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Zarika loses to Mercado in Mexico

By Barry Silah
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
DaFatuma Zarika (right) scores against Mexico Yamileth Mercado during their WBC Super Bantamweight title bout on September last year at Kenyatta Convectional Centred. PD/ FILE

Zarika Fatuma stepped into the ring at Chihuaha Mexico a champion but left bloodied and defeated against her challenger Yamileth ‘Yeimi[ Mercado in a rematch bout yesterday.

The World Boxing Council (WBC) Super bantamweight title was on the line after Mercado, 21, demanded a rematch following the split point decision last September in Nairobi which favoured the homegirl Zarika. 

However yesterday morning in a live televised event, even the ever-confident Zarika could not cope with the crowd and the punching style of her young nemesis Mercado who wanted to prove a point to WBC about their “mistake” in the preceding fight.

The young Mexican darling was declared the winner after a unanimous decision by the judges who scored 99-91,98-92,99-91 in her favour. This was Mercado’s 12th win in 14 bouts with one loss against her and four knockouts. 

The Sunday rematch came against the backdrop of the controversial result occasioned last year at KICC with Mercado and her team feeling unsatisfactory. It was then incumbent upon Zarika to put her four year reign of the glamorous belt on the line.

Zarika also known as Iron Fist reportedly earned a cool six million shillings despite the loss but has pointed an accusing finger at the Government for failing to support her cause. Her bitterness in the post bout interview to the effect that she was happy the belt remained in Mexico left many boxing lovers deeply shocked. 

After her sponsors, betting firm SportPesa bolted out, the experienced boxer was left to fend on her own and has thus told her fans that she had no apologies to make. 

“I want to tell my loyal fans that I have nothing to apologise for because I did what I could. Nobody has supported me and so I feel very much let down. The Government failed to help my cause in any way and so I can assume they do not care. It is better for the belt to remain in Mexico,” she said even as some section of fans who accused her of throwing away the bout and letting the country down. 

Zarika is said to have prepared on her own after losing her foreign based coaches and ringside did not have technical support.

Kenya Professional Boxing Commission (KPBC) secretary Franklin Imbenzi is in total support of Zarika after her unexpected rant. 

“I am in agreement with what Zarika did and I concur that Government did nothing to support their loyal Ambassador. 

I can understand what Zarika feels. It is not surprising that she lost but things would have been different if preparations were proper.”