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.
…criticises Govt’s vision for country’s developmentThe People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s (PPP/C) performance at the Local Government polls is the beginning of a movement to take back Guyana from the hands of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government, according to the Party’s General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo.Jagdeo made the statement at the Party’s public meeting at Kitty, Georgetown, on Saturday. The meeting was held for five of their 13 constituency members contesting the Georgetown municipality to present their vision for their respective constituencies.Jagdeo told the gathering at the meeting that they need to understand the importance of the elections since it will send a clear message to the Government that the conclusion of their tenure in Government is near.He said the last Local Government polls gave the PPP a good win but called for a more convincing win to ensure that the message “Guyanese are fed up” gets across to the Government.“You’re part of a movement. You’re part of a movement not only to change the area which you live in but you’re the beginning of a movement to take back Guyana from the hands of the APNU/AFC disaster that we have running our country now. That is what is at stake here, this is the beginning of that fight…,” Jagdeo said.The Opposition Leader said the need to reclaim Guyana is all more impFrom left: Dion Younge (Constituency Five), PPP General SecretaryBharrat Jagdeo and Patrick De Santos (Constituency Four)ortant now because of how the Government destroying it.“If the results of the last three-and-half years are anything to go by, then we have to get them out very early because this country will slide to the depths that we have never seen before if they continue with this approach to management,” he noted, while identifying that Government has spent over $1 trillion in just three years.He explained that Government spending is supposed to boost the performance of every sector, as well as making the lives of the ordinary citizens much easier; but despite the APNU/AFC Government spending so much, they are yet to make an impact. He noted that every sector of the economy is rapidly deteriorating, and citizens are overburdened by unnecessary taxes.Jagdeo identified that during its short time in Government, the APNU/AFC Administration has introduced almost 200 new taxes in order to finance its extravagant spending. He accused the Administration of wasting taxpayers’ money on unnecessary projects such as repainting State House from white to green costing some $30 million as well as a green fence for the Ministry of the Presidency (Office of the President).“The tax collection from the Government going from $135 billion to $195 billion – $60 billion more per year they are collecting in taxation to finance this extravagance. So where do the taxes come from? They come from poor people pocket because they have increased taxes on 46 food items.They have put taxes on electricity bills, water bills, on baby diapers…,” he explained.Jagdeo told the gathering that winning City Hall is very important since the People’s National Congress, now APNU, has been rapidly declining the state of Georgetown. He promised no increased taxation and better transparency and accountability at City Hall if the PPP gains a majority there.He said the PPP is a national party since they are the only political party contesting all of the Local Authority Areas and has the interest of every Guyanese at heart. He noted that their list of candidates are diverse and every one of them resides in the constituency which they are contesting and would have decided to enter into the race on the PPP’s ticket after they saw the lack of development in their communities.CandidatesThe candidates who presented their plans for their respective constituencies were Mohammed Isfehani (Constituency One), Nalissa Ferguson (Constituency Two), Dimitri Ali (Constituency Three), Patrick De Santos (Constituency Four) and Dion Younge (Constituency Five).Delivering a fiery speech was Younge who is contesting the Sophia/Liliendaal/ Turkeyen/Pattensen area. He noted that under the PPP/C Administration, Sophia was scheduled to be developed but the APNU/AFC Administration just halted all of those developmental plans. He said the US$30 million that was set aside for Sophia’s infrastructural development under the PPP Administration is yet to be touched by this Government, while the living conditions of residents there continue to deteriorate.Collectively, all the candidates promised transparency and accountability if elected to serve on the Council. Additionally, they are campaigning on the promise of no parking meters, no taxation, citizen’s involvement, job creation and better infrastructure.