Kenya’s World Boxing Council (WBC) super bantamweight world champion Fatuma Zarika has promised to crush her Zambian challenger Catherine Phiri in their scheduled rematch on March 23 in Nairobi.
Zarika retained her belt when she scored a unanimous points decision over Phiri in Nairobi in December 2017, where judges scored 97-92, 98-91 and 99-92 in Zarika’s favor.
The Kenyan went on to stop Mexico’s Yamileth Mercado on September 18 last year, where she was pushed all the way before emerging victorious after a 2-1 split decision to retain her crown.
Zarika headed to Liverpool on Tuesday night to train until her planned return to Kenya on March 16.
“I promise Catherine Phiri that after our bout, her whole body will hurt. She will not eat meat for a week. She is not the best boxer I have ever faced. I have fought better boxers than her, some even better than me especially when I was fighting overseas,” Zarika said.
The WBC champion is determined to settle their rivalry once and for all, after the Zambian’s camp claimed their boxer had won the bout.
“The bout was tough and the rematch will be tougher. Catherine believes she was not beaten and she will be coming as a challenger who is determined to take the belt from me,” Zarika said moments before leaving for the UK from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
“What I can tell her is that this belt is going nowhere and I will hold it for as long as I want to,” she added.
The pugilist known as ‘Iron Fist’ will train in the 4 Corner Combat and Fitness Gym under the watchful eyes of coach John Gillies and his team in Liverpool.
Zarika declared her fight against Phiri would be among her last, as she seeks to retire by the end of the year.
“I have about two fights left and I want to leave room for upcoming boxers. I will always be remembered for winning the WBC title and making a name that will always be part of our history,” Zarika said.