Ashley back in the ring on December 16
After months of frustration at having fights arranged and cancelled, former World Boxing Council (WBC) Super bantamweight champion Jamaican Alicia Ashley will fight American Kirstie Simmons on Saturday, December 16, at the Claridge Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
It will be a non-title fight over eight rounds. Ashley last fought on March 31 this year when she defeated Liliana Martinez on points over eight rounds in Haiti. Before that fight, she fought and lost her title to Kenyan Fatuma Zarika by controversial split decision in October last year. There was a return-fight clause in her contract with Zarima, but Luigi Olcese, her adviser, has been unable to get the fight to happen.
"We had a firm date in the summer for the fight to take place in Texas, but the card fell through when one of the main bout contestants on that card pulled out."
"We have not been able to get a new date since then," Olcese told The Sunday Gleaner yesterday. The fight with Simmons, he said, is designed to keep Ashley active and "in the meantime, negotiations for the return title fight will continue".
Ashley said that she was very happy that a fight was now on the radar.
"I have been training for the return title fight from the beginning of the year, and it fell through, and there was another one that also did not happen. This, however, seems to be a firm arrangement, and I am anxious and ready for the challenge. I am keeping my fingers crossed that nothing happens to prevent it from taking place," she added.
Ashley, who fights out of New York, has, at 50 years of age, emerged as the oldest female world boxing champion twice. She is listed in the Guinness Book of World records for this feat. She is also a personal trainer and is attached to the famous Gleason's Gym in New York. She has a 24-11-1 record. Her opponent, Simmons, is 34 years old, and has an 8-3 record.