Ashley acclimatising for title showdown
Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
Alicia Ashley, the Jamaican World Boxing Council super-bantamweight champion, is now in Mexico for final preparations for her world title fight on September 6 against Mexican Jackie Nava.
Ashley told The Gleaner yesterday that she has been in Mexico for a week so far, having decided to get there early because of the difficulties associated with the high altitude.
"I knew that I had to get accustomed to the altitude, because I have fought here before. But I find that I am also having to cope with much colder weather than expected. This is summer and I did not expect temperatures in the 40s," she confessed.
The first few days of running and sparring were very challenging she said, but she is happy with her progress. Ashley says she is running up to three miles each morning, and sparring between six and eight rounds each day. In addition, she does work on the heavy bag and speed ball.
Saturday was Ashley's 47th birthday and since her weight is right on target, her trainer allowed her to have some birthday cake, she said.
"Since I worked hard on Saturday, despite it being my birthday, my trainer gave permission for me to have a little celebration," she said. "Now it is back to the hard work on Monday, as this is an important fight."
Word from Mexico is that the fight between Ashley and Mexican favourite Nava is attracting a lot of attention and a bumper crowd is expected to attend.
Nava, who is 34 years old, is a former World Boxing Association (WBA) champion. She is a boxer- fighter, who is well respected and has an impressive 29-4-3 record. Ashley, who has been champion since July 2011, has a 21-9 record.