Ashley to defend super bantamweight title in Michigan
World Boxing Council (WBC) female super bantamweight champion, Jamaica's Alicia Ashley, will defend her title on Saturday, in Flint, Michigan, against Fatuma Zarika from Kenya.
This will be the main bout on a six-fight card dubbed 'Fight for Flint', and is being promoted by Don Elbaum as a special benefit for a city that has been besieged by a severe water problem since 2014. The water was found to be contaminated by lead and this resulted in a state of emergency being called early this year.
Speaking to STAR Sports yesterday, Ashley said that she was very happy to be defending her title "on a fight card that is for a worthy cause. The water problem in this city is very serious, and making a contribution is for me a wonderful opportunity," she said.
Ashley, who has a record of 23 wins, 10 losses and a draw, will be going up against a very experienced opponent who has 27 wins, 12 losses and two draws. Ashley was 49 years old in August, while her opponent is 31.
Ashley said that Zarika will be one of the most experienced boxers she has ever encountered and is "a very good technical fighter.
"Zarika is a former champion herself and can fight. It will not be an easy fight, but I am up for the challenge, and the plan is to retain my title and give the public a great performance."
Zarika has been a professional boxer since October 12, 2003, and won the International Boxing Federation's bantamweight title on March 3, 2007, by defeating Galina Ivanova on points. She has 16 knockouts in her 27 victories and has never been knocked out.