Ashley hopes for rematch in Jamaica
Last Saturday night in Flint, Michigan, Jamaica's Alicia 'Slick' Ashley lost her World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Bantamweight title to Kenyan Fatuma Zarika by split decision in what was a close fight.
A review of the three scorecards shows that she was one point away from a draw decision and retaining her title.
Judge Herman McKalpain scored the fight 96-94 for Zarika, judge Katealia Chambers scored it 96-94 for Ashley, while judge Ray Michaux had it 97-93 for Zarika.
The consensus after the fight was that judge Michaux was way off base, and saw a totally different fight from that which was seen by his colleagues.
Looking at the scoring in the first six rounds, judge Michaux gave all six rounds to Zarika. This meant that after that round, Ashley had to knock her down a few times or knock her out to win.
On the other hand, judge Chambers, who voted for Ashley, had the score three rounds each, while judge McKalpain, who voted for Zarika, had it four rounds to two on the Kenyan's behalf.
In the last four rounds, judge Michaux gave three to Ashley and one to Zarika, judge Chambers scored it the same way, while McKalpain had it two rounds each.
The key scorecard in the final equation, was that of McKalpain.
Both Chambers and Michaux scored the last round for Ashley, while he scored it for Zarika. If he had joined them in scoring the round for Ashley, and most people believed that she won that round, the fight would have ended in a draw, which many people who saw the fight believed was the correct decision.
In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Ashley said that although she was very disappointed, she took some of the blame for her loss.
"I started off slower than usual. I made her miss, but I did not counterpunch, and could have lost the first two rounds. My timing was off because of my long lay-off, but I soon found my rhythm and scored more points after that. I must say that she is a strong fighter, and that was no surprise, as she has fought in a heavier weight class," she said.
"I am not making any excuses, however, and I am looking forward to the contracted rematch. I am not wasting any time either, and will be back in the gym tomorrow," Ashley added.
She also expressed her frustration at not being able to fight regularly.
"My last fight before Zarika was a year ago. Within that year, about five fights were arranged and cancelled, and it has been a roller coaster ride for me. I would train several months for a fight, and then it was cancelled, and this repeated itself. I want to fight. I especially want to fight in Jamaica," said Ashley.
"I wanted to defend my title before my people, and it never happened. I am begging Luigi (her adviser) to try to make the return fight happen there in Jamaica. That is where I would like to regain the title," Ashley said.