By Peter Mwaura
World Boxing Council (WBC) Super bantamweight women champion, Fatuma ‘Iron Fist’ Zarika is the SJAK sports personality of the month for December 2017.
Zarika beat chess ace, Joyce Nyaruai, and Safari rally speedster, Carl Tundo, to be crowned the sixth recipient of the coveted prize.
The 34-year-old pugilist was unanimously voted by a panel of journalists following her successful title defense against Zambian Catherine Phiri at the Carnivore Grounds in Nairobi on December 2.
The mother of two won the brutal bout on points after she scored 97-92, 98-91 and 99-92 from the three international judges extending her win record to 30 ,17 wins being through knock-outs.
The victory saw Zarika conferred with Head of State Commendation (HSC) honour by President Uhuru Kenyatta on December 12 2017 as Kenya celebrated her 54th jamhuri day.She was the only sports personality in the HSC 2017.
“I was happy to retain the belt. The win was an inspiration that hard work pays in the end. I’m hoping to defend the title again this year,” said Zarika
Zarika received the monthly award on Thursday at the Taj Mall Gymnasium in Nairobi where she is currently stepping up training ahead of another title defense later this year.
“This is a great surprise, thank you StarTimes for being the sponsors and SJAK for considering me for this prize. This truly goes a long way to inspire and motivate me to work harder. It is also an inspiration to other boxers,” she underlined.
She walked away with a trophy, StarTimes 42-inch digital television set and KSh100, 000.
SJAK chairman, Chris Mbaisi, said the association ventured into the unique monthly awards to give non-football players a chance to be recognized.
“We are happy that these awards are already inspiring players to work hard to accomplish their aim,” Mbaisi noted.