Fatuma Zarika aims punches at Boxing Federation of Kenya over dwindling fortunes of the sport

Fatuma Zarika (left), the WBF Super Featherweight champion. Photo: Jonah Onyango.

BOXING Fatuma Zarika aims punches at Boxing Federation of Kenya over dwindling fortunes of the sport

Joel Omotto 12:38 - 10.03.2024

Fatuma ‘Iron Fist’ Zarika has slammed the Boxing Federation of Kenya who she accuses of doing little to improve the standards of the sport in the country.

World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Super Featherweight champion Fatuma Zarika has blamed the Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) for the dwindling fortunes of the sport in the country.

Kenyan boxing is on its deathbed with few fights, both professional and amateur being held in the country, while pugilists who go out on international assignments record negative results.

Zarika, popularly known as Iron Fist, however, feels those in charge are the ones to blame since they are tasked with the responsibility of managing the sport.

“The standards of boxing are low but we cannot blame the boxers, we blame those leading us because they are the ones supposed to be looking for these sponsors and bringing fights,” Zarika told Pulse Sports.

“As a boxer, you need a lot of things, you need good training and someone to take care of you during the preparations.

“You have to eat well and stay in camp and all this needs money. If you don’t have resources, your training will be poor and nothing much will come out of it.”

Zarika pointed at the current struggles being experienced by Kenyan boxers at the Paris 2024 Olympics qualifiers in Italy as an example of what you get from poor preparations.

Kenyan boxers missed out on a direct ticket to the Olympics at last year’s qualifiers held in Dakar, Senegal, and have been forced to go through the grueling qualification tournament, repechage, which has fighters from various continents, but they had found it tough.

“The training has been poor and they do not get enough support. We cannot expect someone to train when they have not paid their bills or eaten well,” added Zarika.

Zarika’s last fight took place in November 2023 when she stopped Tanzanian Yazidu Omari and she hopes to defend her title this year if she can secure a sponsor.

“I am preparing to defend my title so I have to train well to put on a good show,” said Zarika, who also decried the lack of equal pay between men and women.

“Women’s pay is low compared to men and it is not fair because we do the same job. We should earn well from the sport.”

Zarika has won 34 of her 49 fights (18 knockouts), drawn two and lost 13.

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