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November 17, 2018

Boxing talent let down by coach shortage, says Zarika

Fatuma Zarika trains at the Muscle Heath gym with his coach Edgar Sentongo / COURTESY
Fatuma Zarika trains at the Muscle Heath gym with his coach Edgar Sentongo / COURTESY

WBC super bantamweight champion Fatuma Zarika is currently training in Britain for her upcoming bout against Mexican Yamileth Mercado. She cited lack of enough facilities and good coaches as a problem in Kenya.

Speaking to British professional boxer Tony Bellew during a training session, the mother of two girls said it has taken sheer hard work and utmost determination to reach her heights without basic gym facilities.

“My journey into boxing was very tough. My mum was a single mum, so I was finding something at least to help her,” she said.

“We have talent in Kenya but we don’t have good coaches, and we don’t have punching bags in the boxing rings.”

The boxer was recently feted by President Uhuru Kenyatta with a Head of State Commendation.

Nicknamed ‘The Iron Fist,’ Zarika is set to face off with the 20-year-old Mercado, who has only lost once during her stint as a professional boxer, on September 8 at the KICC.

The much anticipated bout has already attracted high-profile visitors, including WBC president Mauricio Sulaimán, the chairman of Kenya Professional Boxing Commission Hillary Alila, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Senator Johnson Sakaja.

Popular Tanzanian actor and comedian Idriss Sultan, Wema Sepetu’s ex boyfriend, will also be in attendance.

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