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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.DISAPPOINTEDIn 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.
The teacher who was pregnant when her Albion home went up in flames one month ago is now pleading with the public for assistance.While support has been slow, the Fire Service has been pushing the family around to get a needed document.“It has been hard, and it is though still — the challenge right now,” the Guyana Times was told on Saturday afternoon.Shennisa Willie and five of her childrenThe blaze that occurred at High Reef, Albion, Corentyne on March 13 had left seven persons homeless.Shennisa Willie has since given birth to her sixth child.She says while a few persons have come forward to assist and get her children back in school, the family is still greatly in need.Willie is now living at a house at Manchester, Corentyne with her husband and six children, but the building is not much more than a part-shelter with walls.In fact, a few days after she moved into the building, she fell through the floor, landing thirteen feet below, and was picked up in the yard and rushed to hospital, where she also gave birth.“I need a house to stay in. I need beds, I don’t have beds for them to sleep on; sheets… I have one stove that is punishing me to cook, especially in the morning when (it’s time) to go to school. I don’t even have pots; only one pot and a canary… I don’t have accessories to use to cook with.”According to the teacher, the Guyana Fire Service, which arrived after her building was flattened, has not been able to furnish her with documents she needs. According to Willie, it appears as though there is only one officer at that department who can do the work.“The officers at the Rose Hall Fire Service told me that the officer gone on some course and they don’t know when he coming back. Then I call New Amsterdam and they told me that I have to wait until Rose Hall send the report. I beg the New Amsterdam officer to see how fast he can get it, and he said he will see what he can do,” Willie related on Saturday.However, two weeks ago, she had informed this publication about the apparent slothfulness in the process of getting a fire report, and that there was not much help she was getting from the New Amsterdam Fire Service.The couple is battling to make ends meet along with their children, ages 11, 10, 9, 5, and one month.Anyone who wishes to make contact with the family can do so on telephone number 672-5363 and 686-1289.