Kenyan boxer Fatuma Zarika became the new World Boxing Council (WBC) female super bantamweight champion last Saturday night when she dethroned Jamaican Alicia ‘Slick’ Ashley by split decision, in a hard-fought contest in Flint, Michigan. This was the main bout on a six- fight card that was put on as a benefit to raise funds to assist with that city’s ongoing severe water problems. The three judges scored the 10-round fight 94-96 for Ashley and 96-94, 97-93 for Zarika. The fight was a close one and the Kenyan boxer was able to keep pace with the champion by utilising her boxing skills to avoid punches and then successfully counterpunching. She had the edge in the early rounds, but Ashley got her act together and fought back decisively in the second half of the fight to earn the verdict on one card and make it close on another. The 97-93 scorecard for Zarika was seen as an aberration. Ashley was not her usually dominant self in the early rounds and her adviser, Luigi Olcese, told The Gleaner yesterday that he believed she could have earned the decision if she had been more decisive in the early rounds. “She made her opponent miss, but did not make her pay when she did and this made the difference. I nevertheless thought that Alicia won the fight, but it did not go her way and we just have to move on,” said Olcese. “We have a return fight clause in the contract and we will see how soon we can make that fight happen. I am confident that Alicia will regain her title,” he added. Zarika, who is 31, improved her record to 28-12-2, while Ashley, who is still fighting brilliantly at age 49, falls to 23-11-1.
Here’s the top transfer-related stories in Monday’s newspapers…Manchester United are plotting a sensational deadline day double swoop for ex-Chelsea star Kevin De Bruyne, now of Wolfsburg, and Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels. (Daily Express)Manchester City’s on-loan defender Micah Richards is set to snub interest from Chelsea and Liverpool to complete a switch to Italian giants Inter Milan. (Daily Star)Everton are eyeing a deadline day loan move for Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj. (Manchester Evening News)Stoke City boss Mark Hughes is launching a beat-the-deadline move to be reunited with Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor. The pair worked together during their time at Manchester City. (Daily Mirror)Southampton are hoping to finalise a £5million deal for Feyenoord midfielder Tonny Vilhena. (Daily Mail)Newcastle United facing transfer deadline day competition for Dele Alli, but both Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur have now emerged as rivals to sign the 18-year-old. (Newcastle Chronicle)West Brom weigh up cut price £5m offer for record signing Brown Ideye… as Tony Pulis looks at West Ham’s Carlton Cole and Liverpool forward Rickie Lambert. (Daily Mail)Crystal Palace close to agreeing £1m transfer of Lee Chung-yong from Bolton, and are also in talks with Manchester United about a £6m deal for Wilfried Zaha. (Daily Mail)Winston Reid is set to quit West Ham and join Tottenham for NOTHING in the summer. (Daily Mirror)Darren Fletcher could still leave Manchester United before tomorrow’s transfer deadline, with West Brom ready to resurrect their interest in the midfielder. (Manchester Evening News)