Kenya’s Fatuma Zarika on Sunday claimed she threw the fight after losing her World Boxing Council Super Bantanweight title to Mexico’s Yamileth Mercado.
Zarika accused the government of neglecting her and told her supporters that she will not apologize for what she has done.
“Nataka kuambia mashabiki wangu hakuna mtu yeyote napatia pole, najua kitu ambacho nimefanya na siombi msamaha kwa mtu yeyote. Wakati ambapo nilikuwa napata hiyo belt, sikuwa na mtu yeyote. Nilikuwa peke yangu. Nimekaa na hiyo belt miaka nne. Na hakuna kitu mzuri ishaikuja except SportPesa. Government haitaki kushughulika, afadhali mshipi ibaki Mexico, mahali ambapo watai take care. Wataichunga. At least government yao inawasupport. Kwa hivyo siombi msamaha kwa mtu yeyote,” said Zarika shortly after the fight.
According to Kenya Professional Boxing Commission (KPBC) Secretary-General Frankline Imbenzi, Zarika felt unappreciated after her main sponsor, SportPesa, withdrew their support further stating that the government lied to her until the last minute.
“I am with Zarika and she has told me straight to my face she wanted the belt to remain in Mexico. She felt not appreciated after her main sponsor withdrew support and also the government lied to her until last minute,” said Mr Imbenzi in one of boxing WhatsApp groups.
Mercado, 21, was proclaimed the winner in a unanimous decision after the judges scored 99-91, 98-92, 99-91 in her favour.
” I know what I have done and I will not apologise to anyone,” said Zarika in a video recorded minutes after Mr Imbenzi’s comments.
But all is not lost for her since she will still net Sh6 million despite losing the bout and has an opportunity to retake her title but she still has a chance to retake since she signed a rematch clause.
“Most of you on social media are blaming her management but I don’t really care. Zarika has been a world Champion for 4 f****** years. Z and I made the decision for her to loss [lose] the fight and leave the belt in Mexico. We came for the money and we got the money so am good y’all,” said Zarika’s daughter on social media.
The live broadcast on K24 TV and K24 Digital was sponsored by Equity Bank.