(DEC 21) The busy Kenyan
season culminated with yet another outrageous title decision at the
packed Charter Hall on Sunday with close to 2,000 fans trudging home
crestfallen. In what appeared a one-sided affair, Kenyan Fatuma
Zarika was shockingly announced as the winner by a unanimous
decision much to the chagrin of Kenyan spectators who instead voiced
their dissent by hoisting America based Puerto Rican Belinda
Laracuente was carried shoulder high
as chants of USA…USA..rent the air even as the belt was being
presented on a farce-like low key affair.
Zarika hardly scored against the graceful and flashy Puerto Rican
and her attempt to go for her traditional volatile kayo was easily
smothered by a weaving and bobbing Laracuente.
Zarika made her intensions clear with her first shot at Laracuente,
a vicious right hook that the Puerto Rican dogged. A second round
Zarika onslaught fell on Laracuente guard as frustration mounted for
the Kenyan when she picked up a deep on her left eyebrow, from a
Laracuente hook. By the 8th of the 10 round scheduled contest
Laracuente was leading by insurmountable margins and it’s was
clearly noticeable that only a kayo could salvage Zarika’s fortunes.
Laracuente’s onslaught started on a
somewhat modest pace sizing her opponent and handing Zarika a few
lessons in shadow boxing. She bobbed and weaved gracefully and even
taunted Zarika with funny facial expressions darling Zarika to come
out to her. But from the 5th Laracuente took charge of the
proceeding picking Zarika easily with the left hook and some crisp,
clean jabs. Come the 9th it was clear who would be victorious and
the Kenyan fans went mute for a while.
It was the second time lucky for Zarika after a similar situation
was witness in a fight she was outplayed by Bulgarian Galina Koleva
Ivanova but the Kenya Professional Boxing Commission judges scored
Earlier former Africa Champion Nasser
‘Silencer’ Athumani gunned down American Kopmpa Koroma on split
points and no eyebrows were raised when he was crowned the GBU world
Champion. But it also beat the logic why a world title fight was
entirely officiated by an all-Kenyan judges panel including referee
Apparently, Belinda Laracuente didn’t looked so much faced by the
decision, and was instead basking in the overwhelming support the
fans. A stunned Laracuente Coach Wanda Bruce could not hide her
shock but the quick reaction of the boxing fans who noisily
protested decision brought a little solace to the American team.
“I really don’t understand what fight the judges were watching. I
was celebrating my win after the last gong but to my surprise the
announcer announced a unanimous decision.
The Kenyan fans obviously know more
than their judges and I appreciate the huge support I got from the
Kenyan fans after the decisions were announced,” Belinda Laracuente
charged. Laracuente, the former, GBU lightweight champion was
awaiting a moment of her lifetime but not until results came out in
a flash. Judge Lillian Olero had it 97-96 while Wycliffe Marende saw
it 97-95. James Omondi had it 97-94 to hand a dazed Zarika victory
on a silver platter.