing on October 14 in Washington, DC.