Fatuma Zarika’s daughter on Sunday revealed that she and her mother decided long time ago to throw the World Boxing Council’s Super Bantamweight title bout with Yamileth Mercado.
Shortly after her mother lost the bout, Sophia, took to social media where she claimed that they were only interested in the Sh6 million her mother was set to bag for participating in the bout.
“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 Sophia.
Her reaction came hot on the heels of similar sentiments expressed by the Kenya Professional Boxing Council’s Secretary-General Frankline Imbenzi.
Mr Imbenzi said Zarika intentionally lost the bout because she felt unappreciated by the government.
“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 a WhatsApp group message.
The 34-year-old Zarika lost to Mercado, 21, who won in a unanimous decision after the judges scored 99-91, 98-92, 99-91 in her favour.
Zarika’s performance seemed lucklustre — lacking in vitality, force and conviction and was rather uninspiring and unconvincing.
For the most part of the 10-round fight, Zarika seemed to wait for a Mercado offensive to react.
But before the fight, Zarika had a different attitude, telling Fightnews.com that she was excited to fight in Mercado’s homeland, Chihuahua in Mexico,
“I know it’s going to be a great fight, but my fists will speak for me and I’m going to go home with my belt,” Zarika said.
On her part, Mercado said that the fight was the most important in her career.
“This is the most important fight of my career, the fact of being the first world champion from Chihuahua and achieving this dream at home is a great motivation and that is why we had a great preparation. I am ready with a firm objective. I will not fail,” Mercado said in a pre-fight conference.
The live broadcast on K24 TV of the much-anticipated bout was sponsored by Equity Bank.