After an extended period of anticipation, Kenyan boxer Fatuma ‘Iron Fist’ Zarika is gearing up to defend her World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Super Featherweight title.
Zarika secured the coveted title with a unanimous points decision victory (98-92, 97-93, 98-91) over Patience Mastara of Zimbabwe in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in November 2020.
The two-time World Boxing Council (WBC) World Super Bantamweight champion is now set to defend her glittering belt in a ten-round showdown against the highly regarded Tanzanian boxer, Fatuma Omari. This epic clash will take place in Nairobi on October 27 as part of the Betika Ultra Fight Series Boxing event, hosted at the Broadwalk Mall along Ojijo Road in Parklands.
The fight card, consisting of 11 thrilling bouts, is promoted by Maurice Odera of Ultra Fight Series Boxing. Among the highlights is the World Alliance Boxing Association (WABA) Intercontinental Super Bantamweight title fight featuring Albert Kimario against Grey Chimkwapulo of Malawi.
Zarika, who has diligently prepared for this defense under the guidance of coach Marvin Obuya at Vision Plaza Gym along Mombasa Road, expressed her excitement. “I am delighted to finally defend the title on home turf. During my nearly three-year hiatus from the ring, I have maintained my fitness through rigorous training, including running, weightlifting, and extensive sparring. Now, my focus is on speed, footwork, and self-defense,” she remarked.
Despite her intense preparation, Zarika prefers not to overanalyze her opponent, Omari, to avoid unnecessary pressure. Nevertheless, she is committed to delivering an unforgettable performance. “I urge my supporters to arrive early and in large numbers on the day. I will not disappoint them because this belt is staying right here. I promise Omari will experience a challenging bout in the ring,” warned Zarika.
Zarika belongs to the exclusive club of Kenyan women who have captured a WBF title, joining the ranks of Conjestina ‘Hands of Stone’ Achieng and Sarah ‘Angel of War’ Achieng. She strongly believes that defending the WBF belt is a stepping stone towards regaining her WBC World Super Bantamweight title for the third time.
Promoter Maurice Odera shared the same sentiment, hinting at more significant opportunities under his stable. “Our goal is to pursue the WBC title. We want to provide Zarika with another chance because she is currently Kenya’s biggest boxing sensation. We also aim to nurture emerging talents like Kimario,” Odera affirmed.
Odera assured fans that the main event, featuring Zarika and Omari, will live up to expectations. Omari boasts an impressive record and is known for her aggressive fighting style and exceptional punching ability. “Omari has been challenging Zarika for years, and we have finally decided to honor the request by pitting the two formidable fighters against each other. It will be an unforgettable showdown,” Odera declared.
Acknowledging the importance of sponsorship from gaming company Betika, Odera explained, “Zarika has been inactive for a while, and she has been seeking a promoter to support her in defending the title. However, the expenses associated with the belt, including the sanctioning fees, have deterred many promoters. We are grateful to have a sponsor who is making this event possible.”
Tickets for the fight are available online at ticketsasa.com. General admission tickets are priced at Sh1000 in advance and Sh1500 at the gates, while ringside VIP tickets are available for Sh3500 in advance and Sh4500 at the gates.